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Sep 15, 2005


Greg Stielstra

I realize this comment is only about three years late, still I felt that, since your post mentions me and my book (PyroMarketing) I should clarify a few things.

1. I don't take credit for the success of The Purpose Driven life, never have and never will. Anyone who has read PyroMarketing (and unfortunately I don't believe Rick Warren has) read my website or blog, or heard me speak knows this is true. I merely chronicle and analyzes the process that led to PDL's success. As the marketing director for the book, I had a front row seat and use that position to chronicle the story.

2. The "Left handed quilter" story is not an example of my confidence as a marketer. Without some context it sounds arrogant and that's not it at all.

I use the example to illustrate that, in a world of six billion people, even seemingly narrow niches are larger than we imagine. The example goes like this:

"If someone wrote a book on quilting, they might hope to 'broaden the market' by promoting it to quilters, needle pointers, or even anyone that sews. Their natural tendency is to cast their net wider and wider.

However, that approach simultaneously over-estimates the interested of tertiary audiences and under-estimates the size of the primary audience.

There are 15 million Americans who pursue quilting as a hobby. Ten percent of the population is left handed. Therefore, there are 1.5 million left handed quilters. If one tenth of one percent purchased the book in a single month through reporting retail stores then 1500 copies would be reported to the bestsellers list. At the time I told this story to the reporter, a book needed to sell only 1200 copies in a single month to earn position #20 on the CBA bestseller's list. Having sold 1500, our fictional quilting book would have made the list with 300 to spare."

3. I agree that Jesus' life was his message...and that's part of my point. Successful products are those that perfectly integrate the message of the marketing with the reality of the product. It is this honest integration of "the talk and the walk" that makes products and people genuine and attractive. Jesus is the example that Christians should strive to follow in every way and I think that includes what we can learn from him about communication.

Thanks for letting me share my comments. GS

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