Marketing can be easy! Marketing basically comes down to letting people who have a particular problem know that your product or service solves their problem really well in a certain, unique way. That’s all there is… so what makes it feel like marketing is so hard? While marketing and fishing are in many ways VERY different (important and fundamental ways, like when we’re marketing we aren’t trying to eat our customers), in some ways the approach can be the same. And depending on the approach, fishing or marketing can either be fun or too much work.

Making Marketing Easy…

Let’s think about how fishing can be easy – and maybe it’s even easier to think about how fishing can be hard, lots of work, no fun, and gets no results. Suppose you were taking the day off to go fishing. And also imagine that you were going to a lake nearby but weren’t sure what kind of fish were in the lake. To be prepared, you go out and get all different kinds of bait for the fish – just in case. But then you have the problem of choosing which bait to put on the line – so you decide you’ll take a few poles so you can rig them up simultaneously with different bait – then you’ll be ready! By the time you’ve collected up all you gear to head out to the boat, you’ve got quite a load to manage. Then you have to get it all set up in the boat: bait every hook, set up every pole. Then keep an eye on every one of them – just in case. Pretty soon this isn’t about enjoying a beautiful time on a quiet lake just fishing, but it’s about managing a lot of activities, and turning it into a numbers game. Is that starting to sound like marketing metrics just a little bit?

Turning Hard into Easy

How could that be turned around into fun? Well, you could do just a little bit of checking into what type of fish are in the lake! And what kind of bait do they like THE BEST? And also, where do the fish hang out at which times of day? Are they morning fish? Afternoon fish? Do they hang out near the rocks? Under the tree trunks at the edge? What are their habits? And of course you definitely want to know if they’re only the kind of fish that require fly fishing – because sticking you’re pole in the water with bait on the end just hanging there definitely isn’t going to be fun if that’s the case. With all the information, you are MUCH more likely to go out fishing with the right equipment at the right time in the right place and actually have a chance at catching a fish that day! And it’s probably going to be more fun since you won’t have to manage a bunch of equipment and remember what worked and what didn’t across all the many combinations and permutations you created with all that stuff.

Translating Easy Fishing into Easy Marketing

How does this relate to marketing? Taking the time to really understand your potential customer, their habits, their needs, their wants, where they hang out, what they love, what the exact problem is that you’re helping to solve – understanding that THOROUGHLY helps you have just the right information to tell them in just the right way at just the right time so they can become a customer. That is when marketing is fun. Much of the time, people try to make up for this lack of thorough understanding by creating TONS of metrics. Basically, they’ve got 20 fishing poles in the water and they’re monitoring them at regular intervals and collecting lots of data on the type of bait, time of day, and location. Then they analyze the data later to determine which worked better so that next time they can narrow this all down to fewer choices (or maybe just different choices) and then repeat the process. This is ridiculous! If you understand your potential customer well, you already know that 80% of that stuff is irrelevant and all you have to do is use a few key metrics to REFINE your activities for the best results, instead of using metrics to discover what even works at all.

Know Your Customer Like Your Best Friend

When you understand your customer like they’re your best friend, then you can have fun engaging with them and letting the know the cool stuff you’re doing that you KNOW they WANT to hear about. That’s when the fun happens!

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