Why Love Matters To Your Marketing

Clint Rogers


Clint Rogers


January 29, 2021

Why Love Matters To Your Marketing

What typically comes to mind when you hear the word “marketing”?

Ad campaigns

Marketing can seem like such a dirty word and can even be viewed as just selling products to mindless consumers. Merriam Webster defines marketing as this: “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.”

There is so much more depth to what marketing truly is that dictionary definitions and common misconceptions allow for.

The American Marketing Association gives a much more inclusive definition of marketing:

  • Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Marketing is not merely selling products to product-crazed consumers; marketing is a true art of learning what exactly it is that people value.

While basic advertising focuses on promoting a company’s products and services, marketing dives deeper into understanding customers’ needs and how they as a company can best meet those needs.

In short, marketing brings true human interaction and intentional dialogue onto the table.

Why Does Marketing Matter?

If you are a company that sells or offers any sort of product or service, you should be marketing, plain and simple. Marketing is key to getting what you offer to the public out to where they are. Marketing strategies enable your potential customers to understand why your product or service could make a difference in their life.

You may seem to cringe a bit when you use words like “marketing” and “campaign strategies” in a church or nonprofit organization setting. We aren’t selling anything — so does marketing matter?

We must remember that marketing is not just about getting people to spend money on a physical product. It is about educating people on everything your organization, church, or nonprofit has to offer.

  • Your church offers the message of Jesus Christ
  • Your nonprofit offers volunteerism and partnership
  • Your organization offers a cause to believe in

Although tithing and charitable donations are involved in the above examples, getting your “customers” to spend cold, hard cash is not the heart of what you do. However, getting them sold out to the mission and willing to contribute their service is!

Marketing in a Nutshell

Relationships are the most vital component of marketing as we know it. Marketing is truly all about building connections with people who want what we are offering. If we bypass the importance of people and their opinions, we may fail in our strategies altogether.

There is a specific strategy to how we do marketing wherein people are the main focus of our efforts. A simplified version of the steps of marketing are as follows:

  1. Conduct market research. This step can be viewed as the information-gathering stage. You want to learn as much as you can about potential consumers, their habits, and values.
  2. Select target market(s). From the market research, choose which sect of the population you want to target. While Paul was famous for being “all things to all people,” churches and organizations can rarely do the same. Trying to reach every single person on earth is a daunting task. Choosing instead to segment the people you want to reach based on geography, demographics, and behaviors will help you focus better on one specific target.
  3. Identify what makes you stand out. Some many other churches and organizations do the same thing you do. What makes you unique from your competitors? What values, ministries, beliefs, or services do you offer that others don’t? Identifying this unique feature will help you out in the long run.
  4. Develop or revisit your brand. While amping up an old, outdated logo may do the trick, revisiting your brand periodically can help keep it fresh and help you stand out. Organizations often overlook the power of their words. Make sure the language in your mission statement/beliefs is clear, concise, and is effective for your target audience.
  5. Choose your marketing avenue & execute campaigns. We could dedicate an entire blog to what tools you can use for marketing, but in short, you want to use the tools that are best suited to your organization. You should include a website, promotional materials, and at least one social media channel to your marketing repertoire. From here, you can run different campaigns using print advertisements, video, and more.
  6. Maintain relationships. Marketing does not just end when someone buys your product or service. Maintaining a relationship is one of the most important parts of the marketing process. Stay in touch with your consumers, seek to meet their needs, and continue to remind them why they chose you in the first place! 
  7. Measure your success. Looking back to see what quantitatively worked for your marketing strategies is essential in choosing what to do next and how to better utilize time and financial resources.

Success is not always measured numerically, though. Are people buzzing about you on social media? Are consumers sharing their experiences with others and referring them back to you? While these successes don’t show up on a spreadsheet, they can lead to loyal customer relations in the future.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

When we asked you at the beginning of this blog what comes to mind when you hear the word “marketing,” we doubt your first response was “love.” (If it was, kudos to you!)

For the majority of us, love and marketing are polar opposites. Though marketing is a people-focused technique, we don’t usually intertwine love in the mix. But this is an attribute to marketing that we often overlook in the grand scheme of things.

Churches and nonprofits are in the business of reaching and bringing value to the lives of people. This is exactly what Jesus came to do on earth. He brought love into the mix.

In Old Testament times, it was probably rare that the Jewish people would describe their relationship with Yahweh as one of “love.” While they rehearsed scriptures that referred to God’s lovingkindness and compassion, still yet their relationship with God was mainly marked by duty and works.

Although God was the Father of Israel, Jews were hesitant to refer to Him as their personal “Abba.” Jesus didn’t hesitate to do this, though, and the Jewish people were not pleased to hear this Nazarene talk about God in such a closely intimate way.

Jesus revealed an extra element in His relationship with God that set their relationship apart from the way people related to God during that time. Jesus would also make a new and living way for us to have full access to the God of heaven and earth. The added element here? Love!

Love transforms business transactions into relationships.

Love transforms obligation into desires.

Love transforms a sales pitch into a lifeline.

While this is a weighty comparison, marketing has the potential to become so much more than bringing in customers and making sales. When we begin to view our customers not as customers but as beloved children who have intrinsic value, everything changes.

Love Matters to Your Marketing

If we ever want to love effectively and sprinkle compassion in our marketing strategies, we must evaluate why exactly we want to attract people.

Are we reaching people just for the sake of increasing our attendance and boosting our bank account, or are we reaching people to see them experience the hope of Jesus and partner alongside a mission they believe in?

These are tough questions we must ask ourselves before we even consider employing our marketing techniques. We must remember this: love matters because people matter.

When you choose to bring love into everything you do, there are more benefits than there are without love being involved.

  1. It makes people feel like more than a customer. No one likes to be “sold at,” even if they are seeking to purchase a product or service. When you bring love into the mix, people feel less like a mindless customer and more like a valued friend. You can practically do this by ditching the constant generic email marketing and bring in some personalized emails that include your customer’s name and something about them.
  2. It naturally builds brand loyalty. When you meet people’s needs, they are more likely to return to you if those needs arise again. If your organization displays love to your customers, they will feel valued and have you at “top of mind” next time they want to visit a church, support a nonprofit, etc.
  3. It reigns in people outside of your specific target market. Your love will maintain loyalty from your customers, but it can also help spread the word to those who weren’t a part of your original target market. When your customers feel valued, they may share the love they felt with others around them. If someone is truly sold on a brand, they will tell others. Statistics show that satisfied U.S. customers will share their positive experience with an average of 11 different people.
  4. It makes your cause more than just about revenue. The reality is, our churches and nonprofits cannot stay open without a steady financial revenue. But when love is the lens through which we market, the revenue will come naturally. This is where truly connecting with our audience makes all the difference. When we are connected to them through our love, they will see our true hearts and want to partner with us in our mission.

Spread the Love

When you choose to love someone, you choose to acknowledge their unique value to society and the world as a whole. When people feel valued, something changes within them. They become more generous, are more receptive to ideas, and are immensely loyal.

While marketing still may seem a little taboo in the context of the nonprofit world, it is a vital part of getting our message out there and establishing partnerships with others. When we choose to value the person over the transaction, it makes a long-lasting impression that goes much further than even the best advertising campaign.

How will you show love in your marketing?

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