Digital Marketing: How Does it Help Accelerate Embracing Religious Freedom of Expression in Businesses and Other Arenas?
Digital marketing

Just 20 years ago, in the early 2000s, the internet was still relatively new. Email was just becoming a widespread form of communication. Social media wasn’t even existent. Cell phones and texting were still in their infancy.

Today, these technologies are part of our everyday lives and they have altered nearly every aspect of the way we live. They also now form the foundation of how we receive communications and messages from companies, institutions, and anyone else who wants to convey their message to the masses.

Digital marketing via social media, email, websites and more is no longer a niche subcategory of marketing. It is the dominant marketing strategy for most organizations.

At the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, we believe that digital marketing can accelerate religious freedom of expression in business, charitable work, social activities, and a wide range of other aspects of life. From our own research, we know that religious freedom is a net positive in businesses and the overall economy. Digital marketing can multiply that benefit.

The Impact of Digital Marketing on Religious Freedom

A study by researchers at Bond University and the University of Western Sydney from the early days of the internet still rings true today. The researchers predicted that the growth of the internet would lead to globalization, not just economically, but in terms of culture, beliefs, and spirituality.

They even used the term “Religious Surfers” to describe individuals who may explore faiths beyond those that are traditional in their home countries. For example, in the United States as of 2022, 70% of Americans are Christian, while 5.9% are non-Christian. The remainder are unaffiliated or non-religious.

Globally, however, only 32% of the world’s population considers themselves Christians. Another 23% are Muslim and the remainder are made up of a wide variety of faiths.

The internet and social media allow individuals to explore and even engage in faiths beyond their borders. An American can explore Muslim or Hindu faiths with relative ease because America is one of the most open nations with regard to religious freedom online. On the other hand, it would be much more difficult for a Muslim person in Saudia Arabia, for example, to explore protestant Christianity.

Religious organizations can even use digital marketing tools to proactively connect with potential new followers. Popular social media apps like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Twitter are tools to bring awareness and attention to a faith. Email can be used to dive further into the specifics and provide more detailed information. A person can become fully engaged in a new faith without even attending church.

Religious Freedom Economic Impact

At the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, we know that free expression of religion creates a more productive, inclusive, and ultimately more economically strong society.

One way to measure this is by following the money. China has lost more millionaires than any other county per year via migration. China is one of the most religiously restrictive countries in the world. It is followed on the list of millionaire loss by other religiously restrictive countries like Russia, India, and Turkey.

The beneficiaries of that migration? Religiously open countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, and Switzerland. The correlation between religious freedom and economic strength is difficult to ignore.

There’s also the economic benefits that come from religious activity. Our research shows that religious activity contributes $1.2 trillion to the United States economy each year. This comes from a combination of fundraisers, charitable giving, and even economic activity driven by religious product sales and businesses.

As digital marketing becomes more present in our lives and ascends to the dominant form of consumer outreach, expect to see more proactive efforts by religious organizations to transcend borders. Religious organizations can now reach potential followers anywhere in the world, and can even convert new followers without a physical church or building nearby.

Forms of media like Tik Tok videos or Instagram posts can catch a follower’s attention. A visit to a website or landing page can help them take the next step and ask for more information. A digital download with a video or a guide can help them learn more information. And followup emails can nurture their interest in a new religion. The digital marketing process is an effective design for the spreading of faith and religious awareness. Know more about it here.

This is a good thing. The growth and spread of different religions across borders should accelerate worldwide demand for religious freedom and acceptance. As we know, that’s good for business and good for economies.

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