In my conversations with parishes, ministries and organizations, I find so many of them facing the same challenge. They have lists and lists of things they need to share, the various things they do and offer. Yet, they often feel that their message is not being heard. Unfortunately, that is often very true.
While there are a variety of reasons why that happens, there is one reason, in particular, that often causes our messages to fall on deaf ears. All to often our messages become laundry lists of the the things we offer. The challenge with that approach is that those you are trying to reach have to wade through a variety of things before they find anything of relevance to themselves. In marketing lingo, we call that list of items the “features”, the things you do.
The disconnect for many parishes and ministries is that parishioners, users, and customers respond to benefits, not features. Why is that? Benefits are what your parishioners and users actually receive, and therefore are more meaningful to them. In other words, why does what you do matter to to those you are trying to reach? What will they get as a result of using your feature (your service or product)? In technical terms we call that a “functional” benefit.
People traditionally look for products and services to address a need they have. So, when we articulate our efforts in terms of the benefit they provide, a person is much more apt to pay attention. If you can place yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about the benefits that you are providing them, that becomes a far more compelling message and an effective way for them to pay more attention to the good work you are doing.