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Better Business Idea #77

Trapping, Fishing and Marketing

© 2010 by Michael C. Gray

May 15, 2007


Marketing is a lot like trapping and fishing.

  1. You need to understand what you are hunting and fishing for. Where are you likely to find it? Don’t hunt penguins in Utah. What attracts it? How does it think? This is the same as defining your market or customers. Where are you likely to find them? What is keeping them up at night? What do they fear? What do they love? What special “language” do they use for their industry or social group?
  2. You need appropriate equipment for your “game.” You don’t use fish hooks to catch bears. How should you craft your marketing message to appeal to your prospective customer? What media should you use to deliver your message? Is this customer likely to read email? Is snail mail better? Will Federal Express pay for itself by being more likely to be delivered and opened? Should other delivery media be used (with permission or for customers with which you have a relationship), such as fax or broadcast voice messages? Would a video element, including mailing DVDs, raise response? For most marketing messages, good testimonials are a key element of the “equipment” that is missing. The prospective customer has to BELIEVE your message. Social proof is essential in establishing that belief.
  3. You need to use the right bait to attract this “game.” If you are hunting deer, a salt lick (or roses!) might work great. For rats, cheese is better. This is an area where a lot of marketing falls down. Many marketing campaigns have a weak or nonexistent offer. Most businesses are too miserly with their offers to attract many customers. An IRRESISTABLE offer should be made that the prospective customer really wants – especially for lead generation. Think of Ron Popeil’s infomercials. His offers include stacked bonuses. “But wait! There’s more!” the audience chants. If you want to be the provider of choice, your offer must be far more attractive than your competitor’s offer.

Remember, you are not your customer! What can you offer that he or she really wants? A successful promotion for Advertising Age magazine included a thank you gift with the order – a customized coffee cup that said, “_________ is an Advertising Genius!” Many ordered a subscription just to have the cup!

In order to know what you can afford to give requires understanding Lifetime Customer Value. You can afford to lose some money to acquire a customer who will pay you more over the lifetime of your relationship.

Knowing your customer, using appropriate messages and media together with an irresistible offer are a winning combination for successful marketing campaigns!

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Marketing is a lot like trapping and fishing.


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