Monday, October 27, 2008

Microtargeting and the McCain campaign--a model for outreach?

I read today an article on Microtargeting by McCain campaign on NPR (National Public Radio). The McCain campaign will call people and record whatever information that they discover that could be helpful in "microtargeting" them. Then, when McCain workers go and knock doors, they pull up this information prior to seeing them. Then, they base what they talk about upon this information.

For instance, if they find out a person is a teacher, they will talk about McCain's education plan. This strategy is light years ahead of non-targeted, one size fits all advertising and messaging of previous years. Here is a wikipedia article on microtargeting.

All of this made me think about outreach. What if we put this much time and effort into approaching people with the gospel with a "targeted message." For instance, going door knocking or visiting a family of four, telling them about our church's children's ministry. Or talking with a person who lost a loved one about the hope that Christ offers. Or sharing with a person who has been addicted how Christ can break the power of addiciton.

Are we less committed to reaching out than political campaigns are to getting people to vote for their candidates?

Should we seek to "microtarget" our outreach efforts?


Anonymous said...

Obviously Jesus was aware of 'microtargeting' when he listened to the woman at the well...and talked with her about her needs. jv

James said...

Yes, Jesus was great at apply the gospel message to each person's unique circumstance. Great point.