In the blog on measuring intention, I introduced the idea of Stages, Steps and Processes in a media strategy. This is not unique to me; communications experts like Engel (Engel scale), Soggard, and others have developed models that highlight stages of conversion. But only Sogaard in the short book “Media in Chruch and Mission” introduced a multimedia campaign utilizing stages of conversion. Even so, I do not know of a Christian media ministry that uses a multimedia strategy, yet it is standard practice in the secular world. The book Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk is a good read on a multimedia strategy, yet it focuses on the use of social media. Another good book is eMarketing Strategies for Complex Sales by Ardath Albee. “Complex Sales” is a concept parallel to “High Identity Conversion.”
In the Funnel blog post, I discussed Quintan Wiktorowicz’s excellent work on high-identity decision-making. I have done several presentations adapted from his “Funnel,” which I must confess has gone through many stages of development from some creative co-workers. I suppose nothing we do is really original. You can access one presentation at this URL. https://prezi.com/bwk95_xu-6up/
I recently have been working with several organizations to develop multimedia strategies using funnel models. To accomplish this, we first develop personas that map out several spiritual pathways. Then we dig into a their data set(s) and looked at reoccurring keywords within each persona. After that, we looked for conversations per persona to identify places where the seeker “turned” (a term for saying when a person moved from one stage to another in their conversion process).
When we found these turn points, we tried to bore down to see what occurred at each turn; what did the counselor say in their conversation that led to a “turn.” Then we tried to generalize conversations to see if we can find “best practices” at each turn within phases.
Now comes the fun part. We are working with a software firm to “index” all digital videos in the language that we are working. These videos can be scanned to find where key words that we identified are spoken in a video. This company can scan hundreds of hours of video and give us a list of places where a keyword is used down to the millisecond. When we put two or three keys words into the search function, the software will cross-reference the keywords and give us that location where they are near each other. For example, suppose we want to replicate the Samaritan Woman scenario in John 4, we would key word search “divorce-seeker-worship” and it would give us a clip from XX video and the section where these three topics are discussed. We would clip this section from the video program and then put that clip into our library. When a counselor is in a discussion with a seeker, he/she types in “divorce” in the “conversation” window, this video and maybe several others will populate the “notes” section. The counselor can then send a URL link via text or email of this clip. They goal is to keep the seeker engaged along their conversion pathway.
Is this just “marketing” and not enough “Holy Spirit” dependence in a media strategy? I like to think about a scenario where one is involved in a personal conversation with a friend who is a seeker. Let’s say the friend is depressed and maybe considering divorce. One may have options such as (a) sharing scripture verses that they have memorized on depression (b) give them a book from one’s library on “Jesus Loves the Depressed” (c) offer the Magdalena video that highlights God’s concern for oppressed peoples. Any of these media options from one’s library of resources gained from experience that one can give to a friend. The above multimedia strategy is very much the same – from one’s library experience give media options to persona-based seekers at the right time along the seeker’s conversion pathway. The software system only augments what is naturally done interpersonally.
At each stage of the conversion process, and within step within a stage, we are developing processes to help guide seekers along their spiritual pathway. This is the essence of a seeker centric approach to a media strategy.