Religion and marketing do not mix. I know I’m going to get some grief over this post, but here it is: Unless you are doing marketing for a church or other religious organization, my recommendation is that you keep the religion out of your marketing mix.
And this includes your professional holiday wishes.
When you sign your messages with a “God Bless You” or “In His Name” or some such hint at religiosity; when you put a cross or an ichthus fish — — in the corner of your ad; when you send out a holiday card that emphasizes the Christian view of the holiday: there’s a good chance of turning someone off.
In fact, while the intent of that fish symbol usually is to say “We welcome Christians,” it is often interpreted by non-Christians as “We prefer not to do business with non-Christians.”
A 2008 report on religion in America by Pew research shows that 78.4 people in the United States say that they are Christian, and a 2012 Gallop poll on religion puts that number at 77%. [Update: In 2015, the Pew Research Group put that at 70%., and in 2019 it was down to 65%.]
I know, I know: roughly 65% of folks out there who are Christians think Jesus is the reason for the season and all that. But this means roughly 35% don’t agree. When it comes to the marketing for your business, consider keeping your message to “Happy Holidays.” That way the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and other people on your mailing list who are not Christians won’t feel inclined to hit “unsubscribe” or, worse: look for a different company to do business with.
(The image in this post is from someecards.com)
The moral of the story
If you want to proclaim your faith: go for it! We are a melting pot of lots of things including faiths and we are all free to express that. Just go into it knowing that not everybody in your audience will agree with your sentiment, and some folks will feel uncomfortable about it.
[Edit: And here’s a very on-topic survey from the Public Religion Research Institute that concludes that Americans’ preference that businesses say “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” is trending upward.]
Click a tag for related posts:agencies Basecamp blog brand business computers customer support editing email estimates evernote freelance gadgets graphics iPad job hunting logos mac marketing messaging notes Outlook packaging planning PowerPoint presentations productivity product review professionalism project management projects recommendations resume reviews self publishing social media spam stock photography Technology tradeshows virtual meetings web design windows Word writing
- Comparing Five Note-taking Tools
- Breaking up with a client
- Virtual Meeting Tip: Sound
- Can we reduce travel to business meetings?
- A Blog Post about Blogging
- Serious Layout in MS Word
- A Supercomputing vocabulary primer
- Planning categories and tags for an organized blog
- Improving Your Presentations
- 1-minute Photo Improvement
- Why Do You Blog?
- Batch Processing with Affinity Photo
- The Entrepreneur’s 10-Step Condensed Business Plan
- iPad: How Old is Too Old?
- Do I Have Enough to Quit My Day Job?
- Leave Localization to the Pros
- Make Your Calendars Play Nice Together
- Free Graphics Sources
- Mirrored Margins in MS Word
- A Tale of Three Headsets
- Time to Move On
- The Event Plan: a Tradeshow Primer
- GoToWebinar Basics
- Outlook for Mac: So Close!
- From Windows to Mac
- Evernote is Awesome
- Set Up a DocBook Toolchain
- Your Professional Resume
- Stock Photography Tips
- Tricking Your Customers is Disrespectful
- Deadline Management
- Manage To-dos With Basecamp
- The Brydge+ iPad Keyboard
- LinkedIn for Job Seekers
- Week Numbers in Outlook
- Hidden Impacts of Project Schedule Delays
- Getting Started in Self-publishing
- 13 Tips for Your Blog or Newsletter
- Do Religion and Marketing Mix?
- Consistent Color = Brand Power
- Outlook Automation with “Quick Steps”
- Comment Spam: I Give Up
- Good Design Housekeeping
- File Naming Sanity
- PowerPoint Graphics Tips
- Comment Karma
- Comparing Two iPad Keyboards: ZAGG and Logitech
- Outlook Rules 101
- Consolidated Outlook Inbox
- Five Steps to Plan a Website
- Choosing a Domain
- Outlook Productivity: Tagged Searching
- Considering a Switch from Windows to Mac?
- Tradeshow Giveaways & Promotional Gifts
- Why Rush Jobs Are Evil
- Online Printing: Customer Service is King
- Estimate Etiquette
- Getting Organized With Outlook PSTs
- WordPress vs. Weebly
- Comparing 5 Online PM Tools
- Choosing your Next Non-Mac Computer
- Is it Really a Blog?
- Your Laptop’s Video Connectors
- Know Your Graphics – or Look Like You Do
- Add a Keyboard to Your iPad
- Letterhead in an Email World
- Use Simple URLs
- Keep in Touch with Your Customers With Email
- Rolling Up the Feedback
- Keep Agency Project Costs Down
- Merchandising and Your Brand
- Your Email Address and Your Brand
- B2B Social Media: Are you overlooking StumbleUpon?
- Email Marketing vs. Spam
- The Long-copy Sales Page in 5 Steps
- You Need a Writing Style Guide
- Why Reference Cards?
- Lose the Hyphen!
- The Minimalist Marketing Plan
- Your Business Name and Domain
- Trade Downloads For User Data
- Monitor Social Media For Product Feedback
- Take Every Branding Opportunity
- Messaging 101
- Creative Use of Your Customer Service Stories
- Don’t Stop With a Call To Action
- Creating a Text-based Logo
- The Reluctant Social Media Networker
- Save Money With an Effective RFQ
- User Communities and Exclusivity
- Recommendations and Your Reputation
- The iPad As Business Tool