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I just returned from a relaxing weekend of camping and fishing with my family. There is nothing like a getaway to spark creative thinking.

Perhaps that is why on the drive home, random thoughts about the relationship between marketing and fishing kept flashing through my brain. Know what you are fishing for. Every fisherman knows that he needs to know what he is fishing for.

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That holds true for marketing, as well. A good marketer knows what type of client or work is best for his firm and which type of work and what type of offer the potential client wants. That is tantamount to trying to catch brook trout with a deep sea lure.

As I have said many times in articles, spend some time understanding your firm, what makes it tick, what your people love to do and what skills they have to differentiate the firm in the marketplace. Preparation is key. One of the best fly fishermen I know spends time researching the type of bugs prevalent in the area he is going to fish. He knows their colors, what time of day they will hatch, their size, and he knows the seasonal differences of each bug.

He has triangulated this information through local sources, guides and other fellow fishermen.

The marketing-fishing analogy

The best marketers know everything knowable about the prospect. She knows if the client and the work are a good fit for her firm, has spent time positioning her firm and knows how to make the best offer to the client based on sound research, not guesses.

She has triangulated this information with friends and clients of the client and other consultants with whom the client has done business. Exercise patience and persistence.

Why you need to know about fishing when it comes to dating

When fishing, one needs to be patient. Being persistent is also essential if you want to catch a fish.

Remember, catching fish is not a sprint. The same can be said for marketing.

Marketing is more of an endurance race. Once you hook one, you need to bring it in.

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The whole point of fishing is to bring one in, not just to get nibbles. This is true for marketing as well. Learn something from each activity. Every time you fish, you learn something that will make you a better fisherman. It may be how to tie a fly, how to cast better or how to prepare a fish dinner; you learn more each time you go out.

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The same goes for marketing. Evaluate every activity you do to see how you can perform better the next time. I believe you should ask clients why they selected you and also how you could present your company better next time. The more you experiment and try new things, the more you will learn.

“a man fishes for two reasons: he’s either sport fishing or fishing to eat, which means he’s either going to try to catch the biggest fish he can, take a picture of it, admire it with his buddies and toss it back to sea, or he’s going to take that fish on home, scale it, fillet it, toss it in some cornmeal, fry it up, and put it on his plate. this, i think, is a great analogy for how men seek out women.”

Full comments policy. The Marketing-Fishing Analogy.

Monday, July 13, a. Until next time … Craig.