Think faith – but very generally – said the ad man

On the AdWeek site there’s a piece by Paul Jankowski exhorting the ranks of AdWeek‘s merchandisers, marketers, and advertisers to keep people’s faith practices in mind when designing marketing materials for people in the “Heartland” of America. Not any one faith, he says, and not the faith (or lack therof) of the advertiser himself. Just … well, faith, generally.

But what I am suggesting is that whether or not you believe in any higher deity is really not relevant. It’s also not important if you think faith is politically incorrect, inappropriate or polarizing.

Your personal beliefs do not come into play here.

As a brand marketer, it’s crucial you understand that your Heartland customer holds a strong faith that guides his or her life decisions. According to the Pew Research Center in a 2008 study of America’s faith: Nine out of 10 Americans believe God exists (these are nationwide statistics, not just from the Heartland). America is indeed a religious country, whether or not the Sunday morning pews reflect it or people are talking about it on the subway….

Am I suggesting your brand gets religious? Of course not. This is about accepting the importance of faith, not certain religions, in the lives of consumers and to incorporate that into marketing decisions.

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