Marketing is a lot like fishing.

Antonio gets up at 2am every morning to head out to sea, off the coast of Vernazza, a beautiful fishing village in Italy. He takes his boat out about 20 minutes further than the other fishermen. He knows just the right spot to fish each morning. Antonio sifts through his collection of nets, looking for the perfect one for the conditions that day. He throws his nets out and sits in the stillness of the dark early morning casting several lines off the side of the boat as well, each with different lures and bait. His work pays off.  By 5am his nets are full and each pole has pulled in its share of beautiful fish. He heads back in to get his fish to market. Fishing is his life. He unloads all the fish but two, which he brings home in a brown paper sack for his wife Louise to cook for dinner.

marketing is not sales

At the market, every restaurant in the area has someone there to grab the fresh catch and bring them back for their daily menus. Some chefs come out themselves, not leaving this task to anyone else while others have their shoppers out gathering the supplies. 

Now, why do some restaurants thrive and have waiting lists for hours each night, while others struggle to keep their doors open? Of course, it’s the way the food is prepared. It’s how people are treated when they dine at each spot. There are many factors that come into play, even if they all start with the same fish. 

Marketing is like fishing. You can catch the attention of thousands and even drive them right to the door of your website, but if people don’t like what they experience once they get there, they move on down to the next spot.  

You might be frustrated from trying every marketing tactic in the book. You see your traffic increasing. You have more people liking and following your content (like chum) but the sales still aren’t happening. It might be time to evaluate what you are actually offering.

marketing is like fishing content marketing
  1. Do you have a product or service that people are still wanting? If you are trying to sell a software that works on a home computer allowing kids to check in when they get home and let their parents know they are safe, you might be overlooking the fact that 10-year-olds have iPhones and can simply Facetime Mom and Dad. You might love your home computer but not understand that many families see the home computer as outdated, instead of using apps on tablets and phones.
  2. Do you have a product or service with a price point that is too high for the audience you have attracted? You might have a quality product, but the audience you’re selling it to has no budget to spend on such items. Is there another audience you need to attract or do you need to retool the product to bring the price down? Your marketing may be attractive to your audience, but they’re just window shopping and drooling all over the merchandise.
  3. Is someone else offering your product or service in a way that is easier for people to access or consume? Taxi companies thought their competition was other taxi companies until Uber came and took a huge bite out of their business. Walmart or Target offer great deals and yet Amazon keeps finding ways to get that same merchandise to consumers faster and free. 
  4. Do you have a message that you think the world needs and yet you forgot to check with the world to see if they feel the same way? Sometimes we fall so in love with our own messaging that we are blinded to the fact that no one else has. 
  5. We have seen several companies lured (had to work that pun in here somewhere) into this thinking. They keep throwing more money to marketing, thinking if we can just get more people to know about them, they will be successful. Perhaps the business needs to retool, rethink and realign with what consumers are looking for. 

Keep your eyes on that horizon and see how consumers are behaving. What information are they really wanting? Don’t just trust your own thoughts and feelings. Do some research. Look at Google Trends. Watch college students. Do surveys of people other than your friends and family members. 

You can bring all the fish in the ocean to your door, but if you’re not able to mix in the right ingredients that appeal to them, cook it and serve it up with a winning attitude, people still won’t bite.

Happy fishing.

Gina Schreck social media and content marketing management agency

Connect with me on Twitter. I’d love to hear your FISH TALES!