Church Marketing Plan
Step 5: Evaluation & Adjustment
Time For a Tune-up? Or All Systems Go
Your Marketing Plan Team is in the process of implementing a strong marketing plan! As you continue to implement the various tactics from your MARKETING PLAN, the Team will want to track and record progress, evaluate results and make adjustments as needed.
Marketing Plan Evaluation:
- The organized, intentional effort to evaluate the planning, implementation and impact of your MARKETING PLAN. Early on in this process your Marketing Plan Team determined specific goals and measurable objectives. Then you developed specific tactics to accomplish these goals and objectives. Now, you will conduct evaluations to learn what happened and why.
- This is what you will DO with your evaluation findings. As you evaluate and learn about successes, they should be communicated and celebrated. As you learn of challenges, they should be reviewed. As needed, alterations/revisions can be made to your MARKETING PLAN (for future tactics) and/or the Plan’s overall objectives and goals.
This step is focused to provide ongoing tracking of your MARKETING PLAN’S objectives, goals and tactics – with the Marketing Plan Coordinator, Team and others communicating regularly about progress, successes and challenges.
Marketing isn't a science. Evaluating the overall failure or success of marketing efforts can be difficult particularly in understanding which tactic led to what result. The purpose of evaluation is to track the measurable aspects of your tactics and progress toward overall objectives and goals.
It’s healthy to evaluate and adjust as you go and create a new marketing plan on a yearly basis.
Where to Begin
When marketing efforts are conceived and budgeted, an expected return on investment (ROI) or result should be discussed. The ROI can be set in terms of increased giving resulting from the marketing effort, new members or program enrollments gained, or whatever other measure best suits the church's marketing. After the marketing effort has been completed, the actual ROI should be compared to the expected ROI, and the difference noted.
Success or Failure
Did you achieve your goals? If yes, see if this type of effort can be repeated, either in support of the same marketing goal or another one.
Evaluating a failure is more complex. Was the expected result unrealistic and set too high? Was the marketing effort flawed in execution? Was it reasonable to expect results when you did the measurement? Did it fail to reach the selected target audience?
Only after these tactical matters have been considered should the review turn to the strategic: Was the correct program chosen for marketing? Was the correct demographic targeted? Did we understand our target market’s needs? At this point you decide where you go from here with the existing objectives, goals and tactics.
Even a marketing effort that falls a bit short of its anticipated outcome can result in lasting positive impressions. If the church's identity has been communicated correctly, you’re on the right path in your marketing effort.
Positive results will continue to build over time in the minds of prospective members, reinforcing the church's identity and making it more likely that subsequent marketing efforts will be able to turn seekers into members.
Remember to treat your MARKETING PLAN as a living document. You should review your MARKETING PLAN on a regular basis. Marketing efforts done in the previous year should be evaluated as should the church's progress in reaching its marketing objectives. If expectations or conditions have changed dramatically since the last review, the church should adjust the marketing plan accordingly.
The Marketing Plan Coordinator, with support from the Marketing Plan Team and others.
This will depend upon what you are measuring and could take anywhere between less than an hour to weeks.
During the previous steps, you worked hard to develop your MARKETING PLAN. Now that you have started implementing the plan, it is highly important that you keep your eyes on the big picture as well as evaluate individual tactics to ensure you are meeting your objectives and goals.
What will I accomplish?
Ongoing management of your MARKETING PLAN will allow you to measure progress toward your goals and identify opportunities where adaptations may be needed in your plan. You will also be able to communicate and celebrate successes.
Action Step 2: Measure Progress: Objectives/Goals/Tactics
Action Step 3: Communicate, Celebrate Success
Action Step 4: Adjusting your plan
Specific methods include:
- Focus groups/community forums/panels
- Media analysis: analysis of mentions about your church in the media
- Web site analysis: analysis of visitors to a Web site, pages viewed, etc.
- Mail/phone/online analysis: analysis of letters, calls, online inquiries
- Tracking attendance/financial giving/other kinds of numbers
- Tracking attendance and/or comment cards (from services, events, etc.)
Tracking/evaluation tip: To determine how something has changed/progressed throughout time, you’ll need to do an initial study (benchmark) and document those results. Then, at a later time (based on your goals/objectives), you’ll want to go back and repeat the study and compare/contrast those results to the initial study. You’ll see the change (positive or negative) and you can adjust or write new goals/objectives for the future.
Download Step Five:
- Evaluation and Adjustment: Time For a Tune-up? Or All Systems Go
- Church Marketing Plan Worksheet - Complete Document