How To Avoid “Spaghetti” Marketing

You want to get the word out about the next big event at your church, a new teaching series, the launch of a campus, or your back-to-school kickoff. The team is doing everything they can to keep their heads above water and now you want to market to your entire community to drive attendance.  So, you host a brainstorm meeting, and a promotional plan is created that includes everything but the kitchen sink.

The team takes a big breath, adds this to a potentially already overloaded plate, and dives in to produce all the assets necessary.  Leaving no stone unturned, you set out to engage practically every marketing channel available.

But how do you know if one channel will yield results, which one will reach your audience most effectively, what is the message that will connect best?

It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks – a real mess.

We have learned that this approach yields very little confidence, costs spin out of control, and there is rarely any tracking to optimize your results. And when it’s all said and done, you don’t know what worked and what didn’t. Next time around, you rinse and repeat.

To avoid the “spaghetti” marketing trap this fall, here are a few practical tips to focus on:

  1. Define your goal. You won’t know if you’ve arrived if you don’t have a clear sense of where you’re going. While increasing revenue is nearly always the ultimate goal, objectives along the way help indiciate if you’re moving in the right direction.
  2. Own your audience. While it’s important to maximize reach across channels, moving those users into a deeper relationship on your owned media like your email and text messaging lists ensure that you have long-term opportunities to communicate with that audience.
  3. Improve your tracking. Once you have a goal in mind and have identified how you want to engage with them, you can squeeze every drop out of the strategy through testing and optimization. Digital provides an incredible opportunity to improve in this way because of how easy it is to track campaigns and audiences.

As a ministry leader, it can be a daunting task to understand the ins and outs of the data and digital world. It can feel too intimidating to begin. But don’t be overwhelmed. Start small. Take a step-by-step approach because eventually, you will get to the end goal and at the end of the day, it’s a learning experience for everyone.

If you’d like to hear more about these practical digital marketing tips for churches and nonprofits, listen to this Dunham Podcast on data-driven decision making or head to dunhamandcompany.com/church to learn how we can help you with your marketing plan to reach more people for more impact this fall!


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Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters. Contact Bethany Cranfield at 469-454-0100 to get more information.