Trojan Horses, Purple Cows and Broken Windows: An Ode to Mark Batterson

November 19, 2008 by

“The greatest message deserves the greatest marketing.”

That’s a quote that Mark Batterson repeats again and again, and he lives by it. But that’s not all he has to say about marketing. He has three terms that represent ideas he really loves to drive home, and if you haven’t been exposed to them, you should. So today, we have an exhaustive dictionary of Mark Batterson marketing terms, although the terms did not necessarily originate with him:

Trojan horse (n.)
Etymology: The idea appears to have originated with Mark Batterson and has been communicated by him on numerous occasions.
Definition: A method used to bypass the innate and learned defenses of individuals, specifically in regards to their tendency to use defense mechanisms when faced by the local church.
Examples: Servant evangelism, more comfortable locations for services, use of familiar technology or creating a welcoming atmosphere.


Broken window (n.)
Etymology: Michael Levine’s book Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards via Mark Batterson.
Definition: A seemingly innocuous and insignificant detail that, when left unattended, subliminally communicates indifference.
Examples: A broken window, sloppy counter, misspelled worship slide, faded paint jobs or absurd policies.

Purple cows (n.)
Etymology: Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow via Mark Batterson.
Definition: An organization, idea or entity that is remarkable. If you have seen one brown cow, you have seen them all, but if you have seen a purple cow, that is worth making a remark about.
Examples: Creative and unusual ministry ideas, visually striking or beautiful design, a disruption of the routine or shattered expectations.

Are you using these techniques? Are there some you need to start using? Do you have your own terms to add to the first edition of the dictionary of church marketing?

Update: New research supports the “broken windows” theory.

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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3 Responses to “Trojan Horses, Purple Cows and Broken Windows: An Ode to Mark Batterson”

  • Paul
    November 19, 2008

    Umm… I think (hope it’s a mistake, though I like him a lot) that you misspelled Seth Godin’s name. That’s G-O-D-I-N.


  • Joshua Cody
    November 19, 2008

    Eek! I don’t know how that happened. Thanks for the heads up!


  • Andy
    November 20, 2008

    Misspelled author’s name = broken window



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