1. The purpose of this plan is to outline steps to raise community awareness for the launch of our church.
2. In part, this plan has been developed by talking with other churches and adapting some of their ideas.
3. The starting point for our marketing plan is to understand our demographic/focus family. We have obtained free demographic reports for our community and surrounding areas in order to find out what makes the people in our area tick so that we can learn how to meet their needs.
4. The next step is to begin creating a brand identity. We already have the name for our church, but the logo we have been using needs to be updated. Consideration should be given to a tagline, font, and color scheme.
a. The name of our church is ________________. This is the first thing people will see. The smaller the name is the bigger it can be on our marketing materials.
b. Our logo is ___________________________________. Our logo is the simplest way possible to communicate the idea of who we are and what we are about. A good way to settle on a logo is to think of the major benefit that we offer, and then determine how to best communicate it with an image or a phrase.
c. We also need to develop a theme line/tag line. This is a set of words that describe the spirit of our church, communicates our identity, and helps people think of us whenever they see it.
d. Finally, we need to develop a font and color scheme that will be consistently used on all our marketing
5. Now it is time to define our church identity.
a. We have to determine our unique niche. Why does the town of ________ need our church? We need to consider our strengths, what other churches are offering, and trends. Our niche should be simple. How will we be uniquely identified in the community? We seek to become known as the church __________________. Niche is determined primarily by understanding our target demographic, how God has uniquely wired us as individuals and as a church, and what other churches in the area are already doing.
b. It will be helpful to come up with a “Benefits list”, a list of reasons people should be associated with our church. Let’s not be modest. Let’s differentiate between features and benefits: Its benefits, not the features that hook people.
Features are elements of a product/service that deliver a benefit. For example:
Airbags Lowered risk of serious injury
Large Type Ease of reading
Digital recording Hiss-free listening
Soft leather sneakers More comfortable walking
Mercedes Benz Logo Increased self-esteem based on status
c. Next, we can come up with a “Features list” detailing those features that flow out of the benefits of aligning with our church. Using our benefits list, we will develop a list of features that will help shape the personality of our church.
6. Now we are ready to identify the purpose of our marketing. Although all things we do should lead to reaching lost people and making disciples of them, let’s try to identify the specific “next steps” we are looking for in specifying a purpose for our marketing. For example, “The purpose of our marketing is to establish broad, positive name recognition in the community as a safe place to connect with and pursue God and to help people respond to an invitation to our event and/or activity.”
7. Also, we must determine specific marketing techniques to use. The following list identifies specific marketing techniques we might use:
• Yellow pages
• Portable outdoor signs
• Business cards
• Video brochures (CDs)
• Banners (indoor and outdoor)
• Special newsletters (mailed to community)
• Ads in newsletters (including HOA newsletters and community associations)
• Flyers (for car windows, handouts, store counters, store windows, etc.)
• Door hangers
• Canvassing (door-to-door)
• Member mailing lists (e.g. letters, group emails, special invitations, newsletters, etc.)
• Direct mail postcards
• Inserts (to local newspapers)
• Direct mail letters (saturate local carrier routes in the area near special events)
• Local community and civic events (e.g. booths, etc.)
• Sponsorships of community events and teams
• Special marketing giveaways (e.g. pens, cups, mugs, magnets, etc.)
• Free publicity (Public Relations – PR) (e.g. press releases, news articles, etc.)
• Word of mouth (community networking)
• Seminars (e.g. parenting, money management, estate planning, marriage, etc.)
• Web sites (ranked high on search engines to applicable key words)
• Adopt a local cause/charity
8. From our outreach strategy, we will identify a list of specific outreach events through launch day (See outreach plan). We will identify dates for conducting each event. We will also identify which events will have supporting marketing. For these special events, we will need to identify which marketing will be used.
9. Using 1-8 above, we now need to write a simple marketing plan (one sentence for each of the following areas is fine). We will address the following specific items (from 1-8) with at least one sentence per item:
a. State the purpose of our marketing – What action do we want people to take?
b. Emphasize the main benefit we offer to motivate people to take that action – Why should people respond to take action?
c. Describe our target audience or audiences
d. List the marketing techniques we will use (only long sentence in the plan)
e. Identify our unique niche – what we stand for (e.g. quality, excellence, safety, truth, care, etc.)
f. Define our identity (describe our churches personality not its image)
g. Identify our budget
“The purpose of our marketing is to start and foster relationships with unconnected people. Our strategy for building relationships with unconnected people starts by building a positive reputation and trust throughout our target marketing area so that people will be more likely to respond to a specific invitation to a church event/activity. Over the next five months, we will attempt to establish broad name recognition throughout our target area so that unconnected people will be more likely to respond to an invitation to our worship services.
(Church Name) will be a safe place for people who are interested in spirituality, but are suspicious of churches to find and pursue God as the only solution that will really satisfy. (Church Name) focus family is approximately ___ years old, married, with one to two children. The husband and wife both have a college education; half of the families have one spouse staying home with kids. They earn between $______ and $_______ per year, have considerable debt partly resulting from the high cost of living and from a culture that promotes instant gratification. They are in some form of transition (e.g. new home, new kids, new job, new friends, etc.), spend a significant amount of time commuting, have their extended families living out of the area, had limited exposure to religion as a child but are now skeptical of church.
We will use the following marketing techniques:
Ongoing techniques (at least monthly):
• Ads in newsletters (including HOA newsletters and community associations –attempt to get small ads in all local newsletters and on community web sites)
• Member mailing lists (e.g. letters, group emails, special invitations, newsletters, etc. – mail things to launch team members frequently – at least once per month in addition to group emails)
• Stationary with church logo and name (ongoing use)
• Adopt a local cause/charity
• New movers program (send welcome letter and cards to new residents)
• Web sites (get site linked to as many community sites as possible)
• Word of mouth (community networking—launch team constantly inviting friends)
• Yellow pages (Small ad in phone book)
• Sponsorships of community events and teams (sponsor summer/fall kids sports team)
• Flyers (recruit launch team members – advertise events – general info – selected carrier routes monthly)
Giveaways (first touch): To be given away at events where possible.
• Brochures (new church brochure that can be used as first touch for visitors—could also be mailed to homes)
• Business cards (invite cards with new church grand opening information) (after date and location confirm)
• Special marketing giveaways (pens and magnets)
Event Specific or One Time: To be considered for each event and seminar.
• Direct mail letters (saturate local carrier routes in the area near special events: 3-5 carrier routes per mailing) (target selected carrier routes at least monthly)
• Portable outdoor signs (at least 4 large A-frame or real-estate type signs) (purchase prior to launch day)
• Flyers (for car windows, handouts, store counters, store windows, for each event and seminar)
• Direct mail postcards (4 card mailing x 30,000 just prior to first public services) (during month prior to launch. Possibly other times if free cards available)
• Special newsletters (mailed to community directly near meeting location — at least once) (selected carrier routes to target events)
• Participation in local community and civic events (determine opportunities and get involved in as many as possible — booths, etc.)
• Posters (used on case basis for large outreach events and grand opening)
• Outdoor banners (at least one 4’ x 10’ vinyl banner with basic info- for use at outreach events and out front of Sunday meeting location) (purchased prior to outreach events)
• Free publicity (Public Relations – PR) (press release kit, free listings of church events, community interest articles released in conjunction with large events and start of worship services) (ongoing with emphasis prior to launch and at large events)
We will consider the following additional marketing techniques occasionally:
• Door hangers (to be handed out within several weeks of launch)
• Magazines (builder/community magazines)
• Inserts (to local newspapers)
• Canvassing (door-to-door)
• Video brochures (CDs)
• Indoor banners
• Newspapers (small ads promoting specific events and opening day)
• Speaking Engagements (community organizations)
We will probably not use the following marketing techniques:
(Church Name) specific niche is to create a safe environment where hurting people feel comfortable sharing their lives and asking questions about God; a place that takes God seriously and ourselves much less seriously (humor breaks down barriers); a place that uses creative communication to break down barriers with a skeptical culture. Our corporate identity is shaped by the values we live out. These include:
• Communicating the Truth in love: people hearing God’s word in fresh and relevant ways.
• Excellence: people honoring God by giving their very best.
• Fun: people enjoying God and each other.
• Servant Leadership: people leading and making disciples of other people.
• Life change (spiritual growth): people understanding, pursuing and taking their next step toward maturity in Christ no matter where they are spiritually.
• Prayer: people sharing every joy and need with God
• Relationships: people connecting relationally and caring for one another through genuine Christian Community.
• Service: people using their gifts to honor God and build up the church.
• Faith: people trusting that God as they step out on faith and seek to cooperate with what He is up to.
• Reaching lost people: people sharing and modeling their faith with others.
• Worship: people experiencing God through worship.
Our initial marketing priorities include:
• Developing and printing a “first touch” brochure
• Implement a “new movers’ program (send letter and cards to new movers) (need cards to mail and good list)
• List of all Community/HOA/developer newsletters – what are the opportunities?
• Summer sports sponsorship/Fall sponsorship (baseball and soccer?)
• Update Yellow Page Ad
• Web page up and ready for visitors
• Initiate monthly flyers to neighborhood (tri-fold letter)
• Finalize marketing giveaways and order (pens, magnets, etc.)