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When Bible Software Marketing Crosses a Theological Line

February 1, 2015

Logos 6 is Here

 

Logos, I appreciate you. I use your products. I was impressed with Logos 6. I even recently signed on as an affiliate to receive commissions for Logos purchases generated through a unique Words on the Word-based url. You’ve been kind to offer me a lot of great stuff to review.

You invest a lot of time and effort (and, I assume, money) in marketing.

I ignore most of it.

But you recently emailed me a link to an awkwardly titled blog post: 6 Reasons That Shouldn’t Stop You from Getting Logos 6.

This post has gone too far in trying to convince people to override their objections to spend more:

2. I already have enough books.

Even if you think you’ll never read through everything in your library, adding more books will make it more powerful and increase the value of the books you already own.

In other words, “If you buy more books to search, you’ll have more books to search.”

Dear friends at Logos, do we not already succumb enough to an insufficiency mentality in the world? I don’t have enough. I need to have more. My Bible study and teaching prep is good, but if I just had that one more commentary series, life would be awesome!

I’m as guilty of this mentality as anyone (probably more so)–and I want to fight it. Bible software marketing copy that taps into the culturally-rooted materialism that Christians are supposed to stand against? Not okay.

One other “reason” gave me pause:

4. I can’t afford a new base package.

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have a couple of options.

You can take advantage of interest-free payment plans and spread out the cost over up to 24 months. That means you only pay a fraction up front, pay for the rest over time, and start using your new software right away.

Let me help with the rewrite:

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have one option: don’t buy one right now.

“Our mission is to serve the church,” you say. How does enabling and even encouraging churchgoers and pastors to take on new debt serve the church?

I think it’s time for some serious evaluation of the sort of marketing mantras that (however unintentionally) undermine Kingdom values of sufficiency and wise financial stewardship and promote instead the harmful values of incessant accumulation and overspending.

Saying, “What I have is enough,” and curbing credit-card-style overspending are actually two excellent reasons not to upgrade to Logos 6.

 

UPDATE: The “6 Reasons” email I received from Logos had no author’s name on it. I didn’t see an author’s name on the blog version of the post, either, until just before this post was about to go live. I direct my critique, though, to Logos as a whole, since the individual post is emblematic of Logos’s marketing approach in general.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard Weisenbach permalink
    February 1, 2015 5:22 pm

    Amen Abram!! Well said.

  2. Steve permalink
    February 2, 2015 2:12 pm

    Isn’t that ironic: having to address the god of consumerism — from a Bible study business?? Thanks for your corrective reprimands — hopefully the marketing department was just naive about what they were doing… we’ll see.

    • February 3, 2015 8:24 am

      Via the Logos forums (where I posted my suggestion/complaint), I did hear from someone in marketing. He didn’t see things the same way, but thanked me for the feedback and said they’d be more careful in the future.

  3. Robert permalink
    February 3, 2015 2:17 am

    I use Accordance but I’m on the Logos email list. The number of Logos emails I’ve received in the last week or so telling me time is running out to get Logos 6 at a reduce price is ridiculous. I understand they have a business to run but I think they will turn people off if they don’t tone the marketing down somewhat. I also firmly agree that if you don’t have the money for the latest software, waiting until you do is an excellent option!

  4. February 3, 2015 10:46 am

    Logos’ marketing techniques — especially the pre-publication method of selling — was one of many reasons I chose to use Accordance.

    • February 3, 2015 5:25 pm

      Understood. It’s galvanizing me more toward Accordance, too. (Though I already had reasons for preferring Accordance to Logos, in general.)

  5. February 3, 2015 5:21 pm

    And after all that promotion last week for customers to upgrade to Logos 6 before losing out on discounts, the engine went free today. I realize that it had been announced that it would be free beginning today, but I didn’t see any of that in all the promotional emails (I get them, too).

Trackbacks

  1. Not to Shill, But… (Last Day of Logos Bible Software Discount) | Words on the Word

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