Why We Advertise: Part Two

One reason churches don’t advertise is they believe word of mouth to be the greatest form of outreach.  I completely agree with that.  When we survey our people, we find that 60-70% of them come to OLC because someone invited them.  So, why spend money on something that doesn’t work?

Not so fast
.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Advertising and marketing directly affect the personal invitations.  I tell our people that one reason that we mail out postcards and put out signs is to make it easy for them to invite people.  When our people toss out the invitation, many times people respond with something like, "Yea, I saw a sign…are you guys the church that meets in the movies?"  A sign or a postcard raises awareness and increases the effectiveness of an invite.

It works like this.  I could tell my sister to try out Bambino’s Peanut Butter, and she’ll probably forget.  But if I tell her to try Bambino’s Peanut Butter and she just saw something in a magazine about that or saw a commercial about it, the personal recomendation will be all the more effective.

Advertising also increases the likelihood that people will invite people.  It’s let’s our church know that we want others to come.  It raises the evangelistic temperature of our own church.  They know there is something that is going on worth talking about and worth designing a postcard.   Most people that say we just use word of mouth don’t do anything worth talking about, so the people don’t let the words come out of their mouths.  It’s sounds really spiritual to be against advertising, but it’s often an excuse to be cheap or lazy.

We try to do things in our church worth talking about.  Weather it’s a series on sex or or a community event, we want to do things that capture the attention of people.  We want to serve people, and make life better, and we also want people to come to church.  If they don’t come, we’ll still serve them, but we still want them to come.

Why does Coca-Cola spend millions on marketing?  Everybody has heard of Coke already.  They could probably save a lot of money if they just quit.  But they know that it’s important to keep moving and to keep doing things that capture people’s attention. 

By far, word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing and advertising. But don’t let that fact keep you from doing other things.  When you do those other things, you’ll find that word of mouth becomes even more powerful.


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