Monday, April 20, 2015

Advertising Does Not Replace Selling

I have been doing advertising in one way or another all of my adult life… come to think of it, I started before I was an adult, putting together the advertising pages in my middle school yearbook.

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. 
But sometimes I get into a conversation with someone looking for help with advertising and I realize that what they really want is to not be bothered with all the pesky work of selling. They hope that an ad will do work instead so that they don’t have to personally ask for the business or close the deal.

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.

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