Sunday, January 03, 2016

on the Driscoll marketing plan strategy for Real Marriage to Thomas Nelson, how to transform a church into a fully integrated multimedia marketing platform to sell a book

The five page document is published at the following post.  The observations and comments in this post presuppose you have read the entire five-page document at the available link:
With that out of the way, it seems overdue to discuss what seems to be the core of what the Driscolls referred to as ..

The Big Idea

Pastor Mark Driscoll was named one of the 25 most influential preachers in the past 25 years by Preaching magazine. [link omitted] ... Driscoll was the youngest on the list by over a decade, and they said, "Driscoll is a model for thousands of young pastors who read his books and listen faithfully to his podcast sermons. Driscoll may well be an example of how preachers will influence other preachers in the 21st century." Driscoll now wants to do just that by building a large global multi-church campaign around a preaching series with multiple supplements to help pastors, churches, and ministry leaders do a world-class job of Bible preaching and teaching with equipping from Mars Hill Church.  Also, since all of this content, including the books, will be available for years to come this will also give each book a long tail as ministries can use the content at any time in the future. The campaign will begin at Mars Hill Church with invitations to the more than 400 Acts 29 churches Pastor Mark leads in the US alone plus those churches he leads in 12 other nations through Acts 29 as well as an open invitation for any church/ministry in the world to join us. In short, the goal is to sell books around preaching campaigns in a way that has never been done with multiple levels of resourcing and state of the art media technology. [emphasis added]

Right there is the summation of the goal of a campaign, and the campaign is defined as a fully integrated multi-media project, a campaign completely integrating every conceivable level of media activity undertaken by a church toward the end of ... selling books.  Release the book before the campaign begins, and the campaign is a preaching series that uses the book as well as provides an occasion to market and sell the book. This campaign took the people and resources of Mars Hill and integrated it toward the end of selling Real Marriage and this campaign proposal was formulated by a Driscoll or two in the middle of 2011 to go by the dates mentioned in the whole document.

We can't just skip past that bolded statement.  The goal, in short, was to sell books around a preaching campaign in a way that Driscoll believed had never been done before, with multiple levels of resourcing and using state of the art technology.  Why do such a campaign?


By publishing a book before a campaign and building significant free support resources to support ministry leaders there are numerous benefits to churches and leaders including ...

[from 1] ... Participants will receive over 100 pages of research on sex and marriage compiled by a team of PhD professors in sociology and statistics that helps their own preaching/teaching on marriage and sex. It is all footnoted and will be emailed for use by those in the campaign free of charge.  Participants will also receive summaries of good and bad Christian marriages. This content is not in the book and will help them for illustrations in their preaching and teaching.

3. The resources of one of America's largest churches for any church.

4. Literally more than a million dollars of gear, studio, and staff time are used to provide the free resources of the campaign. This includes a video team that has shot a full length mainstream Hollywood feature film, and graphic designers awarded by HOW magazine as some of the best in their field. One example are the state of the art Red Cameras used by no other church in the world but used for such films as District 9 on for any church wanting to use any of the sermons for their church free of charge.

[from 14] Posting of the sermon in audio and hi-def video download along with transcript in both English and Spanish after it has been preached live at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. These sermons will be edited to 40-45 minutes each and able to be used in any church or ministry that is interested in allowing pastors to take some or all of the Sundays of the series of as needed.

Summarily, by doing a fully integrated campaign churches willing to buy into the campaign could expect a ton of freebies and content not available in the book Real Marriage as a supplement to preaching or broadcasting the content, it seems. If you've read the whole marketing strategy what stands out is how given it was that Mars Hill's sum of personal and technological resources could be brought to bear in an integrated promotion of the sale of the book. 

But then, who were those PhDs that put the material together that pastors could get for free by signing on to that Real Marriage campaign?  Anybody know?

That point 3.  Mars Hill Church got dissolved so signing on for the Real Marriage campaign NOW (if that's possible) will not avail people to all those resources, will it?  Wouldn't the Red Cameras go up for sale?  Those aren't cheap cameras.  Where might the money for the sale of Mars Hill Church's Red Cameras have gone?  Who knows? 

The elegance of the campaign is that it's a fully integrated multi-media blitz which organizes every level of the activity of a church.  A church that commits to the campaign commits to buying truckloads of the book and workbooks and video and so on associated with the campaign.  To sign up for such a project, in a sense decides that an entire church or multi-site church is, if you will, a kind of captive audience for the duration of using the campaign, maybe a quarter of a year give or take skipping this or that chapter or lengthening the campaign by featuring workbook stuff or extra stories and material derived from the supplemental materials that would come with the campaign.

There may be those who would say that the royalties of the book would have or did go to Mars Hill.  Are those people sure?  The book Real Marriage, for instance, was copyrighted to On Mission, LLC.  Royalties would have gone to On Mission, LLC whose members sure seem to have been Mark and Grace Driscoll, rather than to mars Hill.  "If" the royalties of the book sales went to Mars Hill the proof would need to be provided by either officers of Mars Hill or by the Driscolls themselves.  Because there's no reasonable basis, so far, for supposing that the royalties for books that were copyrighted to Driscoll rather than Mars Hill would ever go to Mars Hill, or even be donated to Mars Hill, is there?

What seems evident from the first draft of the marketing plan proposed by the Drsicoll team (subsequent drafts have not necessarily come to light) reads as a summary of how to organize every level of the life of Mars Hill Church around a campaign whose goal was to sell books. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How is it that all those church resources, staff, talent, etc. could be used to produce, prepare, and market a book, while the author, with the assistance of ghost writers and copywriters who were paid by the church or church volunteers, received a whopper full-time salary and benefits package from the church at the same time he was preparing the book and negotiating with Thomas Nelson on church time - how is it he gets the profits, advances, and royalties from the book, while the church gets nothing? Something seems really screwed up in that. Wouldn't he or the church also run afoul of tax laws?