It never surprises me when I hear myself say those words when I’m teaching a workshop. Maybe its just my background as a media buyer that brings it on but somehow, an interactive discussion with the folks attending my workshop gets me talking about marketing strategy and how to find more customers. This conversation always gives me an excuse to say my favorite marketing phrase, “fish where the fish are.”
Social media isn’t really all that much different then traditional media. Just because its out there as a marketing option, it doesn’t always mean that its right for your company. Look at it this way, if you as a business owner listen to a particular radio station and you’re a twitter addict, it doesn’t always mean you’ll find your next big sale by running ads on that station and from people reading your tweets. If your target audience isn’t tuning into that type of music or knows what a re-tweet is, then you’ve wasted more then just your time. You’ve just wasted your marketing budget.
Think about it this way … what if you’re trying to catch one of those giant sailfish so you can stuff it and put it over your mantle. If you know anything about fishing then you wouldn’t waste your time driving your boat over to your local freshwater lake. Sailfish can only be found in saltwater in the ocean. And let’s define this even more … you’re not going to find them in just any ocean. They live in the Atlantic and Pacific in the warmer water regions like (drilling down even more) Florida, specifically the Florida Keys.
So to fulfill our quest for our stuffed sailfish, we need to book a trip to the Florida Keys and find the best charter boat to take us out into the ocean. And that’s how we fish where our fish are.
Now you’re probably asking, ‘that’s great information about how to catch a sailfish but how do I get more customers?’ I’m going to share with you some of the steps I take my clients through as we plan their marketing strategy using traditional marketing options and social networks.
Step 1: Indentify your target market – who are you trying to reach with your products and services? Take a look at some of my research for specific targets like Moms or Baby Boomers to give you an idea of what to look for when you start your fact-finding expedition.
Step 2: Take a look at their lifestyles – a study into the buying patterns of your target audience will unveil all sorts of great results to help you with your marketing plans. You’ll figure out what TV shows they’re watching and what social programs they’re using. For instance, are they watching American Idol and blogging like the Mommie target audience? Or are they listening to the oldies station and Facebooking to see what’s going on with their grandkids like the Baby Boomers?
Step 3: Define your message – now you know who they are and where they are spending their time, what can you say about your products/services that speaks to them? Are you speaking to their needs or just speaking over their heads and losing a chance to connect with them?
It sounds like a cliche to use this quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day – Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” but it can’t be further from the truth when it comes to planning your marketing strategy.
Let me know what happens when you follow the steps for your next fishing trip for your company or your clients. Will you be traveling to your local lake, the southern tip of the ocean or cruising the intercoastal?
Photo credit: Sailfish 010