• A new positioning strategy for financial marketing gets attention for Church Extension Plan.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means new product branding.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means new marketing materials.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means a new small handout brochure.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means new marketing materials.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan was carried throughout print and web marketing assets.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan was carried throughout print and web marketing materials.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means new marketing materials.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan was carried through Spanish products as well.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means a refresh to the website.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means a refresh to the website.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan means new marketing materials.
  • A new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan was carried throughout online and offline marketing materials.

CASE STUDY

CLIENTChurch Extension Plan

MARKETFinancial ministry

PROGRAMBrand refresh

Build recognition for financial services.

Church Extension Plan, a financial ministry serving the Assemblies of God fellowship, needed a refreshed, bold presence for a fellowship conference. The goal was a long-term positioning strategy to show the scope of services , capture more investors, and provide loans to more churches.

Audience

Assemblies of God fellowship, Christian investors.

Challenge

Although 65 years of financial ministry has helped more than 2,800 churches grow, Church Extension Plan is often confused with their primary competitor. A major fellowship conference, was a launch point for a new positioning strategy and integrated financial marketing program.

The booth needed to be refreshed. A giveaway bag had been chosen to draw attention and booth traffic. Current literature was out of date and needed to be replaced. The goal was to create quick recognition of CEP’s services, since many constituents didn’t realize CEP offered investments in addition to church loans.

Church Extension Plan’s range of financial services can be challenging to introduce and explain. Pastors want to know about church loans and refinancing. Individuals might know about the investments or retirement accounts but not the loans or Will and Estate Planning services.

We started by leveraging the points of choice where audiences already connect with Church Extension Plan, and then developed campaigns and communication tools to reflect the mission and purpose of the ministry, while resonating with the target audiences.

Optimized

New communication tools built out the financial marketing program and brought fresh attention to CEP’s financial services, while delivering quick-to-recognize details about investments, retirement accounts, church loans and refinancing.

Direct mail to pastors and to investors before and after the conference, supported by email and landing pages, drove recipients to the booth and online for financial tools. Ads placed in General Council publications tied into the booth panels, and a simple roll-fold brochure was a low-cost, interactive handout.

Sharing the stories of ministry support

We also knew the best way to tell CEP’s story is in the wordA new positioning strategy for Church Extension Plan was integrated into their Partners Magazine.s of those they have helped. Partners magazine was developed to profile happy investors and share real life stories of ministries helped by CEP. It has continued as a foundation to their positioning strategy.

The magazine format was chosen as a less formal piece than a brochure. As a magazine, it will easily connect with everyone from the “pew-sitter” to investors, pastors and district leadership.

By bringing all of the services to life with testimonials and photos, one engaging publication lets every audience know what CEP has to offer. Incorporating helpful investment tips and guidelines for planning a will, as well as online budgeting tools, the magazine becomes a sharable resource for anyone who sees or reads it.

Components

For the conference:

  • Direct mail invitation for pastors, supported by emails and landing pages
  • Small handout brochure showcasing CEP’s range of services
  • An updated panel for the existing booth
  • New panels for the booth structure
  • Tote bag as a conference giveaway
  • Handout for the budget planning worksheet tool for pastors
  • Advertising in the conference publication
  • Most materials were produced in Spanish, too

Ongoing marketing communications:

  • Direct mail campaign to promote loans and refinancing
  • Direct mail campaign targeted to potential investors
  • Email campaign to reach investors
  • Website redesign and content
  • Brochure to support Wills and Estate Planning seminars
  • Web content updates and SEO tactics
  • Partners magazine
  • Companeros magazine

Results

At the conference, CEP received compliments and many new inquiries, primarily for investments. The financial tools on the website also continue to generate traffic and overall web traffic continues to increase.

Within the first few weeks of distribution of Partners, new investment accounts were opened and compliments such as “this is the best piece CEP has ever done,” were received. In fact, the pastor featured on the cover commented, “I didn’t know you offered investments until I read the magazine!”

Awards

  • General Council Promotional Bag: Ninth Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards, 2011, Imprinted Materials: Gold
  • SIAAWARDS.pngInvestment Mailer: Ninth Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards, 2011, Direct Mail: Silver
  • Overview Brochure: Ninth Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards, 2011, Brochure: Merit
  • Partners magazine celebrating the 65th anniversary of Church Extension Plan captured a Gold in the 2015 SIAAwards

I’ve been extremely impressed with how quickly [Creative Company has been] able to acclimate to our culture, vision and priority points. You are doing this with focus and energy, and great teamwork.

—Mark Whitney, Vice President of Marketing, Church Extension Plan

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Work

They [Creative Company] have challenged themselves to climb within our mission statement and think from our point of view and the point of view of our clients. It has been exciting to see the creativity and freshness they have helped us maintain in our graphical presentations, our advertising, and our whole marketing thrust.
Rev. Patrick L. Clements, President, Church Extension Plan