A/F/F/F/F: P/E/O in a secular marketing context

Just went through the rabbit hole (courtesy of a tip from Katya Andresen’s blog) to see what P/E/O looks and sounds like in a radically secularized context.

Story Innovation Labs is offering a free downloadable e-book entitled Storylistening through Social Media.

See if any of this sounds familiar:

THE CROWD THAT LISTENS—politely, patiently, credulously—HAS DISPERSED FOREVER.

Talking to just anybody isn’t what marketing is about anymore.

Brands need to know the influences of their audiences and the relevance of what others are publishing/saying about them.


What if you could NURTURE A COMMUNITY around what you do, instead?

Engagement can be beneficial. Wise conversation curation can transform an ebbing sea of increasingly inattentive “consumers” into a thriving, engaged, interacting “community.”

By far the most intriguing part of the e-book is the proposed A/F/F/F/F architecture, which characterizes customers as…
  • Acquaintances
  • Friends
  • Fanatics
  • Foes
  • Fiends

…and lays out strategies for dealing with each group and equipping individuals to grow from one group into another.

It’s definitely not P/E/O (unlike A/F/F/F/F, P, E, and O are different in kind, not degree, plus the A/F/F/F/F architecture is decidedly focused on connecting customers with the organization, whereas P/E/O connects the champion to the cause, with the organization as the stage/platform), but it’s certainly interesting enough to make the e-book worth downloading and scanning through. (The foe/fiend conversion material certainly has resonance in TG, not to mention the New Testament.)

I have to admit to having mixed feelings any time I see analogs of P/E/O pop up in secular marketing. On the one hand, there’s a degree of vindication in being able to say to ministries, “Look, even secular nonprofits and forprofits are turning away from the strategies we Christian organizations are clinging to dogmatically!”

On the other hand, there’s always a sadness in seeing secular nonprofits and forprofits coarsely approximate what only we can fully embody, by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit and the plan and purposes of God.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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