Community Discussion: The 5W’s of Church Marketing

Marketing your church is very similar to marketing a secular product or service. For it to be effective, there’s lots of planning involved beforehand.  But what is the difference between the two?

In our Facebook group, I posted a comparison between traditional and church marketing which sparked a great discussion.  Members engaged and shared their own thoughts about the topic, and here are some of them.

The Post:

In traditional marketing, we have the 4 Ps. The 4 Ps drive all our decisions. The 4 Ps are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

In church marketing, we have the now 4 Ws:

  • What
  • Who
  • Where
  • When


“Completely agree. I can’t think of a single promotion where I didn’t strive to satisfy the 4 Ws” Luke Budreau 

“I would add a 5th W – Why.” Sheldon Pryor

“It’s all always about why. It starts with why, it ends with why. And frankly, we gotta stop pretending that “the church” is different from everyone else when it comes to handling business and marketing. The only way we should be different is that we embrace the good and do it better.” Anne Chanski

“I’d say the four Ps apply to church marketing too. There’s a price for attending an event. For paying attention. For taking some action. And the product has to meet a need enough for people to be willing to pay that price. Promotion…obvious. But place too. We tend to focus on it being in our building, but now we’re realizing we need to put the product elsewhere.” Jonathan Malm

“Completely agree. I find that when I don’t answer these questions before starting a campaign, my marketing effectiveness is decreased.” Karen Tchuindjo

“No, the church also has the Ps and Businesses also have the Ws. They aren’t similar, one helps drive the other and exist in both.” Anita Davis Sullivan 

“I agree, I always use the 5W‘s when working on an ad for an event, I learned that in middle school, I think. But that was such a long time ago…” Anita Sorrenti Mahan 

“I think that the Ps come first in any endeavor to communicate about a product, service or initiative, churches included. The Ws inform how that communication/outreach should be undertaken. In other words, the Ps inform your mission and the Ws inform your action whether it’s an ad, a social media plan, a press release, a story about your church, pastor, congregation activities, etc. They each play a role. They are not identical in the way you use them.” Ellen Schilling Acconcia


Hopefully these tips guide you in planning your marketing strategies for your church. There may be different opinions on it, but the most important thing is that you find whatever works for you.  Our main goal after all is that we promote our churches effectively to increase our outreach and ministry to the community.

Who Wrote this?

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore


‘Tis the Season of Gifting

‘Tis the season of gifting and gathering, where visitors, volunteers, and ministry efforts surge, often dividing our attention between our families at home and our

Pssstttttt—Want to know our secrets?

Here’s how to learn more from church leaders across the world: 

  1. Stay up-to-date on the people, technologies, trends, and best practices shaping the future of communication strategies for your church, delivered directly to your inbox. >> Join the List
  2. Join 20,000+ peer communicators worldwide who are part of the Church Communications® community, supporting each other each and every day >> Join the Facebook Group
  3. Explore related topics in more depth on the Church Communications® Podcast >> Subscribe to the Podcast
  4. Connect with us on social >> Instagram, Facebook Page, Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to my readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”