It's blog series wrap up time. Below is a mashup of wisdom, tips, opinions from you all on what church marketing myths you think are out there.
Thank you to all of you who contributed throughout the church marketing myths series. Your generosity is just blown me away. I haven't met 99% of you. Haven't even spoken to 99.8% of you. Amazing.
I've really like that tweeps from different backgrounds have contributed. Not just 'communications experts'.
Ok. Enough jibber-jabbering. Here they are.
Steve Kryger: Myth: The medium doesn't matter, only the message.
Myth: Hard-hitting is bad, soft and fuzzy = good
Michael Buckingham: Myth: People care about us/latest ministry/event/you name it. Fact: While they may eventually, it doesn't start that way. They care about their family, they care about paying their mortgage, they care about their summer vacation. We need to walk in their shoes and show them how God plays a pinnacle part in it all.
Myth: Making it look good is enough. Not only is that not enough, it's not marketing…or good design. It must communicate.
Sandra Cavello: Myth – Marketing is about manipulating people to buy your product/service
Fact – Marketing is about communicating the belief of an organization/product; encouraging people to belong to that organization/product to bring about a wonderful loyal behavior. Church marketing is about all of these: communicating the beliefs of the Church and how it will meet the needs of the person, encouraging people that they are welcome and can belong to your church, in order that they would want to not only experience it but also return and be a part of it.
Myth – Churches can't be leaders in marketing.
Fact – Churches that are Christ centered should be leaders as Christ formed the world by his word. Likewise we fashion worlds by our words and by our communication.
Stan Fetting: Myth: Churches should talk themselves up
In a world where everyone is talking it up, simply being honest and spin free achieves cut through. I rewrote the content on our website and got immediate feedback from people who said that they had chosen to come to our church based on what our site said about us.
MercerOnChurch: Myth – "church marketing needs to be edgy & controversial to cut through". Fact-church has to simply connect with people's needs.
Myth – "people not interested in God are going to give up their only sleep-in morning b'cse we have it "happenin' in the house"
Myth-"our marketing material is so good the unchurched will have to notice".Fact-Most church marketing attracts only Christians
Matt Knisely: Think the biggest thing i've run into coming from the professional world into the church is that they don't fully know what or where they stand when it comes to what there MESSAGE is, what MARKET they are serving, and what MEDIUM. is the MEDIUM.
creativeleading: Hey Steve. 1 of the biggest church mrktng myths is evrythng requires a brand or logo. Nothng worse than c ing 20 diffrnt logos evry Sunday.
jackschull: Myth: For large churches to speak w/ 1 voice. From print to online.
dawnnicole: Myth: that if a volunteer does it, it's "free"? [still requires staff time to manage. Time = $]
alanfadling: One myth, I think, is "Church marketing = evangelism." Don't think that's a helpful equation.
kingedeborg: Are we marketing a lifestyle, an institution, a worldview or a relationship?
Alan Hirsch: Myth: marketing is not mission!
ServingStrong: Myth: church marketing is a function among other functions like budgeting/finance (when it's really each person)
JasonPalacio: Myth: that there is a silver bullet for ministry. Fact: there is no silver bullet.
cyberentomology: I think one of my myths is that social media isn't important.
Jeff Hook: Myth: Church branding is a designing a new logo and making sure it is put everywhere and on everything the same. Fact: Proper branding is defining and communicating your "promise to deliver," including who you welcome into your service, how you treat people (members and visitors), how you deal with people's problems, etc. And not just what style of worship music is played, what style of communication card is passed out, or what the church website looks like. It all affects the brand of the church and what people expect of the church.
Myth: A church has complete control over its brand.
The community has a perception of what any given church is about. That perception from members and non-attendees influences the brand of the church. However, that does not mean the church has to accept being painted with that brush. The church can begin to change that perception by functioning and communicating in ways that reinforce how it wants to be perceived, thus rebranding itself to be different. The senior pastor, the staff and even the congregation's attitude contribute to the brand.
Myth: Some people belief church marketing degrades God.
"Church marketing" is not "God marketing." In a sense, God's marketing is controlled by God and has been since Genesis 1. Thought of another way, God is the same at every church. A church cannot differentiate God. People do not go to a certain church because its God is better. With church marketing, a church is attempting to communicate to its target what it is trying to be. The community then decides whether the church's mission is valid and that its execution of its mission is being successful towards the brand by attendance and eventually giving to its purpose.
Myth: Church marketing is only about how a church views its Sunday service and discipleship.
People have certain inherent and developed needs and desires that a church can fulfill. One of those needs/desires is to grow spiritually. Most, if not all churches, attempt to meet this. However, people also have other needs/desires that the church can choose to address, such as the desire to be a better parent, or the desire to be a better spouse, or to handle money matters better, etc. How a church views its role in these aspects of life and how it tries to fulfill these duties heavily influences a church's brand, or what it views as it's promise (responsibility) to deliver "services."
Myth #5 Church marketing is done to the masses by the communications department.
Although communications is an important part of marketing, marketing is also conducted one-on-one and in small groups. To be successful, the general overall experience and message must be supported in smaller settings and targeted communications.
Targeted marketing requires accurate data about people that is current about the life stage they are in and the experiences that have affected their spiritual, and emotional, journey. When a church sends a marketing email to a young single about a marriage conference at the church, the recipient begins to tune out all communications from the church. This definitely hurts the brand of the church and makes a person think/feel the church is out of touch with who they are.
indychristian: Myth: Marketing to the masses is counter-productive… giving people the exact wrong idea. Instead, call people to follow Christ.
curtissimmons: Myth: Stop advertising in things like Yellow Pages & invest those dollars in your website
Myth: Don't advertise on Google, invest in SEO, localized SEO is very easy (search term + zipcode / city) to conquer.
Jeremy Scheller: Myth: Words and Pictures speak louder than Love and Actions.
Paul Sims: Myth: The sky's the limit in what we say on our outdoor sign in trying
to draw people to church. Fact: The Internet is littered with examples
of poor judgment on the part of well-intentioned church sign placers.
More often than not, their efforts do more to turn people off than make
them feel welcome. Having several people in the church work as a team
to post the signs of the week could go a long way in preventing
visitors from getting the wrong idea about the church. The team should
include staff and general membership with a diversity of backgrounds
and opinions if possible. Work to make sure the message you post on the
sign matches the one preached in the pulpit and lived out by those who
attend in a way which both honors God and is attractive to others.
Wow. You made it. Well done!
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree?
Church Marketing Myth No. 1
Church Marketing Myth No. 2
Church Marketing Myth No. 3
Church Marketing Myth No. 4
Church Marketing Myth No. 5
Church Marketing Myth No. 6
Church Marketing Myth No. 7
Church Marketing Myth No. 8
Church Marketing Myth No. 9
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