The word marketing is a broad term that means a lot of different things to different people. It is defined in lots of different ways too. In the economic world, a traditional definition of marketing goes something like this. “Marketing is the means by which an organization engages its target audience to convey the value of their product with the goal of selling it to them.” Traditional marketing is very focused on the business or the product that is being sold and attempts to reach as many people as possible, with the hope that it will get a few people to buy.
More recently, there has been a shift in the marketing world from just talking about your product and business to actually building long-lasting relationships with people. The emergence of inbound marketing is proof of that. Marketers have realized that building relationship is actually more powerful than just talking about how great their product or service is and shouting their message to as many people as possible. This is the difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing.
Churches and ministries often think of marketing based upon traditional methods and have examples of how businesses have used it to be manipulative, selfish, and greedy. While those methods do exist, they do not define what marketing is and how it can be benefit the church. A better and more current definition of marketing might be that it is the methods used to create long-lasting relationship and communicate your message to your audience.