Yep, that’s the golden question. So, let’s attempt to answer it. Successful marketing is executing practices and activities directed at a targeted group that yields a desired result. No result, no success. Results can be measured in money, event attendance, brand awareness, pure “reach” or having fresh fish for dinner. Let me explain:
Marketing is Like Going Fishing
One of the most interesting things I learned as a kid in Sunday School was a simple command: “Go catch a fish”. Jesus thought he had to pay some tax and he told Peter to go catch a fish (maybe implying that there would be money in its mouth to pay the tax). Who Knows?
I was eight years old and I just remember that I probably should learn to fish. Maybe there’s value in it. Maybe there would be a marble, or a gold nugget in the fish’s mouth.
So, I got my grandpa to take me fishing. We went to the Redondo Beach Pier in Southern California. He showed me how to put the sparkly, sticky hook on a line with a sinker and cast it in the water. After a bit, I caught a fish. He helped me reel it in, took the hook out of its mouth, and guess what I found? Nothing! Just yukky, gooey stuff. I said: “Grandpa, nothing is in the fish’s mouth; where’s the money?” He just laughed and threw the little critter back in the ocean to live another day and said: “We wasn’t fishin fer money, we was fishin fer fun”
What Am I Fishing For?
When I first started in internet marketing that’s what I did. I liked it. It was fun. It was not profitable… no money but the people I met were nice. Then I started getting broker and broker (if that’s a word). I needed to treat this marketing thing more seriously. I needed to find some fish with money in their mouth.
I don’t want to get marketing confused with sales. I learned, however, one without the other just doesn’t make sense when it comes to internet marketing. So successful marketing is ultimately measured by closed sales. Just like a successful fishing expedition should end up with a yummy dinner if you know how to prepare and cook fish.
Grandpa: The Best Teacher in The World
Over a period of about nine years I learned to fish. Grandpa taught me how to catch em, clean em, filet em, fry em and eat em. That’s where the golden nugget was…it was in the eatin! To this day, I love to eat fish. Trout, Salmon, Orange Roughy, Turbot, Shark, Lobster (is that a fish?) and crab. Golden Food! I realize now that in order for me to enjoy good fish, someone had to do something to catch that fish. I hope you like fish. If not, just bear with me here.
Grandpa was a salesman. He sold clothes in a store. He did well. He loved his job because it was just like fishing. I asked: what does fishing have to do with selling clothes. His answer: “EVERYTHING”. When I asked him how that was so, he would chuckle and start teaching.
The Seven Steps to Marketing Success
Grandpa (Earl Garnet Tilson) took his time with me. I recall one day when I was about ten years old. a conversation that we had. My reconstruction of that conversation here is from memory. It didn’t go exactly as I am telling it here but it was close. Here’s what he taught me that I now try to put into practice: His words in bold, mine in the parentheses. Grandpa’s magic questions. Answer these as you market online and you will eat.
1) What kinda fish you want? (Do you want “looker” fish or “buyer” fish…ones that will swallow the hook?)
2) Why you want em? (Are you hungry or are you just foolin’ around for fun) What are you hungry for? Salmon? Trout? Turbot? Lobster?
3) Where are they and how you find em? (Identify your target market, and advertise there. Get good at SEO by knowing the keywords one looks for to meet their wants and needs) Where are your fish? Ocean? Lake? River?
4) What kinda bait do the big ones like? (Are you marketing the right product that meets their specific need? They are hungry for something. What is it? Use the right bait. Bait = what they want.
5) Ya got the right equipment? (Marketing plan and procedures. Are you using the right funnel or website?)
6) Ya know when to set the hook? (Know when a customer is ready to buy, Where is the buy button on your sales page? Test it.)
7) How ya gonna git em home and eat em? (Autoresponder to your link to capture their email for future products. Now you have your fish for more than one meal if you freeze it (give it added value as time goes by)
Grandpa said: “If you have something you wanna sell, just answer those questions to find your buyers. Then ya git to eat! Grandpa was a wonderful and very smart man. He also really liked people. And Whiskey. And Billy Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro, and Steve Bilko. Look em up. I miss ya gramps; thanks for all the wisdom you shared.
Some final thoughts about marketing
It wasn’t that long ago that I decided to learn to be a good marketer. I decided that because of my Grandpa and now, my Grand Children. Funny how the perceptions of what gives our lives great value can motivate us to achieve. As a simple man living a simple life I get great joy in finding what others truly want and need. I’ll be a better marketer because I now take Grandpa’s Seven Steps to Marketing Success very seriously. Ironically, It’s also quite Fun. Is it perfect? Of course not. I have learned that designing my marketing by answering Grandpa’s questions works quite well. Maybe it will help you too. It’s time for dinner.