What is the secret to great marketing? Demonstrating to people that your product or service fills their needs better than any other product or service out there.
As a rabbi, I deal with this challenge on an ongoing basis: How to make Judaism stand out and relevant in the large marketplace of ideas and offerings. With so many products and services being peddled to us, with so many advertisements and messages inundating us, seducing our senses, and competing for our attention, how do you present Judaism in a compelling way, as superior to all the other options out there?
It’s one marketing challenge to create a new market where one doesn’t exist; to show people that your product will improve their lives. But it’s quite another challenge to stand out in an oversaturated market (as reflected in an anecdote starkly contrasting the marketing strategies of Nike and Reebok in attempting to expand into the African market).
There may have been a time when there was no competition; when people had only one option. But today that is not the case. Today we suffer from the opposite problem: too many options.
This same challenge applies to our personal lives, our professional lives, and our spiritual lives: how to choose and prioritize between a slew of prospects.
How do we present a superior product that can compete and dominate over all others? How can we find the strength and confidence necessary to stand out amongst the multitudes?
The first documented marketing secret – and the most important one – is found, surprisingly, in… this week’s Torah portion.
A deceptively simple exchange between Moses and the chief Egyptian sorcerers teaches us the essence of true marketing. And the purpose of our lives: to market spirituality in a materialistic world.