Applying the Four P's to Church Marketing
Product refers to the goods or service you have to offer. Our “product” is the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the good news and answer to our deepest human needs. He is what we have to offer.
Price refers to the process of setting a value on the product, and it does not always have to be monetary. We know that our lives were bought and paid for at a large price, but the product we receive is offered freely.
Promotion refers to the various ways of promoting the product. Through promotion you are communicating to people that you have answers to their needs. This is evangelism— promoting the love of God to the world so the world may come to know God’s love for them.
Place refers to ways to get the product to the customer. In churches, this includes worship services, the building, and ministry programs. If these are your distribution channels, then how intentionally have you designed ministry programs aimed at reaching the non-religious and nominally religious?
Applying the four P’s to your church marketing efforts does not necessarily mean your efforts will bear immediate fruit. Marketers will tell you that it may take up to seven different exposures or contacts before someone will take a next step. Stay committed to your purpose and remain prayerful in all things. You may find helpful the following general advice on developing marketing plans from Peter Metz, Director of Communications at Church of the Resurrection and author of Marketing Your Church to the Community (Abingdon Press, 2007).
1. Always think strategically. Start by determining who you want to reach and what is important to them; then, tailor your messages to that audience and speak their language.
2. Keep to a single-minded message. Too often churches put too many things in their communications and nothing comes through clearly.
3. Do only what you can do well. Your communications make a statement about who you are. You never want to do something poorly, so avoid things you can’t do well. If you can’t do TV or radio well because they require expertise you don’t have, don’t do them.
4. Remember the importance of personal invitation. Look for tools and ways to empower your members to extend personal invitations. It is the most effective way of getting visitors in your front door. Over nine in ten of our visitors say that personal invitation was the primary reason they visited Resurrection.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series excerpted from the program Catch: A Church-wide Program for Invitational Evangelism.