The Best Target Demographic Ever?
No organization can serve everyone. And no organization has unlimited resources. As a result, organizations of all kinds try to focus their outreach and marketing efforts on the people they believe are most likely to respond. There is one demographic that is by far the most cost-effective to target. Do you know the most successful demographic you could possibly target?
There is one demographic that is by far the most cost-effective to target.
If you lead a church, it’s the group of people most likely to show to an interest if invited. If you lead a school, it’s the families most likely to register their kids for the next school year. If you lead a business, it is the people most likely to purchase your products of services. If you operate a website, it’s the people most likely to visit your website today.
Do you know the most successful demographic you could possibly target?
Your current people. Your customers, students, parishioners, website visitors.
Right now you may be saying, “Well, obviously” But is that reflected in the way you communicate? Is it reflected in your priorities? Is it reflected on your Christian website? Is it reflected in they way you allocate your time, your staffing, and your funding?
Some churches spend a lot of time, effort, and money doing outreach and church marketing - and rightly so, for Jesus told us, “’Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.” (Luke 14:23)
I hesitate to say this because churches are not all about numbers and growing attendance figures (at least they shouldn’t be), and this is going to sound rather crass and business-like, but try to bear with me and withhold judgment for just a moment while run some numbers by you…
• About 10% of the people attending an average church will leave during the next year. Some because they’re moving to a new city, some will die, but many will leave for another church or stop being a part of a church all together.
• About 15% of the people who visit a church “stick” and end up attending regularly.
What that means is that a church of 200 can expect 20 of those people to leave in the next year. Just to remain a church of 200, they need to add 20 new people. That means they need about 140 new people to visit the church just to stay at their current attendance.
Research shows, however, that it takes a lot more time, effort, and money to get 70 new people in the door than it would take to halve the number of people leaving to 5% or double the percentage of visitors who stick to 30%.
I am not by any means saying churches should cut their outreach budgets to focus on keeping members happy. The American church has become far too inward-focused and member-pleasing as it is. What I am saying is that there are small, inexpensive things churches can do to help close the “back door” - to help their members stay better connected, better informed, and simply feel more a part of what is going on at the church. I’ll look at some of those ways to close the “back door” in my next article, “5 Ways For Churches To Keep Members And Convert Visitors”.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kurt Steinbrueck is the author of the Church Marketing Online blog. He has been Director of Marketing Services with Ourchurch.Com for over 5 years providing Christian search engine optimization services including services specific for church marketing solutions and private school marketing. Kurt is also a Deacon at his church.