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Passion Doesn’t = Influence

Sorry for the long break — selling a house, buying a house, and moving is not to be undertaken lightly.

But found this interesting article on Media Guerilla, a social media marketing and PR blog.  The contents are short, so I quote them here:

Passion Rarely Equals Influence

I think as more marketers dig into customer advocacy projects there’s this tendency to assume a loyal customer (a “passionate customer”) is also an influential one. That’s a very dangerous assumption, tread carefully.

Loyalty and influence are two separate things and more often than not, unrelated.

Is a loyal customer likely to give you feedback on your product? Sure. Will this customer recommend your product to others? Maybe. Will this customer’s recommendation have an impact and influence on others’ decisions? Who knows…to assume, however, that someone’s passion and loyalty is somehow proportional to their influence is a formula that’s problematic to say the least.

This finding has interesting ramifications if brought back to the roots of “evangelism” in that a lot of church activities are driven to instill passion in youth, but perhaps that is no indication as to how we’re addressing the issue of authentic Christian influence in the culture. Perhaps this is why we see factions among churchgoing Asian Americans and those that don’t. We have a “passionate” group that perhaps is less aware or capable of influencing culture than we think.


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

3 responses to “Passion Doesn’t = Influence

  1. elderj

    there is a book called “The tipping point” that you as a marketer would find interesting which touches on some of these concerns, though from a secular (is there such a thing?) perspective

    I would add though that many times the onew we have most access to, and who are often the most “passionate” are often the least influential in that church tends to really like followers and has a problem with leaders – though we say we don’t. There are influencers around, but often they are influencing in the wrong direction – sing their God given leadership gifts in a subversively rebellious way because we’ve given them no forum for leadership.

    Interesting also that many people who influence powerfully and persuasively in the workplace (starting their own business, being a manager, etc) become passive drones in church

  2. elderj, yes, I’m very familiar with the book, and I’d have to agree with you, I don’t think many churches don’t really think about raising leaders, but about followers. Some would say that the reason that there are so many Korean church plants because they were suppressed followers that thought they could only become leaders by starting new churches.

    The other aspect to leadership is that those who are leaders outside the church are often tired of being in charge all the time. Being asked to lead in church as well is a burden to them. Maybe the question is not how can they serve the church better, but how can the church equip them to wield their influence rightly.

  3. djchuang

    Good thoughts — loyalty is akin to faithfulness and stickiness, and while that has some value for those who already believe and those who already have buy-in, it’s only a matter of time before the natural circle of life comes around and starts diminishing the audience (market) size of your loyal base.

    So, it’s really about influence and how an entity (organization, business, church, whatever) can better engage the outsiders (while implicitly retaining the loyalty of core.) This article, “The One Number You Need to Know,” makes a case for how customers who really love your product/service will recommend it to others, and that is a very good predictor for future growth.

    For the record, I often recommend this NG.AC blog to others. 🙂

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