HoW to: Improve Consistently

September 9, 2019

The house of worship (HoW) market has a unique consistency: Sunday comes every seven days for church services. This regularity is both a boon and a challenge for the women and men providing ProAV production to congregants conditioned to the high production values of stage and screen outside of their churches. It is because of […]

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Churches Need Long-Term Media Storage Solutions

May 29, 2019

As local churches have embraced the capturing, producing, editing and publishing of video content for sermons, event promotions, service streaming, digital signage and social media, many are just now counting the costs and cons of storing massive amounts of video and media data for long-term archival, which leaves the future accessibility of this data in […]

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How Much Marketing Budget for AV Firms

January 30, 2019

How much budget should AV industry companies allocate towards marketing to the house of worship vertical? The answer is likely a surprise for any company that’s not spending on this >$1B annual spend segment of the overall AV industry. In 2018, the American Marketing Association, in partnership with Deloitte and Duke University, published the bi-annual […]

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Top House of Worship Ads of 2018

December 28, 2018

Five years of highlighting the best, touching on the worst and recommending some serious advertising changes for the audiovisual industry around the House of Worship (HoW) market has a few companies embracing the church market, but most manufacturers and systems integrators still have a lot to learn about reaching church buyers. The top House of […]

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The Three Essential Soft Skills for Selling AV to Churches

November 29, 2018

Pastors don’t need high-pressure sales, slick marketing or churchy language. In fact, these three are red flag warnings to a vertical market used to being sold what they do not need. Instead, the three essential soft skills for selling AV to churches are a helpful challenger, intentional communication and value-as-a-service. All three of these lean […]

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Reverse-Engineering the Customer’s Journey

November 29, 2018

Question: How do you lead prospects from unique markets and industries down a buyer’s path to a purchase? Answer: You reverse-engineer the customer’s journey. It’s actually a straightforward process of delivering value along the customer’s path when you position your brand, products and services according to their vertical market. In a previous article, I shared […]

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Church AV Tech Needs Innovation More Than Invention

September 24, 2018

Church AV needs are wide and varied, but one of thing they all have in common when it comes to technology: Church AV tech needs a greater focus on innovation than new inventions. Innovation Over Invention Perhaps my favorite example of a firm that gets innovation and obsesses over it is IDEO, a firm that […]

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Create Agreement When Selling to Churches

June 22, 2018

When an audiovisual (AV) solution aligns perfectly with the needs of a potential client, the opportunity just about sells itself. In the house of worship market, local churches across the gamut of denominations have similar challenges and opportunities when it comes to AV technology. This should make selling a simple process for manufacturers and systems […]

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Alexa, Manage My Church AV System

May 15, 2018

“Alexa, turn on the church audiovisual system.” Clever voice-activated connectivity? Maybe. But practical? Not really. “Alexa, show me the upcoming maintenance on all of my audiovisual components, listing them in descending order by date.” Clever? Maybe. But practical? Absolutely. In the house of worship market, convenience isn’t a key driver for upgrades or new purchases. […]

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Church Technology Conferences

April 16, 2018

After a week-long intensive at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB), it may feel too soon to start thinking about another conference. Then again, a major reason your firm goes to these conferences is to connect with potential buyers, reconnect with existing clients and see for yourself what others in the audio, video and […]

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Where’s the Total Cost of Ownership?

February 23, 2018

Where’s the Total Cost of Ownership? If you want buyers to make your brand their choice, manufacturers and systems integrators have got to help decision-makers understand not only the up-front costs but the long-term investment of any technology solution. Want to know the perfect place to start? The House of Worship (H.O.W.) market. Here’s what’s […]

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Money, Price and Budget in the Church Market

September 18, 2017

Money. Price. Budget. These nouns tend to put the emphasis on the bottom line instead of where the emphasis has the most effect: the desired outcome. A dollar amount will always be a sum of the outcomes and needs of a church, so why do salespeople in the House of Worship vertical tend towards the […]

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Designing Audio, Video and Lighting Systems for the Church User’s Experience

August 8, 2017

The reaction from the senior pastor — interrupted mid-sentence by the unmistakable, squealing shriek of audio feedback — was immediate. As he stood who staring up from the stage below to where I stood behind the audio console above, his backlash was swift and sharp. An audible sigh, amplified for all 2,000 seats to hear, […]

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Selling to Churches? Learn from Amazon Prime

July 20, 2017

Churches have needs for audio, video and lighting (AVL) technology far more often than most manufacturers or systems integrators know. From changing sermon series with new scenic stage designs every few weeks to the addition or renovation of multi-site venues to production tech upgrades, churches utilize AVL tech week in and week out. It is […]

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Solve Three Problems to Increase Sales in Churches

July 17, 2017

“Can you come and fix our church AV?” This singular question is rife with implications for the audio, video and lighting (AVL) industry and one that needs to be addressed by manufacturers, systems integrators and rep firms serving the $1 billion (annual) church AVL market so that the pain experienced by all involved is properly […]

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The Rise of Business Intelligence for AVL in Churches

May 30, 2017

Churches deal in large inventories of complex Audio, Video and Lighting (AVL) technology across multiple venues and increasingly across multiple campuses. The advent of the church technical director in the 1970s has become a standard role in even medium-sized churches where the ubiquitous presence of AVL is the norm, not the exception. What these churches […]

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What Are You Giving Away to Churches?

April 18, 2017

Mobile-first is a term used to describe the 2017 statistic where people begin their internet searches, browsing and application usage on their mobile device more than on a desktop or laptop computer. They’re searching for social proof (what others say about a brand, service or product), helpful knowledge-building and early research to educate their decision-making […]

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What Is Your Brand Known For?

April 17, 2017

Amazing new product? Check. Great fit for a church installation? Check. The dissonance between who you say you are and who your church prospects say you are? Ummmm. To complete this checklist, it begs the question: What is your brand known for? Your brand is not what you say it is; it is what your prospects […]

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Useful AVL Data for Meaningful Purchase Decisions

March 14, 2017

It is easier to make good purchasing decisions when armed with timely, relevant information. As such, manufacturers, rep firms and systems integrators alike put a lot of effort into promoting the features and benefits of their products and systems before the sale. What’s missing, though, is arming those same users with useful information so they can […]

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Churches, IoT and Fully Integrated AVL

January 30, 2017

In sales, your best client is likely the one who buys repeatedly and recommends you consistently. For a long time, I had two of my best clients fit this description while I was in sales; one was a large airline, the other was a large church. What these two organizations had in common was a […]

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Four Future Trends for the House of Worship Market

November 28, 2016

By aggregating trends from the past, we have a significant indicator of future trends and shifts in the House of Worship market. The word cloud graphic for this article lists the top 25 recurring words from all of the previous columns written here about the church market on rAVE, and they are an excellent look […]

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The HD and 4K Video Storage Issue Facing Churches

October 28, 2016

It is incredible to consider that less than 100 years ago, the original video signals had about 210 lines of resolution, evolving to 512 lines in 1952 with the advent of color television, to the eventual jump to 1920×1080 (pixels instead of lines) for High Definition (HD) video. It’s now possible to get 4K resolution […]

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Breaking Down Sightlines in Worship Centers

September 6, 2016

In a recent article in Church Designer Magazine, author and design leader Chuck Hultstrand, provides an excellent overview of the key elements required to create visual experiences through the use of integrated sightlines.  As a review… Just what are sightlines again? Sightlines are hypothetical lines from someone’s eye to what is seen (used especially with […]

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The Church Market for AVL in Two Words — Big Opportunity

August 29, 2016

Compared to huge government contracts or big commercial deals, the church market may not seem nearly as compelling for manufacturers and systems integrators selling audio, video, and lighting technology. And while there won’t be $50MM dollar AVL deals in the House of Worship space, there also won’t be the massive complexity and low margins of […]

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Where’s the Video in the Audio, Video, and Lighting Industry?

June 28, 2016

I suppose if the Cobbler’s kids had no shoes, then I shouldn’t be surprised that the Audio, Video, and Lighting (AVL) industry doesn’t use video well to reach potential customers. And yet, here in the 21st century, I am surprised and disappointed in the spotty to non-existent use of video as a content marketing medium […]

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Selling Insights and Technology to Churches

June 24, 2016

In even the smallest of churches, the decision to purchase complex solutions is handled by a small group. In some denominations, this is a leadership staff, in others, a volunteer committee. Aware of this truth, vendors often try to bring consensus to these groups through price, benefits or a crisp value proposition. But time and […]

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Marketing Content to the House of Worship Market

May 27, 2016

If the products you sell are well suited for the church market, how are you using content marketing to close the distance between product awareness and a product purchase? Targeted content goes beyond the typical product features and benefits and instead identifies with the church buyer. Content is the currency companies use to communicate stories […]

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Throwing Good Money at Bad Advertising

December 22, 2015

The writer inside of me knows that people want helpful insight and good advice. It also knows that ticking off potential advertisers for rAVe isn’t a good idea. Sometimes, the two are at odds. I also believe that telling the truth, kindly, is possible. And it is with this good intention that I focus this […]

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Sowing & Reaping

September 22, 2015

“We don’t have enough sales in the church market,” laments an audio/video/lighting (AVL) integration firm owner. “We need to find a way to do more of these church installs…” he says, letting his sentence trail off as an open invitation for me to answer with some huge epiphany or closely-guarded secret about having success in […]

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Thou Shalt Know Thy Audience

July 27, 2015

A casual perusal of the house of worship facilities and technology magazines is enlightening: the majority of advertisers push marketing pablum to reach every church, yet fail to identify with almost all of the audience. Their failure is not the inclusion of church lingo or boring stock photography, but in missing the first maxim of […]

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Justify the Expense: Churches Need Metrics

May 21, 2015

The old sales trick of providing a list of desired features and benefits to overcome purchase barriers may still work with some church leaders, but the Internet has taught consumers a thing or two about what is offered and what they really want. To justify the expense, churches need metrics from real data. Rethinking Repairs Technology […]

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What CES 2015 Means for the H.O.W. Market

January 16, 2015

Fellow geeks have united and converged upon Las Vegas, Nevada once again for the annual tech-fest that is the Consumer Electronics Show, and the future’s digital handwriting is on the proverbial wall: audio/video/lighting (A/V/L) technology is once again the dominant technology. With prognostications aside, the trends of these present-future technologies have a direct impact on […]

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