I confess that I’ve made this rookie church marketing 101 mistake many times. I’ve gotten a bit excited about a project and rushed a few steps forward too quickly. That mistake is simply this – implementing marketing tactics before nailing the marketing strategy. It’s a simple mistake, but it can be deadly and cost you a lot of money spent in the wrong places. What a waste.

Any church marketing or communications campaign needs to have a clearly defined objective or goal. (I wrote about why that is so critical to define your goal or objective in the social space recently.) Here is a step by step example of how to do it right:

1. Define your goal/objective (Think)

Defining your objective/goal succinctly is critical. It will provide you, your team and your leadership with stunning clarity what the result you are looking for.

Example: Raise $2 million to build your new worship centre.

2. Develop your strategy (Plan)

Your strategy is an idea/conceptualisation of how your goal could be achieved. You can have more than one strategy to achieve your goal. Your strategy isn’t just about what you should do, but also articulating what you shouldn’t do.

Example: Tell stories of life change through your church.

3. Tactics (Do)

Your tactics are the actions you take to execute your strategy. If you have more than one strategy to achieve your goal, then you will need multiple tactics to action the strategies.

Examples: Create videos tell people’s stories with a call to action. Play in service. Provide giving envelopes in every service as a response tool.
Email stories from your senior leader sharing the video stories they’ve been involved in with an online giving link or button as a call to action.

4. Measure

If the goal/objective of your marketing efforts was to raise money ensure you are receiving regular updates from your finance department. Ensure they track which channel the money is coming through. Eg, envelopes, online giving, cash. It will help you see which channels are the most effective and which aren’t from a financial giving perspective.

If you have more than one service each week track your giving by service. Don’t be surprised if there differences between different congregations.

Simply measuring the results isn’t enough. You need to adapt and tweak your tactics and in some cases your strategy. It is okay to change tack mid-course if you still end up achieving your goal.

Like I said at the start of this post, I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all figured out. But I do try to adapt this methodology to help me reach the goals for my church.

I can’t claim this, however a snappy way to summarise this idea is Think, Plan, Do, Measure and Repeat.

Got comments, opinions, questions or queries? I’d love to hear them!