On the first day of my “Introduction to Marketing” class, I ask my students to market themselves in three words. I have students that react by looking shyly to the side and providing generic answers such as “I’m nice” or “I’m quiet.” I have students that take the opportunity to make the class laugh with a creative answer. Occasionally, I will have a student push the boundaries and ask if they can use more than three words. My response is always, “Yes!”

The beauty of marketing is that it pushes boundaries and allows us to think outside of the box.

However, marketing isn’t just for marketing majors. Having knowledge of marketing concepts is beneficial in any industry. Whether you’re a pastor, manager, artist, or teacher, marketing is an essential component to success.

1. Marketing helps you define.

Marketing focuses on defining a target market–a term for the people a company is attempting to reach. Does your business or ministry concentrate on a particular age group, ethnicity, marital status, or area of town? Analyzing demographic information assists in building your target market and allows you to understand who you want to reach.

2. Marketing helps you direct.

Marketing teaches us to research the behavior of the defined group and learn how and why they make decisions. Their choices are a series of decisions influenced by many smaller choices and past experiences.

3. Marketing helps you to dream.

Marketing teaches you to think outside the box and ask questions regarding research, social media and visual engagement. Those types of questions aren’t only for businesses but are relevant in every industry.

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