Christmas Online Ad causes nearly 750 Decisions

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At Northwoods, we have experimented with digital marketing a number of times, but we haven’t seen great success until now. We knew that we needed a partner to guide us—a partner that knows the best practices and who really understood that our ministry goals are very different than making money or getting customers.

Our annual Christmas production is a massive, multi-day musical extravaganza which has always been a popular event in the area. Filling thousands and thousands of seats has never been a problem. But we carried an unanswered question: were the seats filled with the right people? Of course, everyone was welcome to attend, but our whole purpose to do the show to attract people who might otherwise not attend church at all. By our best estimation, people not already connected to a faith community were not very likely to pay attention to advertisements for a church Christmas show. We knew we would need an exciting, interesting, compelling message, and we would need to get it in front of the eyes of some market segments we hadn’t been able to reach before.

Missional Marketing’s Advanced Digital Services helped us clarify our target audiences, build a plan to reach them, adapt a variety of great visuals, and—in the end—achieve our goals.

How do we know? We agreed that our attendance numbers wouldn’t the measure of success, as we were already running at capacity. Rather, we were looking to the response to Gospel message presented during the shows as our measure to determine who was in the seats. We figured that a greater response was likely to mean that there were,in fact, more people in the room who were not already Christians—people who we prayed would be moved to take the step of following Jesus for the first time. Is our conclusion scientific or is it statistically valid? We don’t know. But we do know this: we saw a three-fold increase in people who indicated as they left the performances that they had asked Jesus to lead their lives. In all, nearly 750 made that choice, and that makes it all worthwhile for us!

Missional Marketing made our digital surge super easy, and they did it for a fraction of the cost of other digital advertising providers. We received numerous comments from people in the community about seeing the ad on Facebook, on a variety of different website, and even inside their favorite smartphone games. It was fun, successful, simple, and far less expensive that we imagined!

By Kirt Manuel, Director of Communications, Northwoods Community Church Peoria, Illinois.

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