Episode 258: Mark Mears makes marketing simple

Rusty George: As a pastor or staff member of a church, it is common to experience compassion fatigue and find that you spend so much time caring for others you're not caring for yourself. Saga wants to help foster healthy churches by facilitating the support of the emotional, mental, and relational health of their leaders.

As a partner of Saga, pastors and staff can confidently and easily begin their journey by being uniquely matched to a therapist that best fits their needs. To learn more about a church partnership with Saga, go to saga center.org. That's S A G A center.org.

Intro/Outro: Welcome to Leading Simple with Rusty George. Our goal is to make following Jesus and leading others a bit more simple. Here's your host, Rusty George.

Rusty George: Hey, welcome to episode 258. My name's Rusty George and I'll be guiding you through this conversation with an intellectual giant. His name is Mark Mears.

He has been a chief marketing officer for such organizations as Pepsi, cheesecake Factory, Schlotzky's Deli, Cici's Pizza, and of course Universal Studios here in Hollywood. He's not only that, he's also a great friend. He's written an incredible new book that I know you're gonna want to get because for all of us in the church world that would love to have a chief marketing officer but can't afford him.

This particular book will help you have one at the ready. You're gonna love my conversation with Mark Mears. I wanna thank our sponsor today, saga counseling.com. They do so much good work in helping marriages, individuals, families, and they can help you too. Regardless of where you live. Check out saga S A G A counseling.com.

Okay. Here is my conversation with the guy who made you order another piece of cheesecake. With the guy that made you supersize that Pepsi, and the reason you bought Family passes to Universal Studios. He's a marketing guy. His name Mark Mears. Here we go. Mark Mears.
Joining the podcast today, Mark has been a longtime friend of not only real life church, but myself, and, uh, I'm a personal fan of his and his brand, what he brings, uh, and, uh, Mark, I'll just share this story as I get going, and then I want.

You to tell our people a little bit about who you are. We first met when we were meeting in a movie theater. Our church was, and you and your family were attending and then we moved into a high school and we decided how could we double our attendance for Easter? And you and I sat down at Corner Bakery, I doubt you remember this.

And I said, you're, you're the marketing guy. Help me figure out how do we hit 2,600 for Easter and you began breaking down, okay, well let's see, where are these people coming from? What are their interests? Who are we trying to reach? Uh, not people from other churches, but people that don't go to church.

And you just began to zero it down and gave us a laser focus for that particular Easter. I've been using those principles ever since, and that was probably 15 years ago. So how did you come to this knowledge? Give our listeners a little bit of an idea as to who you are and what it is you've been doing for the last, uh, 30 plus years.

Mark Mears: Well, uh, I remember that, uh, very well and, uh, you know, and you were gracious enough to say, well, we hit our goal and I didn't want to take any credit because, um, I've been blessed to have, um, wonderful education. Uh, first at the University of Kansas, um, and then at Northwestern for graduate school and. You know, really had some, uh, amazing, uh, professors and mentors, and one of 'em at Northwestern came up with the concept of integrated marketing communications, or as we know it today, I M C.

So at the time it was brand new and I was able to study and learn at the feet of this master, and that those principles of IMC have led me throughout my career. And that career has taken me from the agency side working on, you know, McDonald's FritoLay. Um, to the brand marketer side, uh, working at Universal Studios Hollywood, um, the Cheesecake Factory, uh, and others.

And, and so being able to continue to use these principles and sharpen my saw with actual results and trial and error, um, allowed me to make these principles come to life in a real and practical way. And so I was able to just give. You a couple of high level nuggets of what it's taken me years to really learn.

And now that, uh, you get the benefit of, uh, using it for God's glory, uh, is, um, you know, really exciting for me. Hmm. So what I'm doing now is I've kind of left my W two corporate America world and over 20 years in the C-Suite to, to kind of now what I call pay it backwards. And this is why, uh, I do it. Uh, when I go to Starbucks, I know you and I both are big Starbucks junkies, coffee junkies.

I will pay for the car behind me and I'll do that because in that moment I'll have a chance to bless someone who I don't know what kind of day they're having. Uh, they don't know me. I don't know them, but I'll say a silent prayer as I drive away. And I will tell the person at the counter, just tell 'em, um, You know that their coffee's free, but, but, but tell them this, God bless you.

Your debt has been paid. Hmm. So again, in that moment, I'm able to pay it backwards cuz I can't pay for the car in front of me. It's already gone. And so what I'm doing now is I've created Leaf Growth Ventures, which is a consultancy all based on my book, the Purposeful Growth Revolution. Four Ways to Grow From Leader to Legacy Builder.

And now I want to help individuals, teams, and organizations. Find purpose in fulfilling their true growth potential, and in doing so, pay it backwards to help others along their growth journey.

Rusty George: Mm. I love that. And that's been a, certainly something you've been doing your entire career, not just even just now, because you were such a blessing to those of us on staff and helped us for such a, a great period of time and continue to do so.

And I'm excited to see this book come out because I remember when the concept began, this idea of leaf and uh, of course, each of those letters stands for something you'll walk us through here in just a moment. But, uh, this idea of what more than just marketing. Uh, it's really a, a, a total, uh, rebrand of the entire organization for what it is we're trying to do.

And you reference, uh, you know, this is a season that a lot of people refer to as the great resignation, but, but you really think this can be the great repurposing and thus the name, uh, the, you know, the, this purposeful idea. So walk us through that a little bit and what, what that can be

Mark Mears: for us. Yeah. And, and, uh, as a walk down memory lane real quick, rusty, you may or may not remember a separate occasion where we were, uh, dining and having lunch, and this was after I had received this epiphany.

And, uh, I was the president of a half a billion dollar casual restaurant, uh, company, the 145 units. Um, and. Helped, uh, build it to, uh, you know, uh, an amazing new concept. And my team and I worked tirelessly. Um, and, and everything we were asked to do, uh, we did. And instead of the parent company giving us the money and, and, you know, capital to, to, to grow and thrive, as we had, uh, been asked to do, they decided to move in a different direction.

Hmm. Oops. Put us up for sale, but that's okay because the new company that was coming in was going to provide us with the capital for growth. We'd done everything that we were asked to do, and yet at the end of the day, the deal closed on a Friday, Monday morning at eight o'clock. I'm supposed to have a meeting with the new c e O to kind of plot our future together.

At 8 0 5, I'm out the door. Hmm. We've decided to move in a different direction. Hmm. What? Over the weekend. Um, and so, as you know, living in Valencia, California, this was a, a late, uh, February date. Um, I'm driving back going, so that just happened. The next morning I take the dog out back and Rusty has got as my witness, as the sun was coming over the wall.

In the backyard, we had this little fig tree that was Barron from the five or six weeks of winter we get in Southern California. Although this year I understand it's a little bit of a different story. Um, it was Barron from those, you know, few weeks of winter. But there on the end of one little branch with this tiny green sprig of a leaf that just was starting to bud and it was in that moment I got this idea that a leaf is a symbol of growth and rebirth.

And I had started getting energized by this. Took the dog back inside, went to my office, started banging outta treatment on my computer for this idea of LEAF as a symbol for growth and rebirth, but it also is an acronym in my mind's eye for leaf. And LEAF stands for leadership Engagement, accountability and Fulfillment.

So I started drawing this out, put together this kind of four circle Venn diagram as there are four seasons, and they all intertwine. I know March 21st is supposed to be the first day of spring, um, in Kansas City. It was not. Um, and so there's overlap, right? And I, I got to thinking about that. And then at the center of all of it, it's this idea of purpose that fig tree only knows how to be a fig tree.

That's purpose. And it's purpose is to grow strong, tall, resilient, and, and bare fig leaves that then ultimately nourish that plant, uh, to where it can bear fig fruit. And not only fig fruit that's sustenance for animals and, and people, but when you break it open, there are seeds. And those seeds then can be scattered for future growth.

And later that week, you and I had lunch and I told you what happened, and I said, look, um, I got this idea I'd love, I'd love to get your thoughts on it. And you did. And, and you said, man, it's great. But, um, I'd love to help you on it, but I, I want you to do something for me first. And I'm like, okay, uh, would you come and help us build out a world class communications function at real Life Church?

We, we, we believe we're good, but as we're growing, we need to get better. And we'd love to have some of your insights now that you have some downtime. Um, and so I did and, and, and that's how this epiphany occurred, and you were the very first one. I told about it. Hmm.

Rusty George: I do remember that. And I remember the original concept.

The F was fun, not fulfillment. Yes. So it's fun to see the transition.

Mark Mears: Well, it changed to, to, to, to, to really be a little the same, but I got to thinking that you think about four kinds of emotions. Hmm. Fun is something that is fleeting and, and, and, and usually, uh, external or outer directed. Right. And then, you know, you think about, um, uh, you know, fulfillment as being more inter directed and eternal.

Mm-hmm. And so when you go through kind of, there's four different levels, those, the, the, the, the top of the bottom, I really felt like fulfillment was a much better description as that fig tree gets to fulfill its purpose. Mm-hmm. So it's not about fun, it's about fulfillment. And, uh, it changed, um, you know, several years ago.

But yes, you're right. That was the original app that I thought of because when I was thinking about it in that moment when my team and I were working all these hours and traveling all over the place and putting this new concept in the ground, um, and, and, and trying to earn the capital for growth, we were burning the candle at both ends.

We weren't having any fun. We were chasing numbers just to chase numbers. And so that's where the original thought came in. But I, I, I guess I felt like it was a broader term, and so fulfillment for me is a much more powerful way of looking at this ecosystem. Mm-hmm. So if you think of Leaf, um, as you know, leadership, Right.

I was using this model of leadership engagement and accountability, and that was my rule of threes. Well, I now believe in the higher power of fours, and that's where the F came in and and so it really broadened that original idea because we were winning with leadership engagement and accountability if you're just following numbers.

But we weren't very fulfilled in the process. Hmm. And I imagine that could be a lot like church leadership. Mm-hmm. You're looking at the numbers of people that come in each week. You're looking at your ties, you're looking at your budgets, you're looking at are your people growing? And I know you went through a season in your life mm-hmm.

Where you were a bit burned out. Mm-hmm. And, uh, If you're not fulfilled and if you're not, um, you know, really, um, growing up into your purpose, you can easily get sidetracked by other things. Mm-hmm. And so it's that focus, that fig tree only knows how to be a big tree. It does not know how to be a maple. It does not know how to be an oak tree.

It's focus is on being the best fig tree it can be. What

Rusty George: are some classic examples in the marketing world or the business world of a business that tried to be a maple when it was really a fig tree? You know, an organization that, uh, boy, we, we overstepped our bounds, I think. And I'll give you a moment to process cause I know you got a million ideas going through your head.

But the one that comes to mind, first of all, is the company. You already talked about Starbucks, about, you know, what was it, 10 years ago? They, they, they pulled back and they said, well, we're getting into areas we didn't even plan on from music to, uh, ice cream to various things and thought. We make coffee, let's do it.

Right. And they shut down their stores for one day. Yeah. I mean, they lost like $6 million in a day just to reteach their baristas, how to pull an espresso shot. And thus the book onward came from that, which is a great read. Yeah. But you know, as you think about just the businesses you've worked with and seen, you know, what are some of the classic stories of boy if they just would've stuck to be in a fig tree instead of trying to be all trees?


Mark Mears: there's, there's, um, there's a, a trail of tears. Uh, by many companies that, um, have failed by trying to be something they're not. And, uh, you mentioned Starbucks. I think that's a great example. And at one point they were testing, you know, alcohol. Yeah. Um, everyone's trying to figure out how they can maximize their growth.

We all wanna grow. But you need to grow purposefully because otherwise you just like a weed, you could just grow all over the place and you, you're just not gonna be, uh, who you were meant to be. Uh, another great example is Blockbuster Video. Hmm. They claim to be about entertainment and they'd. Got off the, the, the, the train when they couldn't stay up with technology fast enough, and Red Box came out and Netflix came out and they didn't pivot as, uh, quickly as they all knew they needed to do because their model is so comfortable.

Mm-hmm. So we get sometimes very comfortable in a model. It's kind of like the old, um, you know, frog in the boiling water thing. Mm-hmm. You know, it's, it's, it's easy. Uh, to get comfortable until it's too late. Mm-hmm. And, and, uh, you know, Kodak's another great example of, you know, just the standard bear for, uh, photography and film printing until all of a sudden digital printing became a thing.

And they too were too comfortable in their existing business model and weren't able to innovate, and so they became pretty much obsolete. Mm. Um, you look at also, um, you know, Blackberry or CrackBerry as we called it back in the day, um, Whoever saw their demise, right? We, this was this great thing that we're able to type in our hands and, and get notes to people and we're able to, you know, work, uh, remotely while we're traveling, we're more productive.

And then all of a sudden something called Apple, uh, and the iPhone came about and has changed our world. And so innovation, uh, is at the, is at the heart of growth, but it has to be in the right way that fits your brand. Hmm. And if you get outside of your lane, that's a problem. Or if you drive too slow, that's also a problem.

And so you've gotta kind of do both. You, you is that's, Steve Jobs once said to his executive management team, our job is to invent the future while we're managing the present. Hmm. You gotta do both.

Rusty George: Mm-hmm. Which, that's where I, I think about churches. We get off track because we're trying to maintain the past.

Uh, we're hopeful for the future, but we'll leave that in God's hands. But now for our own hands, we'll, uh, we'll just manage the past and keep everybody happy. Yeah. I,

Mark Mears: I agree with that. And I know when I was working with you, we, we built, uh, the online campus. Mm-hmm. Well, that's where the puck was going. And, uh, I'm, I'm, uh, reminded of that famous Wayne Gretzky quote of how he's so effective as a golf score.

He says, I don't skate where the puck's been. I skate to where it's going. And I think that is a great example of using innovation, but doing it in a way that fit the, the, the mission mm-hmm. Of real life church, helping people find and follow Jesus. Mm-hmm. And so it allowed us to broaden our reach. It allowed us to, uh, go deeper, uh, in certain areas, um, in fulfilling either, you know, defined, uh, you know, uh, aspect of that to go after seekers or nominally religious or maybe formerly religious and bring them back in as well as to go deeper and help people follow more closely with programming in a digital format.

Mm-hmm. Beyond just a place-based. And a campus-based approach. And so now what you've done is both, which is great. And it exponentially helps get God's word out to more people in more places with more depth in a way that they can digest in a way that they want. Mm-hmm. So it's not about us, it's about who we serve.

Mm-hmm. And I think about this idea of leadership today. You hear a lot about servant leadership and you should. Because, so for so long there has been this kind of command and control style, and. Today people are rebelling against it. That's how we got into the Great resignation. Mm-hmm. Which is people basically were impacted by Covid.

We were all sheltered in place. We were all, you know, fearful of what, what could be that we didn't even know. And some of us got covid, or maybe someone in our family, or maybe somebody was hospitalized or God forbid, died. And it really gave us a wake up call. To reflect deeply on not only what, but who matters most in our life.

Mm-hmm. And so I get to thinking about this idea of the great repurposing is that people didn't want to go back to, uh, a place of business. Um, they wanted to go to somewhere that could live up and grow up into their purpose. Not only. In life, but in work. Mm-hmm. When you think about the fact that as adults we're gonna be, you know, asleep about a third of our lives, we're gonna work about a third and we're gonna, you know, what Be awake, can do other things for a third.

Well, why can't two thirds of that be productive and fulfilling as we grow up into our purpose, both in life and in work? And it's not just me saying that the Sloan School of Management at M I t, uh, did a survey of. Uh, 34 million people who left the workforce during covid and asked them simple question why?

And the number one answer over 10 times more than the second answer was toxic work environment. It's, remember the old broadcast news? You know, the guys, I'm mad as hell, I'm not gonna take it anymore, right? As people basically voted, uh, with their pink slips and said, I'm out. So, you know, that's what we're faced with today.

And I believe the same thing's happening with churches. Mm-hmm. And, and, and people, you know, uh, either growing through online during Covid, as, as my church has found, um, or maybe, um, wanting more flexibility in how they receive God's messages. Mm-hmm. And it doesn't take the place of the, what we have to have as community.

Mm-hmm. What we have to have is the church, uh, being that central gathering place. And the hub for everything, but it does mean we're gonna have to change a few things and innovate in in new and different ways. And not just stay rooted in the past.

Rusty George: Hey, let me interrupt this podcast for just a second to remind you, if you're not taking care of your mental health, nobody is.

Step up and go check out saga center.org to find out more. All right, back to our show. Okay, so along comes your book, purposeful Growth Revolution, which I loved for a variety of reasons. One, It was a little bit of a trip down memory lane because you had been speaking these things into my life. But two, there's also a lot of additional things I had not heard from you.

It's been refocused and repurposed, so to speak, uh, to, uh, to really help, uh, an organization and I think specifically a church figure out how to. Take their, their organization or their church or a person's company to the next level. And I love what you say, that it's not always about focusing on your why.



Rusty George: who explain why that matters more. Because we hear so much about what my why is and this is my reason and purpose. Your why and all the why. Yeah,

Mark Mears: exactly. Here's my why. What's your why? And it's like a comparative thing. And it's exactly all based on this wonderful TED Talk that's Simon Sinek did several years ago that became a book that's become kind of a movement and, and it's.

And it's catchy and it makes sense. It's essentially this magic circle where he uses it as more of almost like a bullseye with why being in the middle and then how and what people want to know why you do what you do before they care how you do it or even what you do. Mm-hmm. And I believe that is important if you stay true to the rule of threes.

But for some of us who subscribe to this higher power of forwards, I think he's missing something really important. That any of us who are marketers know, you have to start with who and specifically who you serve is even more important than your why. Mm-hmm. It leads you to your why, but I think about that four circle Venn diagram, and there's four categories of service.

There's spiritual, there's relational, there's personal, and there's professional. We're whole people. We must serve all four of those categories and not just say, all right, in the spiritual realm, God, I'll see you on Sunday and uh, I'm up to my work week and you know, I'm gonna, you know, kiss the wife and the dog when I get home.

Uh, preferably in that order. Um, and over here I'm gonna work when I'm working. No, we're whole people. We need to be able to be comfortable bringing our whole self. The who we serve. Hmm. And again, servant leadership is the best kind of leadership based on service and humility. And if you think about the greatest leader of all time, Jesus Christ, those two words would fit very well as it's been written.

Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. So, mm. Trying to model that idea of servant leadership is really why I believe we should start with who we serve versus just why we do what we're we're doing. Mm-hmm. I love that. And that leads us to this term purpose or purposeful.

You know, so many people say, okay, what now? Now the y is become your purpose. What's your purpose? Well, it's not like it's a noun. Something to be found like it's a, a, a wallet or a, you know, a purse. Um, It's more about, and, and, you know, purpose for me is a lifelong adventure, but being purposeful is what you do every day.

And so to make it a verb, make it something actionable, uh, is really what's most important. So

Rusty George: walk us through this because I think. This is just enlightening for all, uh, leaders and especially church leaders of, yeah, it really is about the who and I think the why is the same for every church. Great commission, people spend eternity somewhere, you know, those kind of things.

But if I'm doing ministry in Uganda, it's gonna look different than I do it in California or even in Kansas. I gotta figure out the. Person I'm trying to reach and who it is that I'm, uh, trying to help and serve and those kind of things. So your book is designed to help an organization, uh, figure those things out and really leverage that.

So can you take a few moments and walk us through the four letters and kind of sum those up for us? L e a F Let's start with L.

Mark Mears: Okay. And we should, because leadership is, is literally at the root of the whole, uh, enterprise. So you think about leadership representing, uh, the seeds in the root, back to that fig tree example.

Those are fig, uh, seeds that then has to grow a strong root system cuz that's where it gets, its sust in the ground, uh, for ultimately photosynthesis to occur. And we'll get there in a minute. So leadership represents clarity. In connection and communication and commitment. So there's four subsections for each one.

But the outcome, the desired outcome is alignment. You have to have alignment across all of your stakeholders, clarity of your vision, mission, values, connecting it to your business priorities, communicating it up, down, and sideways, or, I like to say from the boardroom to the break room and then, uh, making sure people are committed.

And so then it goes into trunk and branches and system of nourishment, which is where engagement comes in. You think about savia, as I learned from our days, uh, it means lifeblood. And what's the lifeblood of any organization? It's people. And so we need to engage them with their heart, head, hands, and habits.

And the end result of that is empowerment because we know that empowered teams are better teams. They have a, a greater stake of ownership in the outcome. And then that leads to accountability, which I liken to the leaf and fruit. That's the results. The achievement of that particular organization or that plant is what are we here to do?

And it's measuring what matters most via outcomes. It's obstacles. What happens when our plans go astri. Uh, it's outliers. Who are best practices that we admire that we could. You know, leverage to make what we're currently doing better in obsolescence. As we were talking earlier, we'd like to avoid through innovation.

That all leads to achievement. And then finally, fulfillment represents the ecosystem, the sun, the soil, the rain that allows that photosynthesis to occur. And in an organization, it would be likened to a culture. Or what I prefer is a community that creates that nurturing environment for that plant or that individual to grow up into their purpose and be the best version of themselves they can be.

And then of course, those that bear the most fruit have the opportunity and all say the responsibility to scatter the most seeds. To help this idea of paying it backwards or this virtuous cycle of reciprocity to occur and like that kind of pebble in the pond, that ripple effect keeps going. And taking it back to that idea of paying it backwards in line at Starbucks, I have found that that simple gesture on my part was actually replicated by people behind me.

They felt. You know, led to bless someone behind them and so on and so forth. And so that's what I mean that, that very simple idea of pay it backwards, not pay it forward, but helping others along their growth journey, um, is, is kind of leads me to this idea of a living legacy. Rusty. So many people want to be better leaders, right?

We, we all do. And it's a multi-billion dollar industry. There are conferences, webinars, seminars. Blogs, vlogs, podcasts, newsletters. I, in fact, if you Google the word leader and leadership, you'll get 1.7 billion. That's what the B hits. So we all wanna be better leaders, but not too many people are talking about leaving a legacy.

And I don't mean bequeathing something after you're dead and gone. I mean a living legacy that every day you can put another log on the fire and help someone else along their growth journey. And there's so many different ways to do that and, and so that's why this book is important. It is not just about corporate America entrepreneurs.

I do believe churches and leaders of all kinds will get some nuggets of wisdom that they can apply to help them leave a living legacy. Mark, I know

Rusty George: that this book is more than just a little bit of your life work, but it's also a calling card for what you hope to do for companies. You've been working with a lot of companies and churches and even, uh, schools and universities, uh, teaching these principles.

Giving back, uh, from, uh, all that you've been handed from your marketing experience. Uh, tell our listeners a little bit about what you could possibly do for them and how you might be able to serve them and how you hope that this book influences and helps them. Yeah,

Mark Mears: thanks Rusty. And it's been a journey and it, it continues.

Um, so this book is a living document. Um, it's still breathing. Uh, as a matter of fact. Um, I added to it recently, um, when I developed this thought that was not in the book, but comes from the book and it's this idea of I want to help put the human back in human resources. And I think that we've lost a sight of this element of humanity, and I think that's another reason.

You know, why we saw this idea of toxic work environment, but I've come up with this acronym, no surprise. Um, called love and stands for listen, observe, value, and empower. And it really goes back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Some of our most basic needs are to love and, and, and, and, you know, be loved. And so we think about an organization, um, people want to be, you know, feel seen.

They want to be heard, uh, they want to feel like they're of value and then they want, uh, you know, feel empowered to be their very best. Right? And, and so what I try to do is work with people to create that. Again, that environment to where people can feel fulfilled and loved and it doesn't cost any more money to do this, but it makes a world of difference because, you know, we talk a lot today about D E I, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we should, but I will aver that without the be for belonging.

The rest of it almost doesn't matter. Diversity just gets us in the door, you know, uh, inclusion gets us a seat at the table. Equity gives us an equal voice, but if we don't feel a sense of belonging that we can be vulnerable enough to give our very best for fear of some kind of recrimination. If we go outside the lines, um, we're, we're just not gonna do it.

We're gonna be, like, Hamilton would say, we're gonna be happy to be in the room where it happens, and then you're really not getting the benefit of that diversity. So that's another element that is in the book, but I've kind of added too, is this idea of getting people to understand that, um, they, they, there's, there's gotta be this deeper sense of belonging.

And so with that, uh, you know, I believe, uh, and you and I have talked about that this, that words matter. Um, and, and so, you know, Really, I think about, um, you know, the word employee and you know that someone who gets paid to just do a job versus a team member is someone who plays a valuable role. If you ever played on any sports team, um, you understand that your position and what you do is valuable.

So when you feel valued, that's pretty important to you. And then I think a boss, we heard about this forever. I never let someone call me a boss. I said, I would like for you to refer me to as your leader, because a boss is someone who merely has a superior title, versus a leader is someone whose actions are worth following.

Going back to that notice that that idea of service and humility and then from shareholders to stakeholders, you think about a shareholder as someone only invests for financial gain. A stakeholder is someone who invests for the greater good and that creates that deeper level of ownership. And then a lot of times people will say, you and I are like-minded.

Well, I believe like-hearted is better. Like-minded is someone who just thinks like others, like-hearted is someone who builds trust. With others and we know that trust is fundamental to any good relationship. And then finally, you know, culture not a bad word, but I think community's a better word. Culture feels like just something one may be part of versus community feels like a family one can belong in.

So this notion of d e I without the B is just not going to get us where we want to go. So I help organizations understand that they need to see this total picture. There's no silver bullet, uh, answer. There's really, um, a, a holistic view of how one must look at this broader ecosystem and make sure that like that four circle vann diagram, everything is aligned and integrated around the idea of purposeful growth.

And once we're able to align, people, we're able to accomplish tremendous things. That's

Rusty George: so good. Mark. Tell our people where they can find you and the book. And what I love about the book is it also gives us a free resource as well. So walk us through that a little

Mark Mears: bit. Yeah, thanks Rusty. It's uh, mark a Mears, m e a r s.com and that's my website.

And as Rusty mentioned, there is a free purposeful growth self-assessment that you can take. It's about six, seven minutes, and then you can download your results immediately when you're done. And get a customized report, and it will help to you understand kind of where you are in this world of purposeful growth within the four sections of the book.

And then also how aligned are you maybe with the organization that you work for? And then, you know, at the end it talks about where would you, you know, want to, uh, give back of your time, talents, treasures and triumphs and travails, which are your experiences. It's to help others by paying it backward, right?

Mm-hmm. So I would, uh, encourage you to, to look at my website, see what, um, services I offer from the book to speaking to consulting. And I'm working on a pretty cool e-learning, uh, curriculum as well. You can, uh, buy the book on Amazon. Um, and, uh, you know, hit me up on LinkedIn. Uh, if you wanna stay, uh, connected and I'd love to, to to get acquainted with you.

Mark, one of the things

Rusty George: I always love to talk to you about are what are you seeing in advertising and the ads that are coming out. You've educated me on a good ad, has two things to it, kind of the ying and yang of, of ads. Tell our listeners what those two things are and give us a few examples of some ads that have really crushed those two

Mark Mears: things.

Yeah. You know, um, again, until the, the robots. Or the zombies come and take us away. We're all human beings. And so there's two basic things we wanna know is, you know, rational, um, you know, the, what do you stand for? What problem do you solve? Um, why does it matter to me and where can I get it and how much does it cost?

So it's the rational elements, but if you don't have the heart, the emotional elements, Uh, you, you're not gonna get as far. And so the heart and the head are connected, and that's where, you know, the magic occurs. When you can touch someone emotionally and really strike a chord with them, uh, you're gonna have a chance for them to want to listen to you rationally.

Mm-hmm. And act on it. So there's a model that I've created. There's actually four now with the higher power of fours Rusty, it's gone beyond two of course, to think, feel. Do and relate. Mm-hmm. So the model of think field do has been around in advertising for a long time, but relate is where we are today with this notion of building a relationship with a brand through social media, through, uh, providing reviews online, um, telling your friends, you know, word of mouth is still.

The best form of marketing, uh, there is, it's certainly the most effective and most efficient, right? Mm-hmm. So, you know, there, there's several brands that are doing a good job on that. Um, you know, I, I watch, um, gosh, uh, you know, a lot of sports, so I see some of the same ads over and over. Um, but, but there are several that really touch me emotionally and make me want to, you know, watch.

I mean, for years it was Hallmark. Um, you know, who had those tear jerking moments. Um, and, and, and you see yourself in those moments. And so I think there's several brands that are today. I don't think I want to like, name just any one or two, uh, to shortchange anybody else. But I'd say that model is really important.

Think, feel, do and relate. Mm. And I think the same thing goes for churches. If any message you put out there, you want people to think about those messages, but more importantly, you want 'em to feel deeply and emotionally from their soul, and then you want them to take an action. Maybe it's to come back to the next Sunday.

Maybe it's to get baptized, or maybe it's to become more active and involved in the church, and then you want them to relate. You want them to be that light on the top of the hill. That gets, reflects the light that Jesus puts in us to all people that we have in our sphere of influence. So I hope that answers your question.

Oh, that's great. Um, advertising is always a great way to, to spark debate cuz you know, when I always tell my teams, you know, when I would come in as a chief marketing officer, regardless of how many people I had or what my budget was, I would always say I have the biggest team in the organization. Why?

Because everybody thinks they're in marketing. You know, everybody wants to weigh in on marketing. Some of us aren't smart enough to know what goes on in IT or finance or other places, but man, everybody's an expert on marketing, so I use that to my benefit.

Rusty George: Well, it certainly under, uh, explains a bit why, uh, the progressive ads about don't become like your parents are, are so impactful because there's an element of nostalgia, an element of feeling, uh, but also an element of education. And certainly we laugh. So that was always the, the thing that I learned when I was learning how to preach was, uh, if you make 'em laugh, Uh, they'll roar their head back and then you can make 'em cry.

So it's, uh,

Mark Mears: it's a, it's a wonderful you and you're the master at that. The one I will wanna say Rusty is that he gets us campaign that's out there now. Yeah. Uh, I was struggling to think about that, but I actually have a good friend who's, um, kind of working as the chief marketing officer for that organization who's put those on some, I've got a little inside information, but those are powerful and, and they really are, they really are getting.

Um, you know, the, the message of Jesus across versus the message of religion. Yep. There's two different things. Yep. Right. And a lot of people are, are, are put off by religion. As even Moz Gandhi said it, you know, I like your Jesus. I may not be a fan of your religion. Mm-hmm. And so getting the message of Jesus and he gets us, I will say that, uh, they did some wonderful work on that.

Rusty George: Yeah, they really did. It was amazing. Still continues to be. Mark, I love you. I'm so grateful for you in my life. Grateful for you on the podcast, and thank you, uh, for being on the show and remind all our listeners to go pick up your copy of the Purposeful Growth Revolution. It is a fantastic read. Be great for all of your teams, uh, to walk through this and discuss it together.

Uh, questions are in there and obviously the, uh, free assessment as well will be very, very helpful. So, Mark, thank you

Mark Mears: so much. My pleasure, rusty, and tell all my friends at real life. Hello.

Rusty George: Well, thank you Mark. That was such great stuff. I always learn so much when I talk to you. Really appreciate your friendship, and I wanna encourage everybody to share this episode with a friend.

Reach out to Mark if you'd like to learn more about what his organization can do for yours, and make sure you check on his book. You can pick that up on Amazon. It's a great, great read and you'll love to have that book so you can keep going back to it for consultation time and time again. Okay. Next week we're back with a conversation I've been trying for months to get ahold of, and I finally got this conversation with now a new friend.

He's a pastor, an influencer named Chad Veach down in the LA area, has an incredible church named Zoe Church, and I know you're gonna love what he has to say about authenticity and anxiety. Boy, this is good stuff. You're gonna love it. So join us next week. As always, I want to thank our sponsor, saga counseling.com for all your counseling needs.

Check them out today and we will see you next week. As always, keep it simple. Take a moment and subscribe to the podcast so you'll get it delivered every week. And subscribe to the Rusty George YouTube channel for more devotionals messages and fun videos. Thank you for listening to Leading Simple.

Episode 258: Mark Mears makes marketing simple
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