I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a fly fishing competition in the KwaZulu – Natal Midlands in South Africa. If you ever have this opportunity, you would find yourself in the most impossibly scenic places at the best time of day, catching and releasing a worthy prey – in this case – trout.
The social aspect of this competition is quite well known and was in full swing. As with any sport or hobby there inevitably is some networking that happens. One moment you are talking about what fly you were using when you hooked into your fish and the next you are exchanging business cards. It got me thinking about marketing and how there are some similarities to fishing. Let me explain my thinking…
Do the hard yards
When fishing, it is always a good idea to find where the fish are holding. What structures would they choose to hide and live in? What are they feeding on and what do they like to consume? Similarly in marketing, you need to investigate who your target market is and what are they looking for. What would create interest in you and your products or services over and above your competitors?
You can’t catch a fish unless your line is in the water
You need to get your line in the water to actually have a fish interested in your offering. No line, no chance. Whatever your plan is, brand awareness via repeated exposure or increasing sales, you need to actually put something out there for people to see. If they don’t see you, they will be less aware of you and someone else is going to get their attention.
If I wasn’t at the competition I wouldn’t possibly have caught any fish or even made the connections that I did with the people there. In the day and age of technology I feel it is still important to be present to connect and engage with people. People like to put a face to a name. It makes it more memorable and keeps you front of mind. It is a more personal connection. Sometimes, between all the advertising and marketing, you need to make sure that there is an opportunity for people to walk through an open door and actually meet a person. Let people see inside as such and realise that it is not just a brand they are connecting to, but the people behind it as well. It makes a difference.
As for the fishing competition… we may not have won, but we definitely got to catch some amazing fish and met some very interesting people who now know more about our brand. Kind of a win win situation really. So, the only question remaining is… are you going fishing?