corporate identity · marketing · social media · target marketing · Uncategorized

When Marketing is Like Fishing

Social Media MarketingHere are two ideas that are at odds with each other:

  • Don’t waste your time trying to catch every fish in the sea.  Marketers should be like practiced spear fishers who know exactly which fish they want to catch and take aim only at them.
  • It’s OK to cast a wide net.  The fish that end up in your net may not all be ones you want, but that’ s better than winding up with nothing.

Normally, I subscribe to the spear-fishing approach.  I encourage marketers to learn everything they can about the people who use their products or services and who are most likely to purchase those products and services, then market to them.  This is the best way to control your marketing costs and maximize your return on investment.

Well, spear fishing works best in clear, shallow waters, where you can really see the fish you want to hit.  So, if you have a lot of information about your customers and potential customers, aim your marketing efforts right at them.  Take them into consideration when it comes to content, design, offers, form of contact, etc.

But what if you’re fishing on the ocean, and the sea is dark and deep.  Maybe your business is new and you don’t know a lot about your customers. Should you be paralyzed by your lack of knowledge and hold off on doing any marketing?

No.  You will be operating a bit in the dark, but you can follow the basic guidelines of good marketing.  Make your message clear and concise with a strong call-to-action.  If you’ve done the work of deciding how you’re going to represent your company and your products or services, then you can make some educated guesses about who your customers will be and can narrow your focus accordingly, moving into waters that are slightly more shallow.

You will still have to cast a wider net than is ideal, but if you represent yourself in a clear and consistent manner, your customers will respond.  Make sure you build into your marketing efforts a means of collecting information about those who do.

Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net if you don’t have a better option.  The response and conversion rates may be low, so look for ways to decrease your costs (we will talk more about this in future posts.) But if you carefully collect, analyze and act on data about respondents, you will be able to refine future campaigns and narrow your targets. You’ll be spear fishing before you know it.  But you can’t catch any fish at all if you don’t get in the boat!

In my next post, we’ll talk about “fishing” in the context of Twitter campaigns.

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