Jason Hamrock: I’m Jason Hamrock, your host at the Church Growth podcast, and today I’m speaking with Mitch Myers. Mitch is the Vice President of Customer Success At RightNow Media. Many, many, many of you know who RightNow Media is, and if you don’t, you’re in for a treat. RightNow Media is a non-profit organization and they have a platform where they provide video content to churches. They’ve got over twenty seven thousand videos on their platform, that’s amazing, they’ve got literally something for everybody. And so Mitch and I have a conversation about what RightNow Media is, and where they’re going. You are in for a treat.
Jason Hamrock: Hey, Mitch, so glad to have you on the podcast. Thanks for being here. How are you doing today?
Mitch Myers: Oh, I’m doing great. And thank you for having me on, Jason, it’s great to connect and look forward to speaking with you today.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Yeah. We love what you guys are doing. So, for those who are not quite familiar with all of what RightNow Media does, can you explain what is it? Who uses it? What’s the purpose?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, absolutely. So our ministry really has a strong history, you know, over 40 years of bringing biblical content to churches and other organizations. And the ministry started, of course, a long time before I joined as kind of a biblical media company back in 1977. It was it was named Bluefish TV, and they were doing some really interesting things. For example, filming Christian Mission work overseas and bringing that video content back to share with churches. Well, then they started developing content that churches could also use for Bible studies and training. And of course, in those days the content was on VHS tapes, and DVDs, and so on. But but they did really, really well with it in terms of resourcing churches for many years.
Mitch Myers: And then in 2011, so, you know, that would be about obviously ten years ago, that’s when RightNow Media was launched. And we now provide all of our video content digitally through our app, of course, using a really similar content delivery model that other streaming services like Netflix uses. Although, of course, our content is very different, that analogy applies and that you have an app and you’re streaming content. And we’ve been doing that the past 10 years.
Jason Hamrock: Gotcha. So what are some examples of that kind of content that’s found on RightNow Media?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, a couple of areas I would point to, first of all, we have somewhere around twenty seven thousand videos in our library. So there’s, it’s a bit of a cliche, but there’s really something for everyone out there. But I would say some of our more popular video content, we have books of the Bible studies, those are extremely popular. Some people go through those, most people go through those in small groups. but also, you know, you can do that individually. We also provide a lot of specific studies for men’s and women’s groups. Studies in areas, very specific areas, like marriage, parenting are very popular. And, you know, a lot of people don’t know this, that maybe just use our small group content, but we have a lot of great animated biblical content for kids, you know, that’s really popular. They’re not studies, they’re biblical cartoons like Superbook, Bible Man, Veggie Tales, and all those. And then the last area I would say is then there’s lots of other things, like in areas like apologetics, youth study road maps. You know, perhaps people are struggling in an area where they want to get some help, an area like addiction or things like that, and we have content that can help them as well. So a lot of different types of content, but those are some of the more often used or popular ones.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah, what a great asset. So the way is that churches subscribe to RightNow Media, then it’s offered to their congregation to consume that content, right?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, that’s exactly right, and they work with us to set up the subscription, they being the church. We also work some with businesses and schools, but mostly with churches. And then what the church will do, and we’ll help with that, is really promote the platform and promote the availability of the subscription. And for all of their congregation, it really comes across as a free resource that they can register and begin using for all kinds of things. As I said, in study groups, in the home, you know, some churches also use it for training and so on. So, yeah, but that’s how the kind of the subscription model works.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah, I’m thinking of parents out there that, I have two teenage boys that are in high school now, but as they’re having to do school from home, you know, you can tune in and there’s some amazing content for them to consume. What a great tool for the church to offer those families.
Mitch Myers: Yeah, it really is. And you kind of hit that point that obviously we’re in a season now with the pandemic, and now that we’re in 2021 we’re hoping that season is going to, at some point here, be behind us. But, you know, we’re just seeing even more activity with, you know, home studies. And, you know, it could be teenage studies. And, you know, we’re also seeing a lot of families doing more studies together with RightNow Media, and there’s some great studies out there for families to do. I know personally with my son home from college, and he’s been home a bit longer than normal, we had some good opportunities to do some studies together.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah. I mean, in a day and age where we are right now with this pandemic and church at home is such a popular thing. What a phenomenal platform and tool to be able to expand, a church can expand their library, or their resources, by twenty seven thousand. That’s not bad.
Mitch Myers: Yeah, there’s a lot out there.
Jason Hamrock: So, your specific role is you’re the VP of Customer Success. So how do you describe a successful customer?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, that’s a great question, I would say, you know, we have really two main goals with our our customer success organization. I’m oversimplifying a little bit, these are our two primary focus areas. One, is we just want to create a great experience for our customers as they’re interacting with with RightNow Media. Whether that be with our people, so we have consultants that help our churches really ramp up and promote the platform, we want that all to be a great experience for them. And the second focus areas is, we want to ensure that our customers, obviously being the churches and the congregation, are really getting the most value from the platform.
Mitch Myers: You know, if I were to just elaborate on that second point kind of related to value, you know, I would say a successful customer has a few kind of common attributes. One would be, you know, a high percentage of their congregation has an active user account. Meaning they’ve really reached a lot of their congregation and they’re they’re engaged with the platform. Another key thing that we look for in success is, is that the congregation is really using RightNow Media across a lot of diverse areas like, you know, small groups, and personal utilization. And also a lot of churches use the platform, as I said, for training. So we try to, we try to look at their usage patterns and make sure that they’re taking advantage of all those diverse content types and really getting the most benefit.
Mitch Myers: And then finally, we also encourage our churches to really take advantage of other programs like our simulcast events. I really haven’t, I don’t think, mentioned that. But we have, this year, we have, I think, five or six simulcast events on things like faith and work, marriage, and other topics. And, you know, that’s just a great thing the church, if there are RightNow Media subscriber, they can host that simulcast event for free and they stream that, and then their congregation can take advantage of it. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on those events, and we’ve expanded those this year.
Jason Hamrock: Wow. So it kind of sounds like, I use this term around here, is we always want to create a raving fan. We want somebody to just be really excited about working with Missional Marketing. And you could say the same thing, not only are you wanting to have those churches, or those organizations, or businesses, see you as a raving fan, but then you’re helping them be raving fans to their audience and their congregation. So that’s a really cool, I love how you guys are postured that way.
Mitch Myers: Yeah, that’s a great analogy. Yeah.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah. So, what are some of the best practices that you’re seeing churches use when they’re using RightNow Media? It seems to me the churches that I talked to, that love you guys and are using your guys, a lot of it is small group type of curriculum, or just good general resources. But are there some best practices that churches, how they’re using the platform?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, yeah, there are, and the churches we partner with, so many of them do a great job of this. But I would say a couple of the really common ones that are the most effective is, we find that once users really get on to RightNow Media and start using it for whatever they’re doing, I mean, maybe it’s like I said, showing their kids at home, or study groups, or personal devotional time, or whatever, they’re really hooked. I mean, I know when I first started using the platform many years ago, I mean, I was just enamored with all of the great content.
Mitch Myers: So, one of the first best practices is just, we encourage the churches to promote RightNow Media to their congregation. I mean, seasons like Easter and Christmas are great times to do that. Just remind them that they have a subscription at the church, and it’s free to register, and you can take advantage of it. So that’s one, is promote several times a year. We say two to four times a year is a good cadence.
Mitch Myers: Another best practice is, you know, just have a good way, a simple way, to onboard your new, you know, your new church members. You know, for example, a lot of churches that we work with, they just do a great job of including some simple instructions on how to activate their RightNow Media account as part of their, you know, their church new member welcome kit. And that allows you to keep the church kind of updated where, you know, instead of a year later, you’ve only got maybe a smaller portion, you’re bringing the new members onto the platform, and they’re experiencing it.
Mitch Myers: And then, you know, another one, you know, a final kind of best practice. And there’s a lot that we have, but we find this to be really effective, is when the pastor or another church leader can recommend some specific content. I mentioned earlier, we just have lots of content that’s great, but sometimes people maybe they don’t know where to start. So if the pastor can recommend a certain study or a series. Like for example, let’s say the pastor might be going through a sermon series on say, dealing with anxiety, or, you know, maybe racial unity, where obviously those are very relevant topics this past year, and continue to be. Well, in that case, you know, some of the pastors that we work with, they would recommend one of our series on that same topic. So they could preach on that topic, but also encourage them to check out, the congregation to check out, additional resources that we provide. And that’s just a great way, maybe there’s some people that haven’t gotten onto the platform, that they can get people onto the platform with a specific content recommendation. So those are a few, we have lots of other best practices, but those are some common ones.
Jason Hamrock: Well, then you mentioned just the added value of the simulcast that you’re going to be doing, and just, more and more and more, it seems like you guys…When I look to the the future, and where you guys are, tell me a little bit about what is on the horizon for RightNow Media. Like what are some cool things that are coming down that churches can get excited about?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, I’ll tell you about a couple of things. One is, this isn’t technically on the horizon, but it was just recently delivered. We delivered a really cool new feature called Groups, and it’s in the app. And what it allows you to do, is we all know that so many people right now are are quarantined or shuttered in, so their small groups aren’t meeting. Well, this Group’s feature allows you, with all of our video content, to meet virtually as a small group, watch the video simultaneously, chat about it, stop the video, have a discussion over Zoom, start it back up again. And since we just recently released that, I think about five or six months ago, we’ve just got in a really big uptake, so that’s a really cool new feature.
Mitch Myers: This year, we’re also going to be releasing some great new capabilities on our platform around training. So churches that, for instance, have used our platform for training for some time. There’s going to be a lot more feature rich capabilities, where if churches, for example, want to train, you know, do new leader training, for example. Or they want to do onboarding with some training that they can provide, well, they can deliver that all through the RightNow Media platform. And we’re going to have new training capabilities coming this year.
Mitch Myers: And then the third area I would just briefly mention, is we’re really expanding rapidly right now internationally, and we’re super excited about this. We’re reaching into regions like in India, Latin America, West Africa, and a number of other regions. Well, as part of that, this year, we’re going to have a fully internationalized and localized platform. Meaning that, I’m just thinking of an example on the fly. Let’s say I’m perhaps of Korean descent, I attend a Korean church, but I’m living in San Francisco. Well, I can, you know, I can have my RightNow Media subscription turned on, and I can dynamically switch to Korean as my language of choice, and then I see everything in Korean on the app and so on. So that’s going to be something that, you know, you kind of think of internationalizing it, you’d think, well, that helps in lots of other countries, but it even helps us here in the US. And we’re excited to really reach, you know, a lot more people around the world as we offer that capability.
Jason Hamrock: I love your vision for that, that’s awesome.
Mitch Myers: Yeah, we’re really excited.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, obviously we work in the almost, it’s in the digital space. It’s like you guys are creating content, and you have an amazing platform. We help churches try to reach people digitally and engage them, especially with felt needs. And so when I think about churches as they, and I asked this question all the time, what is your online pastor doing? And how do you disciple, I mean, how are you discipling your people? And you just mentioned, the Groups thing is really cool because if you have to have a small group that meets on Zoome, well, okay, but that’s like the new wave and kind of where things are already gone. And for you guys to be solving some problems, that’s probably just got to really excite you personally, you know. So I kind of want to know what else drives you in helping churches create better discipleship platforms and paths. I mean, because that, that probably just revs you up, huh?
Mitch Myers: Yeah, it really does. You know, there’s a lot that really excites me. I’ve been with RightNow Media, now just over three years, and I’m just super excited to be a part of this mission. I would say kind of back to your question, I mean, in terms of what drives us, I mean, or drives me. I mean, one of our core beliefs is that the mission of the church matters, and I know what personally drives me and my team is we just get to see firsthand how this platform and how the video content helps churches further advance their mission. For example, you know, church leaders do such a great job and often they just don’t have the bandwidth to connect with their congregation seven days a week. And, you know,they can lean on our platform as a way to provide biblically sound content, perhaps during the week, and know that’s a way that they can get…You know, that we can help them, we can come alongside and help them.
Mitch Myers: We also know that in our world today, the screen on our phones and our TVs, it just takes so much of our attention. And if we can use those screens to bring more attention to the gospel and the Word of God, then that just has such a big impact on discipleship and that strategy. You know, there’s lots of other things I can say. You know, also I just, in my own small group, I just know how busy small group leaders are. You know, quite often they’re working a full time job, and then you meet, whatever, Friday morning at six a.m. or you meet, you know, Wednesday nights, or whatever. Well, I just love the fact that we can give them resources. We can give them, you know, whether they’re doing a study on First Corinthians or whatever, you know, we can give them the video content, you know, we can give them study guides that will help facilitate their discussions. Now, we all know you’ve got to do the study, you’ve got to participate, but it helps them engage and maybe take on a study leader role, where perhaps they couldn’t have had the time if they didn’t have these resources. So that also excites me, too, that we can just come alongside and help those different leaders in those ways in the church.
Jason Hamrock: Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s such an amazing opportunity. I mean, you guys have the heart of discipleship. And what I love about it, is it’s through the local church, through their local church, so they’re kind of seen as the hero, right, and they’re the guide to help people. And I just love that, I love you guy’s posture in that. So, it’s supercool. Is there anything else that I haven’t, I should be asking that I haven’t asked? Because you guys are such a great, large, organization doing so much out there, you’ve talked a lot about a lot of stuff, but is there anything I’ve missed?
Mitch Myers: You know, Jason, I think you hit the major areas, so we’ve covered a lot, but I think you hit the main points.
Jason Hamrock: So a lot of our, you know, a lot of our church clients have a relationship and a partnership with you guys, but a lot of a lot of them don’t as well. So how how does somebody get connected to RightNow Media? I mean, they could always go, they could Google you. But is there a different way, a different path, that they should take to get connected easily?
Mitch Myers: Sure. You know, I think there’s a couple. But I would just say the easiest way is if you go to our website rightnowmedia,org, that’s all one word rightnowmedia.org, you can get more information there if you’re perhaps a church leader that would like to, you know, potentially consider a subscription, there’s a button on that front page of the website that says get access. And what we’ll do there, if you click that, you’ll provide your information, it’s just your email, and your name, and I think maybe your phone. Then we’ll work with you to set up a 20, 30 minute demo, where you can just look at it, ask questions. If for some reason you may not be interested, I mean, that’s fine. If you are interested, then we can show you how to activate it and launch it. So it’s really easy, I think the easiest way is to go to the website. Like I said, rightnowmedia.com and it’s all right there on the front page on how to get a demo and get started, or even just browse through and just see a little more about what we offer.
Jason Hamrock: I’ll tell you, I’ve been through that demo, and it’s impressive. Because you’re like, wow, you get a really clear picture of the impact that RightNow Media can have on your church or your organization. And so, yeah, well worth just going through the demo, just to learn about it. Even though you’re not ready, and you’re not quite sure, go through it, just do it. I’ve been there, I was really impressed.
Mitch Myers: I didn’t mean to interrupt, but yeah, it’s a no obligation thing. Depending on how many questions someone has, normally it’s a thirty minute or less meeting. But like you said, we can show you a lot in that time. And it’s obviously remote, so we do it over screen share, and you don’t have to meet with anyone. And it’s a real easy thing to, or an easy way to get more information.
Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Well Mitch, I appreciate, first of all, I appreciate your heart and your posture for serving Jesus and his church, and just what you guys are doing at RightNow Media. I really appreciate your insights, and what you’ve offered today. So thanks so much for spending some time with us.
Mitch Myers: Yeah, Jason, and thank you so much for for having me. And we’re just really excited about partnering with you, and just how we can, you know, reach people to to come alongside them, and get the good word out, and love doing that, and thankful for our partnership.
Jason Hamrock: Amen. Amen. Take care of my friend.
Mitch Myers: OK, thank you.
Jason Hamrock: Here’s Mitch.
Jason Hamrock: Well, Mitch, once again, a huge thank you to you and RightNow Media, we’re excited about what you guys are doing. Hey, Church, if you are not yet a subscriber to RightNow Media, you need to do so. Take my advice and go, just go to their website and get that demo. Right, it’s a 30 minute demo, you’ll want to walk through that and see the power of this platform? It’s it’s pretty incredible, and we’re really excited about our partnership with RightNow Media for a bunch of reasons. But a couple of them are, one, as you may know, or maybe you don’t know, we manage a lot of church’s Google Ad Grant, right? The AdWords that you get, free AdWords from Google if you’re a 501c3 non-profit organization, and many of you are, so you get these free ads from Google.
Jason Hamrock: Well, you want to focus on people that are searching for what I call felt need searches. They’re looking for help with overcoming anxiety, or grief, or fear, or maybe it’s an addiction, or maybe it’s a marriage issue, or parenting issues. Maybe they’re just looking for like, how to be forgiven, or who is Jesus? There are a ton, a ton, of felt need searches happening in Google every day. Well, thanks to Google, you can now advertise and have an ad show up on page one when somebody is looking for this help. And what are they doing? They’re clicking.
Jason Hamrock: Here’s a cool part about what we’ve been doing, we’ve actually created a ton of felt landing pages on all these different topics. And so as somebody clicks on that ad, and they get on a landing page, that is for you and it’s in it’s free for you, if we manage your Google ad grant. Now that you have this landing page, you can actually communicate with people, and lead them to your church. Well, with our partnership with RightNow Media, we are injecting a spot in there that says, hey, if you want to go deeper with some video content, just give us your name and email address and start your journey. What that does is it gives you the name and email address. But then, what’s really exciting about that is now that user is now on RightNow Media on your church’s RightNow Media platform checking out all kinds of videos. Right? And what a phenomenal, phenomenal tool. I just, I think that this is such a great way to connect with people in your community who probably won’t come to church. They may not even be interested in who God is, or what Jesus has to offer them, but they have a felt need and they’re looking for an answer. You have that answer, and so what we try to do is bridge that gap, so that people in your community can connect with you and get to get those answers. And so not only can they have text, you know, a landing page that has all kinds of content for them to consume. They can also then, with RightNow Media, consume video content. It’s a win win, so go check that out.
Jason Hamrock: If you ever want to talk to me about what it means to manage the Google Ad Grant, or use these real life landing pages, let us know, we’re here to talk with you. Until next time, God bless, take care, be safe.