Usually people come to me with adverting projects for the right reasons, such as:
- Opening Doors – An ad campaign can help us get an appointment with customers; they might take our call as a result of a good ad. My friend Merlin describes an ad campaign as artillery softening the front lines so the infantry can charge in and win the battle.
- Generating Inquiries – Good ads might get someone to visit a web site, make a call, or even stop by the store; an ad will seldom close the sale, but it might get a customer to take a next step in the right direction.
- Expanding and Solidifying the Brand – Ads often do the most good with our current customers; and ad can help keep them as a customer or give them information about other products within our brand that they might consider.
I have even had folks explain to me that they need a good ad campaign because their sales force is too busy (as if the ads will do the selling). If you're too busy selling, you don’t need an ad; you need a bigger sales force. The whole point of an ad is to make your sales force busy.
While I don’t think of growing a church in terms of selling, many of the same principles apply. No ad will replace the work of people personally sharing their faith and inviting people to church. Ads can certainly be part of the process (opening doors, generating inquiries, expanding and solidifying the brand), but an ad campaign alone will not grow the church. People vibrantly living and sharing their faith is how the church grows.