Carry-Out Christianity?

November 22, 2004 by

There’s a nice article on the PRWeb Newswire about a trend in casual sit-down restaurants (Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, TGIFriday’s, etc.) to offer carry-out service that’s a more complete customer experience, as opposed to a barely-available afterthought. Like most good ideas, it makes perfect sense… just as soon as somebody else came up with it.

If enough people are ordering take-out, the article advises, make sure you’ve got people on the phones who know the menu. Make the check-out process smooth and fast, etc. etc. If take-out is easy and friendly, they’ll be back. If not… they’ll go elsewhere. Good restaurateurs will read this article and begin to think of ways to improve their own carry-out service.

This is a good example of “process-focused marketing.” I love process-focused marketing. Why? Because process implies that we can improve something that is already happening. People are coming in for carry-out meals. Great. How do we make that process better/faster/easier?

The other kind of marketing is project-focused. Let’s start at the same point; people are coming in for carry out meals. A project-focused marketing mind will immediately jump to the conclusion that we should advertise our carry-out menu, put flyers in the sit-down menu, build a new sign with “CARRY OUT AVAILABLE!” in screaming red neon…

Projects are fine. But they cost money, and some of them simply won’t work. Every time you improve your process, however, you guarantee results. And then, when you move on to appropriate projects, you are acting on a more efficient system.

The main message to church marketers is that we should be looking at ways to improve the communications, programs and services we offer to current members of our churches before we start ramping up new programs to bring in new people. Would you rather have 50 members who are totally involved, committed to God and 100% dedicated to your church… or 500 members who are all blah-blah-blah-ing along at 10%?

Process marketing gets you quality. After that, projects that bring quantity will be much, much easier.

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Andy Havens

Andy Havens brings 15 years of experience to the table and is the founder and president of the marketing firm Sanestorm, as well as a number of different blogs. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Christina, and his son, Daniel.
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