Believe in evolution? That’s your business.

Let’s talk marketing—the evolution of church marketing.

For obvious reasons, a lot more people will go to church today and tomorrow than usual. But religious institutions aren’t just looking for members in December.

More and more churches are realizing that a good location and word-of-mouth alone won’t always fill the pews.

So they’ve resorted to—gasp!—marketing, and some of it ain’t half bad.

Here’s an ad for the Collegiate Church in New York:

The ad was produced by Gotham, the agency serving corporate clients such as Remington, Newman’s Own and Lufthansa—and it shows.

Their campaign bridges television, radio, web and outdoor. Here’s a phone booth ad:

Collegiate Churches of New York - phone booth ad

Mosaic Seattle, a local church near my home in Issaquah, WA is no stranger to offbeat marketing: Many services are thematically packaged, and feel more like a movie or event promotion than something you’d see for a church. All of pastor Barry Odom’s services are recorded and available as podcasts, and I have a number of their printed pieces in our ‘idea box’ at Outsource Marketing exemplifying interesting print communications executions.

Mosaic realized that a lot of people only make it to church once a year—Christmas, so instead of promoting one service, they promoted four related ones:

Four Christmases from Mosaic Seattle

This is smart marketing regardless of category. Get people to come more than once, and you might get them to form a habit.

So, what are your thoughts about the evolution of church marketing?

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Source: Churches Welcome Quirky Approaches to Spread Their Message, New York Times

Photo of phone booth credit: New York Times