I graduated Business Management in DLSU 1998 and took up MS Marketing 2000-2002 but didn’t really get to finish it (finished 18 units though). Right now, I’m trying to look for an on-line theology course to help me in handling Revelation Church. I already tried Moody, Liberty, Wesley and they’re all so expensive! So pray for me that I get to find the right school for my needs.

Anyway, Last Saturday was the 1st day of wedding expo and after I spoke to a handful of couples, I stood back, watched and reflected on what we were doing. It’s been awhile since my last formal schooling and I was asking myself “Are the things I learned in school as a business student still applicable today or have the times changed?” and I immediately got my iPad out and started typing my realizations.

Kotler had his 4Ps of marketing and here is my version. Your success on whether people buy in to you or not is affected by 4 factors:

1. Product – Is the product you are selling really salable? If you are selling service, are you really selling something that’s your specialty or are you just one of those that are riding into the fad? I’m not asking whether you like what you do or not or if its your passion, the question is “Did God really gift you with the talent?” Specially in this day and age, being mediocre is not enough. You got to be the best at what you do to click.” How are your skills or your product compared to your competitors?

How is your after service? Do you take care of your customers long after they walk away from the counter? This counts a lot specially if you are expecting either repeat sales or word of mouth referrals. The saying is true that “keeping a customer is a whole lot cheaper than obtaining new ones.”

1 Corinthians 12:4 says “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. Think about this: Is what you do really the gift the Holy Spirit has given you? Do you have both the skill or the product and the passion to do this properly?

2. Perception – Nope, not just promotion but how do people perceive you? Are you high end? Do you have a reputation for reliability? Will people feel good and be proud when they book you or are you something they’d rather not share to others about? Usually, your reputation comes out naturally when people find out about the “true you” and start talking (can be good or bad) or you can artificially do this by hyping yourself up with the use of advertising. This can make you seem bigger than you really are but take note – this costs more money and eventually, the real you will catch up with whatever you are trying to portray.

Another way of improving perception is with the people you associate with — your partner suppliers (or network), people who use you etc. If you partner with high-end suppliers, people will most likely see you also as high end. But this can only take you as far until who you truly are comes out.

If you have a bad product, people can buy into you because of advertising but later on, your unhappy customers will start talking and beat your good advertising. In my notebook, 1 unhappy review = 10 good ones. Your reputation is like a building – it can take you years to build it but only take a few minutes to destroy. Advertising can cover-up for poor service but the only businesses that survive is that which improves during that cover up phase.

If you truly have something great to share to the world then shout it out and make sure everyone knows about you. Like what the saying says “If you got it, flaunt it!” In the same way Luke 11:33 says “”No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

3. People – who do you market to? Is this your real customers or are you marketing to the wrong market?

As I speak with several couples, I see faces that totally do not understand what I’m trying to say. When I show them pictures from junior photographers and masters, they can’t tell the difference. You can use this in 2 ways… just have them book the masters since they don’t understand it anyway and should leave things to the experts or have them book the juniors because for them there is no difference anyway.

Who you market to matters — how you will talk to them matters even the way you explain. Different folks require different strokes. You have to understand this — is your market ready for you?

4. Providence – truth be said, I’ve seen a lot of good products come out into the market get advertised well to the right market but do not make it. Whats the explanation? Simple… It’s providence. What God does not bless will not prosper.

Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

I guess this verse says it all… you can plan all you want, but if God is not into your plan, then you can hire the best people to market you and it won’t work.