Living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes gives us Minnesotans countless opportunities to hone our fishing skills to catch a delicious meal to feed our families and friends. As true Minnesotans, we are typically taught at a young age how to bait a hook, but most importantly what bait to place on that hook. Earthworms for Panfish, minnows for Walleye, nightcrawlers for Bass, etc. Depending upon your taste, most fishermen are trying to catch one type of fish at a time (and ideally the highest quality of that type) which makes choosing the right bait even more important.
Is Your Strategy Still a Good One?
Similar to attracting the perfect fish, fishing for quality leads and sales is also dependent upon using the correct bait. As business and technologies improve and change, so should your choice of bait and fishing methods to find leads. For decades, traditional phone books and yellow pages were used to communicate with potential customers who were seeking business services and products. Along with phone books, radio ads and billboards joined the mix of broad fishing methods. In years past, this strategy was one of only a few options available for having your business seen and found which made it the correct “bait” to use at the time.
The Internet Changed How We Fish for Leads
However, with the birth of the Internet and smartphones, customers have more information at their fingertips than printed directories could ever publish. In fact, HubSpot reports that 97% of people search online to find a local business. As a result, using and relying only on broad fishing bait and tactics is increasingly less effective. Staying with what worked for previous generations to reach customers means being less efficient and cost-effective. If you know that your target market (fish) are men ages 35 to 55 who are married and live in Wabasha, MN, why would you cast out a net that included men and women of all ages that live in Red Wing, Winona, or any town within miles? Yes, you may “catch” someone in your target market by using a broad net, but you will also be trying to “catch” countless leads that you have determined are not high quality and therefore are wasting efforts and resources. Rather than casting that large, broad net, cast out specific and targeted ads through methods such as Google ads, social media ads, email marketing, and variable printing with direct mail pieces, to name a few. There may still be reasons to market using a billboard or radio ad, but it should be part of a very researched and measurable marketing plan.
You Want a Walleye, not a Carp!
If it’s Walleye season and that is what I want to catch, I can surely go to my pantry and use sweet corn as bait, because it’s easy. It might be what I’ve always done and haven’t considered any other way that might work better. I could get lucky and catch a Walleye, but I will likely be reeling in more Carp than anything else. Fishing is a sport that requires knowledge of what bait to use for each fish. Marketing is a skilled art form that reaches people who want what you have, if done correctly. Casting a broad net may bring you quantity, but likely not quality. When you are no longer just competing with businesses down the street, thanks to the Internet, choosing the right “bait” and fishing technique is important to catch the quality leads your business needs to survive.
Ready to learn more? Contact me today and let’s chat about some creative and effective ideas. Email us at [email protected] or call 320-587-8974.