Advertising is a lot like fishing.

First FishWhether fishing or advertising, you have to… go where the fish (customers) are. The Advertising Media are the waters where you cast your bait. There are fish (customers) out there, but you have to have some knowledge where the fish (customers) might be hanging out. Know what kind of fish (customers) you are fishing for. This will dictate what kind of bait (advertising) you will need to attract them. You will want to try different baits (ad messages) as, at various times, both fish and consumers are drawn to different stimulants.

You have to be there when the fish (customers) are ready. Most fish feed early in the morning, and specific areas throughout the day and often at dusk. Potential buyers began looking at products and services before the actually buy. Plan your advertising to be there! This is especially true in seasonal buying.

Spend enough time (ad budget)! Dropping a baited hook into the water for an hour or so is like popping in an occasional ad and hoping it attracts something. If you’re going to catch fish, plan on spending the day or a few days. When you advertise, commit a budget and an on-going effort. Don’t be a flash in the pan.

For those that feel they can’t catch fish or that advertising doesn’t work, I say, “Look around.” If others are catching fish, but you’re not, there is something wrong with what you are doing. If your ads aren’t pulling, but other’s continue to run in the same media, then there is something wrong with your program. Change your bait!

There are other factors that influence both fishing and advertising. The weather (market), the number of other fishermen (competition) and other conditions will affect how many fish (sales) you bring in.

Finally… preparing your catch. You’ll want to clean and scale your fish and pack them in ice so they will be fit to cook and serve later. When you ‘land’ a customer, you’ll want to take proper care assure to that you won’t loose them or spoil the sale.

Remember: There is no guarantee that when you go fishing, you’ll bring home your limit or even catch one fish. Likewise, there is no guarantee that when you advertise you will always produce sales. But in either case, if you do it right, you’ll increase your odds, big time.