The most common marketing mistake

I’ve been reading Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing: A Simple Battle Plan for First-Time Marketers by Jay and Jeannie Levinson. It’s an excellent one-volume summary of basic marketing for smaller organizations. And it is worth reading if for no other reason than when you get to page 207, having gone over all the most basic and most effective marketing tools that exist, the Levinsons admit what anyone who’s worked in sales and marketing knows instinctively:

We hate to admit this in public, but… mediocre marketing with commitment is far better than brilliant marketing without it.

Then, in case you didn’t listen the first time, on page 208 they say:

You should know that a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment.

But alas…. Congregations are notorious for lack of commitment when it comes to marketing. Too many congregations think marketing consists of gorgeous advertisements and sexy PR, and a Web site makeover, once every two or three years. Not true. When you realize that neatness, telephone demeanor, and an honest interest in people are all marketing tools — that effective email, marketing calendars, and writing a benefits list are also all marketing tools — then you begin to realize that marketing involves constant, even obsessive, attention to detail, not just every Sunday, but every single day of the week, for years and years. Very few congregations have that kind of commitment.

And, not surprisingly, very few congregations are growing.