The Big Moo

January 27, 2006 by

The Big MooSo what’s the big fuss with The Big Moo? It’s the marketing strategy of being remarkable. Come up with something so great that it does the work for you. The book is edited by marketing guru Seth Godin, so it’s in the cast of similar books like Purple Cow, though this one is written by 33 different business experts.

As a cool aside, those experts did something remarkable of their own. All the royalties for the book go to charity, so nobody’s getting rich. But more than that, none of the chapters are credited, so nobody’s getting a big head. The writing style is consistent chapter to chapter, to the point that you’d never guess a different person wrote each chapter (with a few exceptions: no editor can hide Tom Peters’ signature style).

So what’s in it for the church? Being remarkable. We have a remarkable message, but that doesn’t mean it always comes across as remarkable. This book offers some outside the box methods to present the message of the church in more remarkable terms.

I gleaned three quick lessons:

Bono tells us it’s not a dirty word, but I think he might be wrong. When compromise happens to good ideas, they’re suddenly not-so good. They go from remarkable ideas to mediocre ideas. Sometimes it’s better not to compromise, to let the idea die than to see it flounder as a half-way approach. It’s all or nothing. Sometimes compromise is necessary, but how many web sites, building plans and events have turned to a muddled mess because everybody had to have their say? Compromise isn’t always in everyone’s best interest.

Bob Wears Pantyhose.
How else would a middle-aged, male marketer for a pantyhose company learn about the product? Apparently it didn’t occur to Bob to hire some women. Or at least talk to some women. You’ve got to know the audience. And the target audience of a church is not the pastor and the deacon board. Your church needs to be talking to non-Christians if you ever hope to reach them. Otherwise, well, you’re like Bob walking around in pantyhose trying to decide if the control top is just right.

David vs. Goliath.
All the talk in the church world is about mega-churches, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing all the cool stuff. It’s the smaller churches that have the guts to try something new: “Access to assets is no longer the key to success. The will to implement is.” (165) Bigger isn’t always better.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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4 Responses to “The Big Moo”

  • Michael
    January 27, 2006

    If you haven’t read any of Seth’s stuff, pick it up! At the very least it will get you to think and to look at what you do differently.
    It’s really excellent stuff, my two favorites are Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside…I’ll get my hands on Big Moo right after I finish his Permission Marketing book.
    One of the best parts for the small church with no budget – he’ll give you much of his stuff for free from his site.
    Oh man! I just became a sneezer (you’ll get that after you read his stuff)

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  • Ryan
    January 28, 2006

    A great book…easy to read and inspirational. A real kick in the ‘ttocks.

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  • Nate
    January 30, 2006

    Excellent post. I am looking to read this book in the near future. I specifically like the ‘Bob wears Panythose.’ Sometimes I think the church (my church specifically) misses its target audience. They try and gauge with the people already in the staff or congregation, ignoring those outside the church.

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  • John L. Hoh, Jr.
    October 23, 2007

    I read Seth’s book, Purple Cow. While it has merit for marketing, at what point is mass marketing the church overkill?
    Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article on a book entitled SHOPPING FOR GOD by James B. Twitchell. It looks like it might be an interesting book.
    Also, Jim & Casper Go To Church by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper, is an interesting read.

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