Marketing Systems 101

One of the first things churches invest in and continually upgrade is a sound system. I believe it would be hard-pressed to find a ministry that doesn’t recognize the need for a sound system. And of course it makes sense. When you preach or when worshipping God in song or when showing a video, you need sound. People need to hear. Without the ability to accurately and comfortably hear, your audience may have come for nothing. After all, “faith comes by HEARING!”

In fact, churches routinely spend $10,000.00 all the way up to, and beyond, six-figures for a powerful sound system. And they are generally well-worth the investment. However, if I had to pick between the two, I’d rather have a marketing system that generated influence and attendance on-demand than a sound system that we only use once, maybe twice a week.

Now, I’m not saying you should abandon your sound system because you do need it. It’s just that from the most fundamental understanding of the priority of the Kingdom of God, your ministry (and every ministry) needs city-influence and attendance on-demand even more. Think about it for a moment: Do you need sound amplification more or a hungry crowd of people who desperately want the message God’s given you for them? It’s an easy answer because the latter will always bring you more “stuff,” not necessarily vice-versa. Plus, that’s what ministry is all about, right?

What’s frustrating and must be changed if the Church is going to radically and strategically impact our culture, is the way we invest. The average local church would be open to spending $25,000 – $50,000 on a quality sound system because they understand the necessity for clarity and proper amplification during their weekly gatherings. My question is this: How open are you to- and even understanding the necessity of a high-end marketing system for your ministry?

From the many conversations I’ve had with church leaders all across the country, most would say that it’s unnecessary or a waste of money. And this points out several troubling realities about the state of the Church and our understanding of marketing.

1.)We don’t understand the power and necessity of marketing

2.)We don’t value winning the lost and winning our cities as much as we claim

3.)We have developed a backwards approach to ministry

It must be stressed, a marketing system is NOT a marketing tactic, the same way a sound system is not a single microphone. If you needed proper amplification for your teaching, a microphone itself will not do the job- you need other components along with it. Yet you don’t just need other components alone, the must be unified and strategically connected. Marketing is no different.

If you say “we have flyers,” or “we do radio spots,” or “we have a great website,” or “we have billboards,” I’d say that’s good, but you have a bunch of tactics, a bunch of microphones. Again, hear me, there’s nothing wrong with those things, but without them being apart of a marketing system, it’s like a microphone unplugged from the sound system- a few people can hear, but the majority of the people in front of you simply cannot.

A marketing system will allow you to strategically position your ministry to your target audience across multiple marketing channels, help you gather target markets (crowds) of thousands at will, and help you convert that crowd into dedicated, white-hot attendees at your ministry. No marketing tactic by itself can accomplish that for you.

Just like a sound system, the higher quality the components of your marketing system, the greater and more precise the results you can produce. When you invest in a high-quality, ultra-effective marketing system, you put your ministry at a level where you will never have to fret about attendance and getting people to show up. Stop doing ministry without a marketing system in place- your city can’t hear you properly.