You’ve probably heard the expression “preaching to the choir.” In church, the presumption is that choir members are already committed to the beliefs the pastor is advocating. His message (or hers, in some religions) is, therefore, presumed to be unnecessary and less vital.
But there is value to preaching to the choir. Whether the message is shared in church, in advertising, in a blog post, on a radio show, in a political forum or in a one-on-one conversation, sharing ideas with those who support your beliefs can reap tremendous rewards.
Partisans who already favor your position, your product, your cause and/or your attitude can become stronger believers in your message. The more they are convinced that your way of thinking is the right way, the more likely they are to spread your gospel (or sales message, political goal, reputation enhancement or charitable cause). Likewise, reinforcing your message—preaching to the choir—makes it more likely that the choir members will come to your defense if it becomes necessary.
Preaching to the choir can also cross over to friends, associates, spouses and relatives of the choir members. A wife or husband with strong beliefs—a choir member, if you will—may change a partner’s mindset on an issue or a product. If you attend a political rally for a candidate you already support, that candidate’s message can cause you to share it with the unconvinced. A major benefit of preaching to the choir is generating word of mouth advocacy.
An increase in revenue is often best achieved by preaching to the choir. Non-profits typically receive more money from those individuals who have given before than from new contributors. That’s why the executive director stands up at a charity’s gala event to remind attendees of the organization’s good works. Much advertising is designed to attract new business, but reminding current customers about the quality of your product or service can keep them coming back to you for more.
The choir can also provide guidance in messaging to other choir members, as well as to those who are outside of the choir circle. Find out why your message resonates with your partisans. Discover perceptions about your product/service/organization/candidate that you may not have considered. You may find that the choir members can express the message better than you can. Don’t be afraid to use their exact words. Use this information to determine your best messages—for the choir and for other targets.