Recognizing religion: The greater power in marketing

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Gottlieb-Jews_Praying_in_the_Synagogue_on_Yom_KippurI may be stretching things a bit, but undoubtedly religion shapes our (and our clients’) perceptions and values, and our ability to capture/relate these has undoubtedly serious importance for marketing.

Obviously, unless we are marketing to a specific religious group, it doesn’t do us much good to prosetlyze or even present our faith (or decision not to have one). And we certainly can violate human rights or other legal codes to probe or restrict or vary our marketing models based on religion.

I’m Jewish, and we’ve just concluded (in the eastern time zone) the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) holiday.  We should probably put “holiday” in quotes, because this isn’t a vacation — in fact it is serious fast day.  (Thankfully, since the Jewish day starts at sundown, no one need go to bed hungry.)   I’m not strictly observant of all the rules and traditions, but certainly turn my computer and cell phone off, and avoid electronic media during this day. So, I’m writing this blog post late in the evening just as the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association’s housing design awards evening comes to a conclusion.

Normally, I would attend this event with my wife — and technically (and in compliance with Jewish religious law) I could have shown up, albeit a bit late. But since I’ve been fasting and praying all day, this would be stressful and not much fun. So Tim Lawlor will cover the event for me, and I’ll write about it for the appropriate publications later.

I’m always saddened, or distressed, when people cause hurt, harm and war over religion — when hate defines relationships, or narrow self-interest and blind faith cloud healthy and reasonable interpretations of what should be right, or wrong. Yet equally, I’ll recognize the fundamental human needs religious faiths represent and resolve, and appreciate they often define how we make our decisions and set our directions.

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