Sunday, July 31, 2005

Church marketing

Marketing bloggers love to highlight companies that communicate successfully. Companies that embrace a brand, tell a story, connect on a human level. Those conversations rarely include the effectiveness of large, marketing-savvy churches. That's right. Churches. Churches like Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, which not only just took over the Compaq Center but has a Web site and outreach initiative to rival strategies of the most innovative Chief Marketing Officers. My former church, Kansas City's Church of the Ressurection is one of the fastest growing churches in the country. COR's Reverend Adam Hamilton has even published a book on growing churches: Selling Swimsuits in the Arctic: Seven Simple Keys to Growing Churches. Sounds like one of the many popular marketing books out today.

If you strip away content, the way successful companies and churches communicate internally and externally is virtually the same. Growing churches and companies both understand and are capitalizing on their greatest asset: their people, whether consumers or congregations. While marketing pundits preach on building relationships with consumers, churches are doing it, and doing it well. And these churches are executing what many companies have yet to grasp: human conversations - real, honest interaction - are powerful conduits of a brand.

Churches are setting an example outside of the sanctuary, and though hardly as meaningful, the ways in which they are reaching their audiences is worth noting.


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