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Your Number One Marketing and Outreach Tool Revealed

I ate at Chipotle today. Good burrito.

As I sat and looked around their restaurant, I was struck by the distinctive culture and experience they are building. Environment, communications, and personalities were in synch. Very impressive… creative brand positioning across the board.

I was intrigued enough to do a google search once back at the office. I found an interview with a Regional Director of Chipotle on how they are trying to build the brand and build awareness. Here’s what Phil Petrilli had to say:

“Word of mouth gives us some of our best marketing,” says Petrilli. (Chipotle does not advertise on television.) “When people understand what we’re doing, why it makes a difference and why it makes the food taste better, they’re excited and want to tell others about it.”

Churches. Ministries. Non-Profits. Word of Mouth… This is your Number One Marketing and Outreach Tool. Sadly, it’s often overlooked and underprioritized. Just like Chipotle, encourage your organization to build a marketing culture built on people telling your story to others. Coach them on what to say if they don’t know how to say it. (Hint: your mission would be an obvious start point or simply the difference it is making in people’s lives). It has been and always will be the most effective way for you to get the word out. (And let’s not forget about the ease and multiplied reach of people sharing within their online networks.)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: You are making a difference in people’s lives. You are a part of changing the world with the message of Hope. Let this simple messaging become viral within your tribe and you’ll be amazed at your return on investment. I hate that a burrito restaurant had to serve as my reminder here. Kudos to Chipotle  for making it a priority and expanding the reach of their brand.

BTW, nice napkins Chipotle (see above pic). Clever and deliberate to their brand… just like everything else I experienced while enjoying a mighty fine burrito.

Read the interview on the Chipotle Brand:
http://www.timesunion.com/living/article/Integrity-is-key-to-Chipotle-brand-547662.php

4 Imperatives for Churches to Be Stronger in Today’s Digital World

We’re more wired than ever. What would we do without our desktop? Notebook? Smartphone? Tablet? We spend more time in the digital world because it fits the way we want to spend our time. We cannot imagine life without being connected. Smart technology has focused on developing tools that feel natural to the way we want to talk, share, learn, and experience life.

So what do you need to have in place so that you are connecting with people in their digital world, and their chosen devices?

1. Remodel your web strategy to have a universal approach. There are more platform options today. Because of the different platforms available (notebooks, smartphones, tablets), it’s critical that you have a web strategy and content delivery platform that allows you to be strong and present on anyone of them. There should be no platform exceptions or exclusions. If you have a Flash heavy site, you’re a missing out on large audiences of smartphone and tablet users. Also, don’t think you have to have a mobile version of your site. Because smartphones and tablets are providing rich end user experiences, they will likely be disappointed by a lighter, mobile version of your web site. Focus on one strategic web solution that accounts for the different devices that are popular today

2. Do you really need an App? Apps have been a hot topic, and we’ve seen many organizations scrambling to have their own app. The reality is that an app is a custom created solution that requires time and resources to create. Many experts feel that an app creates unwarranted redundancy. You have to ask yourself, are we providing content in our app that they likely would receive on our website, blog, or media library? The redundancy that an app creates means your spreading yourself thin and likely creating a mediocre app experience. Explore richer website experiences that have greater value and efficiencies versus app creation.

3. Simple. Engaging Content that’s Shareable. It’s a perfect time for people to share your content. If we like it, we’ll share it! “Brochureware” content is not what people are sharing. A blog, a video, a story of life-change, a program or learning resource that is valuable… these are the things that people will share freely from your site or in their Facebook or twitter worlds. Churches have an abundance of sharable content. The problem is they are not making it available. The opportunity to reach more people has never be greater. A church’s reach has the potential to connect with more people on the outside. The content has to be engaging. Less content, but higher quality content is what people respond to today.

4. Blogging: Undervalued and Underleveraged. Leaders, here is a tool that you strongly need to consider adopting, if you haven’t already. As a leader, your blog has the potential to create a following, speak to people in intimate and compelling ways. And, more importantly, lead more people to invest in your mission and vision in a church. Some churches are using blogs very effectively, while many others simply do not know where to begin. Today, it’s a way for the church to be engaged outside of Sunday services. Blogs are a way to speak authentically to more people. The potential to impact people with a simple blog post is profound.

We could have easily added a fifth and sixth point. Remember it’s a digital world… and there’s no signs that it’s slowing down anytime soon. It’s a new frontier for ministry and connection for the church. You have to be there, because people expect you to be there. It’s no longer acceptable or relevant to use the “we’re a church” excuse. If you’re not digitally strong, you really have to question your priorities and approach to communications and connection.

Mobile Revolution: A Look Behind the Numbers

Mobile internet usage is projected to be higher than desktop internet usage in 2015. We all know the smartphone movement is turning communications and connectivity upside down. Here’s a great infographic that takes a closer look at the numbers behind the Mobile Revolution…