From branding to social media management, the public presence of your church revolves around communication and marketing. The primary objective of these efforts is to promote your church or message to a wide range of people.
Micromarketing directs advertising efforts toward a specific group of individuals. By targeting a small group, this type of campaign can be more personalized. In micromarketing, you attempt to grow your overall audience by convincing a smaller number of people that your church is suited to their demographics and/or can meet their needs.
Think of it like a showerhead. A concentrated spray of water provides a narrow but powerful stream. If you place a target on the bottom of your tub, this type of spray would give you the best chance to hit the bull’s-eye. Rather, a “rain” setting provides wider but less powerful coverage. The latter option means more areas of your target will get wet.
Typical marketing is like the rain shower. It aims to hit as many people as possible and hopes the message resonates with at least a few. The objective of micromarketing is to present a stronger, more personalized promotion that gains more interest within a narrowly defined group.
Micromarketing is both more expensive and less expensive than traditional marketing. It all depends on how you look at the numbers. The overall cost of a micromarketing campaign is usually less expensive than a typical marketing plan. Since you are reaching fewer people, you spend less money. However, the return on investment (ROI, the cost per person reached) is often higher.
For example, if you spend $500 on a radio spot that 500 people hear, the ROI would be $1 per person. If you spend $200 for an advertisement in a niche publication that has only 100 subscribers, your ROI is $2 per person.
This type of campaign revolves around knowing your audience well and building trust with them. It takes in-depth research, time and patience. You must know a good bit about the people you are trying to reach. Most importantly, you need to know what they need and how your church can meet those needs.
If you are looking for a way to promote a sermon series that begins next week, micromarketing is probably not the way to do it. If you want to increase the number of 20- to 30-year-olds in your pews, micromarketing just might be the ticket.
Here are three steps to get you started.
1. Develop a buyer persona
For this, you will need quantitative and qualitative data.
Quantitative data includes basic demographics: age, location, gender and broad interests. This type of data can be gained from social media analytics and insight tools, personal knowledge, or observation.
The second part of this step is to collect qualitative data. You will need to determine where your group meets, what specific interests unite them, what they like and dislike and what they need. Often, you will discover this information through informal conversations with several people in the group or via a questionnaire or poll that asks very specific questions.
Once your data is collected, create a profile of the type of individual you are trying to reach.
2. Determine your message
Using your profile, determine how your church can minister to this group. Identify how you will meet their needs and what aspects of your church that they’ll find attractive. Then craft a message that draws upon those points.
3. Decide how you will deliver your message
A billboard campaign is not as likely to reach the same group as a radio ad. A newspaper ad may reach one group while a social media campaign is more likely to reach another. Your research should give you an indication of where your target audience is located. Use that information to determine how and where you will deliver the message you want to send.
Most successful churches recognize the value of effective marketing plans. A church has a responsibility to grow and nurture the faith of its parishioners. It also has a responsibility to seek out the unchurched and introduce them to the gospel message. Micromarketing can be an effective and unique way of accomplishing that mission.
Tricia K. Brown is a writer, editor, keynote speaker and Bible teacher. In addition to being a wife and mother of four sons, she is the sole proprietor of The Girls Get Together, where she and her team provide women's event programs for churches and other organizations. Her latest book, A Year of Yearning: A 12-Month Devotional to Help You Study God's Word More, is available from Amazon.