Its not always viewed this way but all organizations that want to attract people need to consider some form of marketing. Marketing is an investment not just an expense. Frankly it is a stewardship responsibility to take marketing seriously. Members, congregations and donors expect their donations to be wisely used to the benefit of the organization’s mission. No marketing or marketing without a plan is a potential misuse of those resources.
For example, a church I know recently ran an ad in a local cinema. There was no call to action, no testing of the message or the ad itself and no measurement of it’s result. The church is not planning to run the ad again because it was perceived as expensive. But the measure of a good ad is not its expense but it’s return on investment. For example, say the ad costs $5,000 and as a result 10 more people join, each of whom donate $100 a month, in one year that will be a revenue of $12,000 which by far pays for the cost of the ad.
Of course, the only way to know how many people show up is to track the results. It can be as simple as to offer a Starbucks coffee card or something and then to ask how they found out about the organization. There are other more sophisticated ways to track by using special phone numbers or special website landing pages.
So if you are a church or non-profit, spend a little time thinking about marketing. One good place to start is John Jantsch’s “Duct Tape Marketing” book. Its written for small businesses but the same principles apply for any organization where it is important to develop “know, like and trust”. (Duct Tape Marketing’s definition of marketing)