In recent years, the ranks of parishioners of American religious organizations have been steadily thinning, and in the two years of the pandemic, the picture has become quite sad. The churches have turned to high technologies for assistance in order to use them to find an approach to the hearts and souls of Americans and increase the number of followers. Such assistance, and quite effectively, is provided, for example, by the company Gloo. According to The Wall Street Journal, by analyzing the personal data of Americans, their online activity, the platform finds an individual approach to them, and also makes forecasts based on the information collected.
To believe without leaving home. Religion has recognized the Internet
According to Gloo itself, more than 30 thousand churches have already subscribed to its services, which is about 10% of all churches in the USA.
Gloo buys some data from third-party organizations or collects it from open sources and public opinion polls, and religious organizations themselves provide it with some data. The more details about a particular person’s personal life, the more opportunities there are to find an approach to him and convince him that he needs a specific religious organization. The service sends out advertising appeals to potential parishioners, offering help, support of the church, promising something better.
It is obvious that people who are experiencing grief or loss, or who have serious problems — debts, depression, addiction — are especially susceptible to such advertising, therefore, when analyzing big data, they are the first to be sought out. All these circumstances are taken into account when making advertising appeals. In addition, the service selects links to sites where a visitor can see tips to turn to some local church in some difficult life situation. And the service advertises these sites through social networks and promotes them on Google. Such sites may pop up in search results if a user writes in the query string, for example, “how do I cope with grief”, “how to survive a divorce” or “how to save a marriage”.