I like going bass fishin’ with my son.
We sit on the ocean’s edge, casting our lines anticipating a “bite”.
Waiting, and casting.
Talking, and enjoying the crisp ocean breeze.
Fishing reminds me of Morris.
He was Vice President of Marketing of a $50 million business and his favourite saying was, “We go fishin’ when the fish are runnin’.”
What he meant was we market heavily when potential customers are most apt to buy. And we slack off when it’s too hard to convince them otherwise.
I learned a lot from Morris.
Cast the line when everyone else is casting their lines.
Fish when everyone else is fishing.
Sell when customers are most apt to buy.
Morris worried about the return on investment on his marketing spend. His children’s bellies depended on him proving his marketing expertise.
Casting my line, thinking about Morris, I realized he was wrong.
What some call buzz, others call noise.
Marketing is nothing like fishing.
It can be about timing, but that’s lazy and too competitive.
It’s not about return on investment.
It’s about business growth.
When a marketing department acts like a department within a business, double-digit growth is hard after sales level off.
The business has to act like a marketing department.
Pareto’s Law, or the 80-20 rule, loosely states that 80% of the outcome will come from 20% of inputs.
I believe marketing is 80% internal and 20% external.
Marketing internally includes every sales call, collection notice, conversation with a potential hire, potential supplier, internal discussions, weeds on the front lawn, rats in the basement, dirt on the delivery truck, logo on the letterhead, misspelling, attitude of the accountant, crooked chairs in the breakroom, cracked windows in the basement, employee uniforms, etc.
You understand external marketing. But then again, you know internal marketing too.
The internal marketing should be easy. You’re dealing with the human element.
Which is really Culture.
If sales have flattened, your opportunity is to fix your culture problem.
Don’t spend another dollar on external marketing until you fix it.
Then you won’t have to fish when the fish are runnin’. They’ll always be runnin’. And when you’re ready to cast your line, they will happily jump in your lap.