Too many ministries seem to operate on a series of “hunches” when it comes to making their media decisions. Within the confines of our media department, we refer to this strategy or lack of strategy, as the “Lost Media Dollar Approach.” For those with great hunches this approach may yield good results, but why gamble with precious media dollars? By using response data you can make informed and cost effective decisions about investing the resources God has given you.
In your current approach, are you able to: Quantitatively determine the ROI of stations/networks? Historically determine which of your programs consistently yield the best response? Decide what markets you need to add or subtract because of the current response within that market? Use quantitative data in station renegotiations? Using response data to monitor your media will allow you to answer these and other questions.
In order to use data to your advantage you must strategically organize the data in a way that is both systematic and logical. First, it is important to use a phone center. They can provide you with a wealth of information while removing the burden from your ministry of having to compile this data. But successfully monitoring your media ministry doesn’t end here. This needs to be a core component of a broad strategy that will guide your overall media outreach.
The best way to organize your data is by developing independent tracking systems for each network, station, and DMA. Develop strategies that allow you to effectively monitor each media outlet and develop quantitative data. This allows you to accurately monitor each of your stations and networks.
Daily monitoring of response from your phone center will give you a quick snapshot of how a particular program faired. Compiling a report of actual revenue received allows you to monitor how a station or network is performing. This is because actual revenue includes pledge fulfillment that would not be reflected in phone center totals and therefore would skew station results. The combination of phone center response and actual revenue received gives you a historical reference of which programs generate consistently positive response and what stations/networks yield the best response.
The “Lost Media Dollar” approach doesn’t give you many answers, just a high level of risk. However, gathering and utilizing data appropriately gives you the tools to make better media decisions, stretch your media dollars, and accomplish more for God’s Kingdom!