Yesterday we had one of our final 2009 budget meetings. We had $5000 budgeted to market a parenting series we're doing in February of 2009. The problem is, you can't reach many homes with $5000 when your ministry area has 200,000 unchurched people in it.
So here's what we decided: we'll try to do more for less. We cut the marketing budget by several thousand dollars and decided to focus all of our marketing on putting invitations for friends into the hands of people who already attend Connexus. What we mean is things like cards and invitations our attenders can share with friends and family, or even gift cards for meals out for people who come for the first time. That's less money, but we hope it's more impact.
Here's our thinking:
- $1000 designed to produce resources regular attenders can use to share with their friends might produce greater results than $10,000 or $20,000 randomly distributed in neighbourhoods.
- It will help us stick to our belief that growth happens best when people invest in relationship with friends who don't go to church and invite them to come with them.
- Viral growth is always the best kind of growth. Buzz generated by people who love something is always compelling. That's how the early church grew.
- People who come in on the invitiation of a friend have a friend to guide them through their spiritual journey.
So in 2009, no external advertising. Just a few well made resources in the hands of attenders who can share it with friends.
Would love your thoughts, reactions and ideas.