Small Business Direct Marketing Strategies I Learned in the House of the Lord

The particular small business direct marketing strategies I’m thinking of came from a 29-year-old man, Brother Andrei. He’d become desperate to get a wife, and he took massive action, an impressive array of sophisticated small business direct marketing strategies. It was a hot May Sunday when the main part of his marketing himself as a good husband prospect took place, but it had actually started weeks earlier, while there was still snow on the ground. He studied his market and identified his ideal customer. Namely, he concluded that he, being a rather recent transplant from Romania, wanted a Romanian wife. He narrowed his market further: she had to be, as he was, a Pentecostal– and even more specifically, one that attended the same church he went to (or the church on the Southside that his uncle led). In other words, he segmented his market to such a point (9 women) that he eliminated pretty much all men in Chicago as competition–from hundreds of thousands of men to about 15. He knew this market well, it was ripe to buy. Single women older than 21 were looked down upon. Women could not marry before they were 18. Six of the 9 women were nineteen and a half or older, four of them bought into the values of the church with their whole hearts. (This, studying the market, would be his small business marketing strategy #2 but in his case it doesn’t count as he’d always known this market’s husband buying behavior.) He was the least skilled at relationships and at the art of dating of the 15th. So he set out to compensate. It had been announced in February that the two churches that had women that interested Brother Andrei would celebrate the Lord together during the 3rd Sunday in May. Andrei went to work. He attended every service; and at every service, he spoke to the pastor, the treasurer, the choir director and the 4 other important elders. He spoke the same message: It would be a great idea if they let him preach on the 3rd Sunday in May. He, a single man, easily led astray by Satan, would surely benefit from such an honor. Might even be able to persuade one of the single sisters to marry him. That, in turn, would remove all the short-skirted temptations. He delivered his message in different ways before and after the Thursday evening service, during and after the Saturday evening service, and before and after the two Sunday services. He also called the pastor and the treasurer at home, during the week. He marketed himself often, he marketed himself using different media, different headlines, different hooks. In the end, the elders bought his product. He had 3 weeks to get ready. The first thing he did upon finding out that he’d be allowed to preach was to go to Macy’s and buy himself a $330 suit, the most expensive suit anyone at his church had ever worn. Then he bought himself a pair of Oxfords that cost 4 times what he was wont to spend on shoes, a belt, a tie, a shirt. All 3 or 4 times more expensive than any of his other similar clothing items. Next, he sat down and made a list of what he thought the nine women wanted in a husband. Looks, he did not have. What he did have was a decent job, a house (mortgaged, but still…), 2 cars, and he owned three 2-unit buildings (again, mortgaged, but they were bringing in more than they cost him). This exercise led him to his… He figured that the nine women wanted security, so he translated his features into benefits. He prepared a sermon on how ephemeral and pointless worldly possessions are. Which would allow him to list his. He knew that if he just bragged, nobody’d believe him. So, instead, he’d preach about how he, looking for fulfillment, had sought it in material possessions. How he had bought himself a car. How that had made him happy. How that happiness had not lasted. Which had led him to buy another one. For which he’d paid cash. The red Corvette in the back of the parking lot, he’d say. And I’m glad I have it, but alas, it’s not enough. Then he’d do the same for the buildings and the house. Then for the apartment he bought for his mother. How that was a lot more fulfilling. The 3rd Sunday in May came. Brother Andrei delivered the product. He preached his sermon. It bored the pants off of me. I heard it bored the pants off of a lot of people. But not Sister Sara or Sister Adina, two of the nine women of marriage age. Having gotten the attention of the two women, Brother Andrei did not stop marketing. No. Instead, he did the opposite, he intensified it. Now, there was no church day that he did not convince the pastor to let him sing or say a few words. Anything that allowed him to be in front of the congregation, in his new, expensive clothes, next to the powerful of the church. One thing led to another, and the girls agreed to go on dates with him (properly chaperoned but dates nonetheless). Three weeks later, Brother Matei announced his engagement to the more buxom of the two women. Within a short time of his wedding, sure of his bride’s love, Brother Andrei started to neglect her. Five years later, she filed for divorce. Keep your customers happy. No matter how good you are at implementing your small business direct marketing strategies for acquiring new customers, you’re wasting money and energy if, once acquired, you don’t implement great strategies for keeping them happy.

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