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What catching a slippery fish can teach us about hooking audiences and boosting marketing and sales ROI—

Lake Sammamish, in the Seattle vicinity, is mostly known for its calm waters. Perfect for water sports. Summer brings packs of slalom skiers who love early morning glassy water. Afternoons give way to noisy wakesurfers, still recovering from late night “raftup” at the lake. But among fishing fans, the lake is famous for harboring a completely different critter; that is the Smallmouth Bass. “Smallies,” as they are known, are anything but small, reaching up to 12 pounds (world record). They are also uncannily elusive and fierce when hooked, making them a highly-prized catch.

While flocks of fishing boats stream in everyday with eager anglers casting incessantly, they rarely catch a smallie (not to mention a big one). This doesn’t change their resolve though. Their confidence enhanced by their state-of-the-art rods and highly sophisticated lures, some of which are even equipped with LEDs. Jigs, Spinners, Spoons, Worms, Buzzbaits, Flies, Crankbait, you name it. And casting techniques as numerable as there are fishermen.

This focus on their equipment, as opposed to the fish, is their doom.

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Know the fish

One afternoon I came across two teenage kids on a small dinghy. They were fishing offshore. No expensive rods or gadgets. Didn’t give them a chance obviously. Then, a monster jumped of the water close to them. After they pulled the beautiful four-pounder, I approached to understand their sorcery. “Know the fish” one said, pride in his face. “You see, smallies are bottom feeders and hate warm water,” he continued, “to catch’em you need to cast deep, and use this.”  He proudly showed me a bucket of live crayfish.

Wow! Amazing!

As I turned away, I thought about all those helpless fishermen casting near the shore, day after day, fruitlessly. How confident they feel with their flashy rods and lures completely ineffective in catching smallies. What a waste of time and energy! But most importantly how small pieces of information about your target audience can make or break your mission (fishing or otherwise). The fish is a bottom feeder! I chuckled.

Better hooks

We all know our audiences right? But do we know them deep enough? Is our knowledge up-to-date given how fast things are changing? Do we know our fish? Over the past 10 years, at Audienz we have honed on a methodology that we believe produce “better hooks,” that is effective marketing and sales content. Our view is that for content to work, it must be three things: Relevant, Striking, Blockbuster

 

More on these on my next post. Stay tuned!!

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