When you think about it, marketing is like fishing. I know that it might seem like a little bit of a stretch, but if you read the rest of this article, hopefully my perspective will help you think about the way that you approach marketing.
Fishing for the right thing: When you choose to go fishing one of the first things you do is decide what it is that you are fishing for. This will determine a majority of your decisions from there on. Are you fishing for bass? Or Salmon? Or are you deep sea fishing for larger fish like Marlin, shark, or Tuna? Regardless of the type, this decision will determine where you fish, when you fish, who you fish with, and the tools you use to try and catch the fish.
When we apply this principle to marketing it is very similar to deciding what demographic you are wanting to reach. Are you a local doctor wanting to spread the word about your family oriented practice? Or are you a Fortune 500 company marketing to sell a new product to the global market? Similar to the importance of fishing for the right thing, it is important to know what market you are trying to reach. Also like fishing, knowing your market will determine where you invest your money, when you choose market, and then the tools you use to do the marketing.
Where to fish: Once you’ve determined what kind of fish you would like to fish for, you have to know where to go in order to find them. For example, if you wanted to catch a Marlin, you wouldn’t go fishing in a river in the middle of Iowa. This it’s the same with marketing. Questions like, “In what physical area is your demographic?” or “What other products or services does your demographic use?” You have to know where to reach out to in order to get the attention of the market that will allow you to succeed.
When to fish: There are also particular times during which it is best for a fisherman to “wet a line.” A good fisherman pays attention to things like season opening and closing, breeding season, as well as the good ‘ole pieces of wisdom that they have picked up over the years in order to spend the valuable fishing time reeling in dinner.
How does this translate into marketing? You have to know when your efforts are going to have the highest exposure to your target audience. You wouldn’t market back to school items in June, would you? Of course not. Instead, you have to pay attention to the trends and “season” of marketing, as well as utilize your own wisdom and experience.
Who you fish with: Going fishing with other people can help you catch much more than if you were by yourself. It gives you the opportunity to ask for advice, use a second pair of hands when reeling in a big catch, or just learning more than you knew at the beginning of the trip it can be very helpful to fish with others. This doesn’t mean that you can’t fish by yourself. There are benefits to both.
Who you associate with can greatly impact the success of your marketing. Your relationships with other businesses, groups, and professionals can really help your efforts go farther than they would if you were trying on your own. Do you know why companies sponsor events? Because they want to be associated with things that will help their marketing and their branding in the eyes of their target audience. And sponsorship is only one of the many ways in which businesses work together to accomplish something.
Fishing with the right people could also be looked at from the angle of building your marketing team with talented individuals. Surrounding yourself with people who are experts in different areas will allow you to both accomplish your goals, as well as the chance to utilize the strengths of each person to their full potential
Tools to fish with: There are lots of different types of fishing. Some people use nets, other people use a rod and reel. Then there are different kinds of rods for fly fishing, deep sea fishing, casual fishing, kids rods, and many more. The key is to use the tool that will help you catch what it is that you are fishing for.
This is the same when looking at the different ways to market to your audience. Do you use more “net-like” marketing where you invest your efforts in things like large advertising schemes. This can look like large social media campaigns, billboards, radio spots, etc. Or it might make more sense for you to cast your line to try and catch one client at a time with more personalized meetings, presentations, and build relationships in order to expand your client base.
There are many more parallels between fishing and the area of marketing, but I hope that this connection drawn between fishing and your approach to marketing will help you look at they way that you market in a new way and breath fresh air into the way you reach your audience.