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Church Marketing Blog

Church marketing personnel need to be up-to-date with the latest church marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the church / parish marketing plan. This church marketing blog enables church marketing personnel to engage in blog discussions relating to the church marketing issues of today. The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Church Marketing Plan - 7 Key Strategies

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Each Church Marketing Plan should be based on 7 Key Strategies:

1. Define what you have to offer
2. Define your target group
3. Budget
4. Personnel and Talents
5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives
6. Marketing Strategies
7. Evaluation

Sample Church Marketing Plan

1. Define what you have to offer
• vision and mission, personnel, basic underlying content and structures within the parish, pastoral and welfare support programs, facilities, extra activities, etc
• specific demographics targeted e.g. ages and groups catered for and their particular niche market
• future plans - programs, staffing, facilities, etc

2. Define your target group
• through various data, including surveys, observations, experience, gifts and talents available / needed
• proximity to / involvement with similar and / or churches and parishes
• any expansion - programs, facilities, staffing

3. Budget
• realistically support the marketing plan
• be flexible and open to growth and change as the needs arise
• continually develop over time through needs and experiences

4. Personnel and Talents available - including Church Marketing Manager

5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives - from previous information

6. Marketing Strategies

• Marketing Relationships
• Marketing Resources (including branding, advertising)
• Media Use
- Internet and other Contemporary methods
- Both for Free (Media Releases / Editorial, etc) and for
- Fee (Advertising)

7. Evaluation

• The plan should be evaluated at least yearly and appropriate adjustments made for the following year.
• Changes may need to be made throughout the year depending on changing circumstances.

The 'Church Marketing Plan - 7 Key Strategies' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Free, or Inexpensive

A successful church and parish marketing plan and budget will need to incorporate most of the top ten free church marketing strategies if it is to be successful. The top 10 strategies can be free, or at least relatively inexpensive, depending on the church / parish’s present arrangements.

By effectively using the media and the church / parish website, there should be little expense activating these top 10 strategies, especially when the digital option is the primary method used, instead of hardcopies. If it can assumed that the parish has a website, which can be managed by the parish personnel, as well as a front signboard and a good digital camera, then these strategies can be implemented for free or little expense.

The first strategy is in itself free, yet is also reliant upon a number of other key strategies to be implemented successfully – ‘Word of Mouth’.

Top 10 Free Church / Prish Marketing Strategies

1.    Word of Mouth
2.    Quality Preaching, Engaging Liturgies and Active Pastoral Care / Social Justice / Youth Programs
3.    Social Networking Sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube
4.    Professionalism of priests and staff in action and appearance
5.    Church / Parish Website and Blogs
6.    Use of the Media - both traditional and contemporary – including editorial, images  and advertising
7.    Information Sessions - night and day times – including faith / theological education, open days, prayer sessions...
8.    Newsletters and Flyers - digital (hardcopy where needed)
9.    Front Signboard
10.  Cross Information (within the parish e.g including through the school/s)

The number 1 strategy, ‘Word of Mouth’, is dependent on those espousing various views about the church / parish being well informed. To do this, the next 9 strategies have an important role to play.

The church / parish needs:

•    to have a high quality liturgical, prayerful and pastoral life, along with an openness to meet the needs of all parishioners
•    acknowledgement of the place of social media in today’s digital world
•    an easy to use professional website
•    the ability to engage the local media so that the good stories are told to the whole community, and even the negative stories being told with the church's’s professional approach for solutions being seen in a positive light,
•    openness to various visits to the parish
•    the acceptance of the place of the digital flyers and newsletters.

Conclusion

Free key strategies are often the best approaches to marketing your church / parish. When there is a professional website and the parish community has a positive attitude toward the parish and what it offers, along with what the digital age can offer, then a free, or relatively inexpensive, church / parish marketing plan is possible. This approach can also work when the attitude of the community is not as high – however, there may need to be a need for various forms of paid advertising to counteract such negativity. The best church / parish marketing plan would incorporate most of the free top 10 strategies for marketing your church or parish.

 The 'Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good internet bookstores.


Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Devising an effective church and parish marketing plan is essential for any successful church and parish community - know what it really is, why it is needed and how to develop and implement one for success - know the 5 Key strategies.

A. Overview

There are a number of crucial aspects which impact on this plan:

Planning
• Manager
• Budget
• Support Structure
• Evaluation


A successful plan is a lot more than the logo, stationery and newsletter. It should also be careful to avoid 'dressing-up' the institution in a way which cannot be supported.

The right person / people, managing the right marketing plan, being given a realistic budget and support and using continual evaluation techniques and feedback are high priorities for a successful marking plan. Often tough decisions need to be made. However, it is absolutely critical to - be well prepared!

Big or small church and parish budgets can both have varying degrees of success. Know your market and its needs and develop plans accordingly:

• A longer term plan often eases that initial budget constraint.
• Success often leads to more success.
• Decision makers become open to more appropriate budgets.

B. Who needs a Marketing Plan?

All professionals, businesses, institutes and services need one. Informing the community is seen by most to be an important aspect of their mission. It also leads to the best promoters of the product / service, etc.

C. Analysis of the Marketing Plan

• Parish Priest ultimately responsible for the plan.
• Based on the Vision and Mission Statement.
• Used to market to the community. The community includes all people who know, or those who you want to know, about the church.
• Strategies used within a defined budget.
• Inform all stakeholders, and other targeted groups, of the benefits and successes.
• Informs about aspects which may be of interest / products, etc.
• Needs to plan for issues which may arise of a controversial nature.
• Inform and emphasize the real nature of the parish and the direction being planned for or presently implementing.
• Realistic budget is an integral part.
• Relatively inexpensive when viewed in the terms of the potential gains made - reputation, etc.
• Benefit from the combination of views of staff and other parishioners, etc, associated.
• In the initial stages of developing the first real plan it is often best to include a variety of interest groups for gaining ideas and suggestions about how best to market. These thoughts may then be used as felt necessary.
• The principal office holder needs input and has the overall responsibility to implement the plan.

D. Be ethical...

Apart from being unethical, more than likely, any unethical aspects would eventually become apparent as being incorrect to the stakeholders and others. This would have an adverse impact on the group's / institute's reputation and hence targeted group and community's involvement.

E. Simple or Complex?

The plan may be as simple or as complex as needed to achieve the desired outcomes. The plan is needed whether:

• a presently has a large sales / product / service base or
• it is about to re/open or
• it is losing market share.

 

The best time to market is when it is successful. At this stage there are so many approaches which may be taken to highlight the benefits. However, it usually becomes an issue and a necessity when sales or numbers involved are dropping, or when competition is opening need by or improving themselves. At this stage a specifically targeted program is required. Don't be caught out!

 

The 'Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


Word of Mouth - the #1 Strategy for Church and Parish Marketing

Friday, September 09, 2016

Let's keep marketing the church simple. From my experience there are a number of classic and contemporary methods to market your church or parish. These should be at the forefront of any successful church / parish marketing plan. A number of these are free or relatively inexpensive. The number 1 method though is ‘Word of Mouth’ is free!

Now this may seem quite obvious and simple to many, that the number one strategy is word of mouth, unfortunately it can be anything but that. Word of mouth requires the great majority of people to be speaking positively about your parish. This not only includes those directly in the parish community e.g. staff and parishioners, but also those in the wider community who may influence those within and without of the parish. This would include: others directly associated with the parish e.g. suppliers of goods, professionals e.g. those charged with the financial guidance and auditing, architects and engineers of the building plan, people various associations, committes and boards, etc.

Hence, these people need to be fully informed and communicated with, concerning all the events and happenings within the church /parish. This includes the positive and the negative.

Why the negative you may ask? If the church / parish is run effectively it will have policies and procedures to deal with most, if not all, circumstances it may face. When people within and without the parish see that it is dealing with those negative aspects in a professional, caring and effective way, they will more than likely offer their support. For many of these people they will go much further and espouse how wonderful the parish is in the way that it deals with negative issues. This can be a very effective method, overall.

Once this strategy is accepted as the primary means to market a church or parish, it then becomes evident that the next challenge is to select numerous forms of communication and a number of strategies, which are going to be needed for the ‘word of mouth’ strategy to be fully informed and hence, successful.

The 'Word of Mouth - the #1 Strategy for Church and Parish Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good internet bookstores.




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