What is it?
It’s important to understand what marketing is if we’re going to have an effective marketing plan. So often, marketing gets boiled down to promotion or advertising materials. When that happens, churches simply state what they have going on at their church and expect people to come out.
You’ve probably seen something like this, “We have programs for all ages.”
What does that even mean?
Another approach is simply to provide a schedule of events:
“Sunday – worship at 10:00am.
Wednesday – family night at 7:00pm”
All they’ve done is broadcast they’re schedule. Unfortunately, that’s not marketing and it doesn’t usually work.
Marketing is simply this: understanding the needs of those you’re trying to reach, providing a service to meet those needs, then drawing people in to care for them.
If I’m a recently divorced mother of two and am looking for acceptance and community, “Sunday – worship at 10:00am” isn’t going to do much to draw me in.
No matter how you feel about this, the fact is people want to know, “What’s in it for me?” If you can answer that question succinctly and clearly, then you’re on your way to effectively marketing your ministry.
The bottom line is this: churches are marketing the most wonderful thing of all, salvation and hope through Jesus Christ. People should be lined up to receive it, but they’re not because of centuries of bad church marketing. It’s important that we get this right.