Lean Thinking, Lean Marketing

Date Published: 
May, 2006
Original Author: 
Linus Shackelford, CCE, Lakeland Place Garden Park Cemetery, Brandon, Mississippi
Marianna Hayes, HALO Business Advisors, Lexington, Mississippi
Original Publication: 
ICFM Magazine, May 2006

Linus Shackelford
Educate, educate, educate. I think churches are overlooked in the real value of what they can offer us. Let's look at the mega churches, with 5,000+ members. Twenty years ago, there were about two dozen mega churches. Today there are 830; more than 3 million people attend mega churches.

Some of these mega churches no longer have on-campus Sunday school classes; their rapid growth does not allow it. Instead, people get together in small groups in private homes to study the Bible.

These small-group Bible study classes last for several weeks usually before they start a new section. Sometime before they start the new one, don't you think they would appreciate someone to come in and socialize with them and bring some delicatessen food, some brownies, and talk about something that relates to death but also relates to the church?

There are a lot of people interested in knowing more about end-of-life issues, but no one is doing anything about it except having seminars for seniors groups.

This is a wide-open market involving very little money and advertising. If you like working with church people and have the determination and the persistence to do this, all it takes is effort and passion. These mega church study groups are all over the place; they're waiting for us. Never go to them to try to sell, only to educate people.

Marianna Hayes
Baby boomers on average see old age beginning at approximately 75 years old. Guess what, folks? Seventy-five is the average lifespan of Americans. They plan to die before they get old, frankly.

That's important to consider in marketing to them—they're not thinking about their old age, so you've got to come at them from a different direction.

What a lot of marketing articles are suggesting is that we look at the boomers by attitude. Don't qualify them into "everybody over 60 is acting this way," because it's not true.

So if you're looking at customer relationship management software and systems, you need to look at how you can integrate attitudes. Are they outdoor enthusiasts, health food nuts, loving grandparents? Attitudes are really going to affect how you market to them.


This article compiled from an address presented by the authors at the 2006 ICFA Annual Convention