Marketing is a huge puzzle to me. Classic church planting models often employ heavy use of direct mail and other forms of mass advertising. But LifeSpring didn’t have anywhere close to the amount of money that approach would take. Later we got a one time infusion of $4000 cash that was earmarked specifically for marketing. We gave direct mail a try, but it was very costly and a poor method.
Since that time we’ve tried other things: pens with our logo and URL on them, cotton tote bags with our logo and URL, printed invitation materials, small posters, etc. We’ve given goody bags to teachers at their beginning of the year reception, provided advertising materials to a real estate mortgage person to use in a promotion she had going, and provided items for a golf tournament that the Chamber of Commerce was sponsoring.
The results have been the same in every case; the items are good for branding, but they don’t build relationships. We have found that nothing substitutes for being personally present in the lives of people.
Today I went to a presentation by a local radio station. The station was offering a nice advertising package to small businesses. It is a very tempting offer because it would double the number of spots that we currently have on the radio, and it would spread them across 4 radio stations rather than just 1 as we presently do.
I hate decisions like this. We’ll be spending about $250 more a month than we currently do. However we currently believe that a sustained and long term advertising presence is necessary in order to make people aware you exist. Since we can’t see the future, it is always a “gamble,” or uncertainty. But we believe God is at work. So we’ll buy the advertising and leave the outcome to God.
If you want to help us financially with this marketing, go to our Donation Site and send us some help. It is well needed and enormously helpful to this work.