Series: On Marketing and Ministry. For more posts in this series, check out the series frontpage.
You get dozens, hundreds of marketing messages every day.
Commercials. Brand names. Logos. Billboards. Advertisements. Design elements. Social media. Product placement. Direct sales. Contact evangelism. Skywriting. Spam. Packaging. Walled gardens. Passive renewal. Flyers. Postcards. Posters. What did I miss?
Marketing shapes the way we view the world and interact with it.
But we're overwhelmed with marketing messages. We can't listen to all the stories, buy all the products, pay attention to everyone who wants our attention.
And because our attention and resources are limited, marketers have taken to interrupting us. Hijacking our attention to get to our resources. And so we work hard to test and filter marketing messages.
The effective marketers today are the ones to whom we give permission: permission to tell us stories, permission to advise us to do things, permission to help us take next steps. The best marketers earn our trust.
This perspective on the world of marketing was made elegantly and clearly by Seth Godin. I've posted briefly about his impact on my ministry here [3 Things Seth Godin Taught Me About Ministry]. It's worth picking up his book Permission Marketing to hear him explain it [You can download a great, free sample of the book for your Kindle here: Permission Marketing (sample on sidebar)].
And this perspective on marketing - "Permission Marketing" - needs to color any conversation we have about marketing and ministry.
When we talk about ministry and marketing, we aren't just talking about how to get our name out there more, how to capture more attention, how to build better interruptions. We're talking about building trust, building relationship, taking people through a process, from step to step ... and all this for God and his kingdom.
We need this.
Many of our ministries struggle with revolving doors. People come in and right back out. We capture people's attention and then pour information at them until they get bored or tired and leave. We long for people to engage deeply - to commit and grow spiritually - but we don't always see that happen.
Most ministries struggle to gain "permission."
The rest of us struggle to know what to do with "permission" when we get it.
And it's never occurred to us that we have a "marketing problem."
What would happen if you could close the revolving door in your ministry?
The next post in this series will talk about Marketing and Planting New Ministry. Good marketing practice can really help you when you're trying to get new ministry off the ground. A link will be published here as soon as the article is published.
Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan and http://www.freedigitalphotos.net