Lots of Christians have a reflexive distrust of marketing.
And I guess I can understand why.
Marketing can often feel downright manipulative. Such as when it tries to manufacture a sense of dissatisfaction — e.g., by playing on the profound insecurities of its target demographic — and then offers a product or service as the solution to this ‘problem’.
But I’m not sure it’s always so cut and dried.
It frequently seems like you can’t really help but ‘market’ yourself. People start forming an impression of your church or ministry are as soon as word gets out about you — whether you’re putting the word out or it’s getting out some other way.
So if it’s happening anyway, then surely the issue is going to be how you’re doing it. And whether you’re marketing yourself in a distinctively Christian way (rather than being sucked in to the perverse dynamics of the industry.)
I found what I think is a great example of this in a comment on this post over at Church Marketing Sucks:
We went around our local area and took pictures of local landmarks that people would recognize that represented who & what [the town was]. Monochromed a lot of the images and then brought out others that we wanted to highlight, including a picture of me and my wife on a billboard. It worked better than we could have imagined and it said, “We are part of this community.”
What a great idea!
Of course, it’d need to be true. You would actually need to be part of your community — engaged and faithfully present in it. But what a brilliant way to show it if you are!
That’s a least one way in which you can market yourself in an authentically Christian way. Any others you’ve seen or can think of?