In my last article, we discussed how many families today feel as if they have little time available despite declining working and home upkeep hours. The reason? …we all have a second job. The average adult in America spends four hours a day watching TV and nearly the same amount of time interacting with their cell phone (that’s a full workday right there). On top of this, many jobs require using a computer leading to an additional 5 hours a day using computers. This, combined with the pandemic lockdowns last year, lead many Americans to spend upwards of 17 hours a day in front of a screen. While it’s not surprising then that many young families feel like they do not have the time to attend church, we still need to find ways to engage them where they are.
The MissionInsite platform provides some great ways to connect and engage with these families. To best cut through the distractions and reach these young families, we need first to understand the “Mosaic” system. Mosaics have been developed somewhat behind closed doors by credit agencies. Essentially what they have done is taken the hundreds of data points they know about you and every other household in the United States and grouped us all into 1 of 71 different Mosaic types or “population segments.” We are all still individuals, but we are individuals with similarities. In the corporate world, this is primarily used for marketing purposes. What MissionInsite has done is overlaid religious data, church data, and much more on each of these Mosaic types to help create a profile of who these people are, how to reach them, and what they are looking for in a church.
Now that we understand Mosaics, we need to determine which Mosaics (specifically those young families) are in our community. It is important to understand this because there are over 10 different Mosaic types with young families and the strategy for reaching each type is very different. To uncover this, we are going to use MissionInsite. The first thing to do is determine your “Ministry Area,” – which typically is a 10-20 minute drive time from your church campus. Using MissionInsite, you can also plot your congregation members and test what drive times cover at least 80-90% of your congregation. Once you have settled on the study area for your community, the next thing you will want to do is create a “Theme Map” under the demographics tab. Next, you will scroll down and select “Primary Mosaic Type.” This will transform your map and show you your community through the lens of Mosaics, which Mosaics are there, and where you can find them in the community.
You will then run a FullInsite Report to get the raw numbers and determine the percentage of each of the different Mosaics represented in your community. You can find the breakdowns of the top Mosaics and additional resources and information on each type on page 24 of the FullInsite Report. If you already have your congregation’s households uploaded into the MissionInsite system, you can plot them and run the Comparative Report instead. This will compare the Mosaics you currently have in your church to those represented in the community. This helps you understand who you are as a church and who you are (and are not) reaching in the community.
Now that we know which Mosaics are in our community and potentially which we are reaching in our church, we can narrow our search by choosing the top 1 or 2 young family Mosaics in our area that we want to target. This will help us determine our strategy. Organizations like Experian and Kingdom Analytics have compiled communication preferences and receptivity scores for each of these Mosaic types so that you can uncover what forms of communication are going to work best. Is it traditional media like direct mail or digital like email or social media? If so, what platforms are they on? Once you have determined your strategy and found the best communication medium to use specifically for these Mosaic types, you can develop your messaging.
The MissionInsite Mission Impact Guide, linked to page 24 of your FullInsite report, has some great information on each of these Mosaic types that will help you understand what these people are looking for in a church. You can then use that information to create messaging that will resonate specifically with your targeting type. If you find the type you are targeting is direct-mail receptive, you can go a step further to ensure success by purchasing an address list of just those mosaics in your community through MissionInsite. To ensure you reach just the young families in that Mosaic type, you can add on a filter for married couples with children between the ages of (your choice). This will ensure you are best stewarding your marketing resources. If you find that the Mosaic you are targeting is more digitally receptive, you can still use the same strategy for messaging, except now you will be doing it on the platforms you know they are using online. Finally, You can run an “opportunity scan” on MissionInsite to uncover where in the community these households are located and even create a Geo-fence for your ads in just those areas so that you ensure impressions are not wasted on households you are not trying to reach for that particular campaign.
Our goal is to help you use the best information available to make wise decisions for your church. We hope this article will help you on your next campaign and understand that there is a lot of information to digest and steps to take. If you feel like you may need a little extra help, I am glad to provide consulting services through ACST for your next campaign to grow your church and better understand and reach your community.
For more resources on Vacation Bible School, please visit Church Growth.
Andrew is the founder of Kingdom Analytics, a company that has served over 300+ organizations doing good in the world by helping better connect them to their community, congregation, or customers using advanced demography research. He also has experience in the church world working for the largest high school ministry in the country at North Point Community Church. Andrew graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Design Management and Tourism Development and is CITI certified in Social and Behavioral Research.