Marketing in Ministry – Events vs. Sundays

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the guest host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleague, Dave Gordon, station manager at Life 88.5.

Marketing in Ministry – part four

This month we are diving into marketing basics for churches. The first week we defined Marketing vs. Advertising and our guest gave his top 8 tips for good marketing practices. Then, they discussed the 7 steps for storytelling. Last week they shared mistakes to avoid. Today, the discussion is focused on event specific marketing, versus marketing the whole organization.

Marketing is what we do when we invite people to a VBS, or the fall festival at the church, or simply a Sunday morning sermon. There are big differences between how you market events versus your normal Sunday service. The biggest one overall is R.F.M. {If you don’t know what those stand for…well, we haven’t being doing our job. 😉 But you can start at the beginning for that answer.}

Event Specific Marketing

Think of a graph with horizontal and vertical lines. The horizontal line is the calendar, it’s the standard events that are always happening (the Sunday morning service most likely). The fixed events (VBS, chili cookoff, fall festival, concert) are the vertical lines along the graph.

Those one-off events are really the excuse to invite to the Sunday morning service. Use your ambassadors – your attendees – to help with those events. Along with your banners out front, your website events, your mailers, social media campaigns, etc.

The hope is that they will make a spiritual connection and want to come back in the doors. So once those people make it inside those doors, make it easy for them to be invited back. (See last week’s episode on signage and leaving with next steps.)

Sunday Morning Marketing

One of the purposes of those events is to get people back through your doors. Those one-off events are the funnel to your normal Sunday service. We differentiate those between drip coffee (Sunday morning) versus a football blitz (event specific).

Drip coffee might be automated emails that target people that have come through your doors (and provided their email) but they haven’t made it back in the doors. Or you have a targeting social media campaign of people that are in your surrounding area.

The blitz on the other hand, is a weekly reminder of the event, a three days before the event touch, then the day of hit. Followed by a follow-up email or flyer for the next events coming up – or an invitation to your Sunday morning service.

In Conclusion

To be clear, we are not meaning to use our marketing as manipulation, but as a lifeline to find people where they are. Ultimately you may be taking money from your marketing budget line to access them, but the goal is for their benefit – for them to meet with Jesus.

This is a way to love people, to meet them where they are. Marketing isn’t a dirty word. It’s everything from greeting people on a Sunday morning, to fliers in the mail, to inviting them to a VBS.

“Marketing is an opportunity to invite people to our ministry. But at the most basic level, it’s how we present ourselves to the world.” – Chris Miller. If churches do marketing well, we can reach people with the gospel – the ultimate goal.

Join us next week as we start a new series on Church Planting.

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Special thanks to our guest, Dave Gordon, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this fourth episode in our Marketing in Ministry series.