Podcast Episode 26, 1 hr 7 min
Destigmatizing the "M" Word (Marketing), with Austin Savage (Ep. 26)

Austin Savage: So like you said, I worked at 95 Network for three and a half years, I think it was, as the managing director there. So for my first six months there, I literally ran the non-profit. I was straight out of college. Crazy story there, super fun. But when Bill Sellers, who is the executive director there, came on, we kind of were able to complement each other in our roles and I started managing our operations and our marketing. So in that role, we got to support hundreds of small churches all across the country, like hands-on, kind of doing our consulting process, and thousands of churches across the country, through our resources, like our blog or podcast and things like that.

But at the end of last year, I kind of started to feel just a shift in where I felt like my sweet spot was and where I felt like God was leading me in my life, and kind of had an old dream awakened that I sort of forgot about, and that was to own a creative agency. And so in December of 2020, I launched a creative agency.

We're a content marketing agency. And what that means is that we manage people's podcasts, we manage their blogs, like ghost write for them, or help them plan out their blogs. We'll do email marketing for them, we'll do social media marketing for them. We do websites and logos and all that type of work.

And it has so fun. I love it. It's super fulfilling. It's definitely a sweet spot for me, and that's kind of the focus of what I do now.

Karl Vaters: You use primarily the term creative as to what you do, which I've noticed recently. This has been maybe - just in the last decade, certainly no more than the last two decades - that a creative pastor or somebody in charge of creativity, that the term itself has been used within church circles at all. Obviously primarily in larger churches who can afford to bring on a creative pastor, obviously. Right?

Austin Savage: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Karl Vaters: But what is the shift that's happening there where we're at least beginning to use terms like creative. What's happening there? Why is that occurring in the church, do you think?

Austin Savage: Yeah. So for me, that term is related to digital content because that is what I do.

So like I said, things like podcasts, blogs, emails, social, that kind of stuff, websites. Like we were originally going to talk about until you screwed up. But that term could extend, you know, to sermon series, to stage design, to worship. That can apply to everything we do in ministry. But specifically on the marketing side and on the digital content side, I think that there has been a big shift that has happened, especially since…It had already started before COVID, but COVID just - the big word is accelerated everything. But it really did accelerate the trend we were seeing in marketing, and it pushed us past the effectiveness of traditional marketing. Like, people do not respond as much anymore to promotion and just saying, Hey, we have this going on, come join us. Or, Hey, we want you to do this. Or like, Hey, this is what makes us great. Like that kind of stuff. And they respond a lot more to balue and to things that are helpful to them in their daily life. And so when I think of creativity in the way that we support our clients, that is how I am thinking of it, of how can we creatively support people as they are navigating their day to day life.

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May 16, 2022

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