Yesterday morning I led a meeting reminding some of our company’s leaders of how things get done. How projects get completed and the order in which they’re executed most effectively. Every now and then, even in a professional firm like ours people need to be refreshed on what’s central to what we do. Sure, the fun part about marketing, at least for most people is the look and feel of what we create. Whether it’s a print ad, a direct mail piece, a web site, a 30 second spot or any host of deliverables, the fun is in the design. But as marketers we have to concern ourselves with the message before the design, and the message can only flow from the strategy which is developed through in-depth research.  

While I was leading this discussion I reminded the group that in my former career as a pastor I applied the same principles each week. I didn’t consider what I did on Sundays to be marketing but I most definitely worked very hard at honing the central message of the entire service (I wrote about it several days ago in fact). It wasn’t something I did hastily, nor was it done haphazardly. Whether it was a sermon or an entire service the central message was what everything else grew out of. The message, or the Big Idea drove the design.

While I’m convinced that approach makes a significant impact I believe even more strongly in the “So What!” quality of a take away. When my wife and I were pastoring on a weekly basis one of us (whichever one of us didn’t deliver the sermon) would conclude with a take away that helped apply the central message or theme to real life. Instead of people leaving the service and saying “So what!” they could leave knowing how to respond. It was a call to action. So, how often do you leave a service saying, “So What”? What do you do with what you hear and experience each week? Is it working for you?