Sometimes when we use the words church and marketing in the same sentence it can leave many people feeling cold.
For some of us who work in church marketing (I prefer church communications), it’s what we do every single day and we love it. Whether it’s for social media, websites, video or whatever else our gifts and talents lean into.
It feels natural. For myself, I don’t feel like I’m in a job. I’m doing what I love.
Yet for all the brochures, websites or social media – marketing shouldn’t be left up to those of us in the marketing or communications department.
I was listening to an audible book called ‘Unmarketing‘ by Scott Stratten while gardening on the weekend (Yes, I’m behind the times I know, and yes, you should buy it. I was fortunate enough to listen to Scott talk a few years ago and wrote a blog post about what he said). Scott said something that really resonated with me and that I think is so important for Church Communications Directors and Pastors to know and abide by. He told a story about how a cleaner at a hotel welcomed him to the hotel even though it wasn’t his job, and it wasn’t fake. He summarised his experience with this:
“Marketing is not a task. Marketing is not a department. Marketing is not a job. Marketing happens whenever you engage or not with your past present and potential customers.” Scott Stratten (Unmarketing)
Brochures, websites, social media aren’t the be all and end all of church marketing.
The best church ‘marketing’ sometimes happens in the small moments of life.
When a member of your church lends someone a helping hand. Or gives a warm smile to brighten someone else’s day. Gives up their seat for someone else on public transport. You fill in the blank.
The best ‘marketing’ happens when we move towards people, rather than just broadcast at them.
Ultimately, churches are in the people business and if there is a disconnect between what the brochures, websites and social media espouse and how church communities act towards others then your marketing efforts are for nothing.