Go Fish: Testing Campaigns Like Fishing Lures

We all likely have a memory of a hot, sunny day in Summer sitting in a boat or a on a river bank with a fishing rod in our hand. We probably also share the frustration of a slack line and still water and the delight of a tug then a splash from a trophy trout (see above).

Good fisherman…

  • Know their target fish
  • They’ve done their research. They know where the fish lives, what they eat and when they’re active.
  • They pull out the lures that their target fish will most likely bite and they drop a line in the water, waiting for the catch

If it’s been too long without the desired result, the lure is changed and the process repeats itself until a trophy is on the other end of the line.

Good marketers

  • Know their target buyer
  • They’ve performed persona research and know where their buyer hangs out
  • They put together a campaign that speaks to the buyers problems and will likely prompt a response

If the campaign doesn’t perform as intended, then the current one is discarded and other media or other problems are used to help the buyer make a decision.

Marketing isn’t unlike fishing

Now some may say “this is bs, fishing is nothing like marketing. Fishing is all chance, marketing, well marketing is science!”.

There is science to marketing, that is no question. But, the fisherman is using science to make the best possible offering for his prize trout. He knows what time of year certain flys hatch and creates a lure that mimics this, he knows where his trout is most likely to hang out, he presents the lure at the right time of day, when it’s relevant and ultimately sets, or doesn’t set the hook.

As marketers weren’t not blindly fishing, we’re strategically fishing. We use data to help support our decisions and put together campaigns that will most likely generate a response from our buyers. We test, we try and we think about what our buyers need to make a decision and put the plan in motion, if it doesn’t work we analyze and use what we learned and test again.

So, the next time someone says fishing is just guesswork, just let them know it’s a lot like marketing – you know your target, you know what they like and you test, test, test.

Herefish Colophon