There are a number of crucial aspects which impact on this plan:
• Support Structure
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.