How Marketing Campaigns are a lot like Fly Fishing

It’s time for some straight talk. Marketing is a balance of art and science. What works well for the pet store on Main Street is not going to work for a national financial firm. That’s what makes it so frustrating. There is no one magic bullet that is guaranteed to work every time. Finding what works for a given business takes time, patience and finesse. If you’ve ever awakened at the crack of dawn to don waders and stand in the perfect silence of your favorite fishing spot, you recognize the importance of these elements.

Let’s take a look at how marketing campaigns are surprisingly similar to the art of fly fishing. Master these elements of marketing and you will be reeling in the big fish.


  1. Do your research.

Where are the fish? Where do they spend their time? This is similar to attracting people for marketing campaigns because it is essential to know where they spend the majority of their time (online, social media, etc.) so you can correctly target them on certain platforms.

Now is the time to learn how to read and understand the analytics provided by Google Analytics and your social media channels. Each of these tools will help you understand your audience by learning their interests, online habits and where they’re located.


  1. Use the right bait.

In fishing, the fly is used as the bait. In our analogy, the proper “bait” for a marketing campaign depends on the target audience and what they find interesting, helpful, and relevant (ex. white papers, case studies, infographics, guides). There needs to be a great initial level of interest before a customer becomes a lead (and before a fish is caught).


  1. Proper equipment is necessary.

You would never hit the river without a rod and a line. Likewise, certain tools and automated platforms aid in the marketing campaign process and allow for more insight into which tactics are performing well.

Using all the tools in your arsenal is a surefire way to increase the success of your campaign. You don’t have to break the bank or learn new systems to make an impact. Use the tools you already have at your disposal: email newsletters, social media platforms and Google Analytics.


  1. Come prepared.

When you go fly fishing, you plan out the trip and make sure to take all of the necessary supplies. When you run a marketing campaign, you set up workflows and prepare prospects to be nurtured through the sales funnel.


  1. Timing is important.

Certain times of the year and day present ideal fly fishing conditions. The same goes for marketing campaigns. Timing affects the success of the marketing tactics depending on the offer.


  1. Special techniques are required.

Fly fishing requires skills that are not necessary for regular fishing. Marketers increase their knowledge and success rate the longer they work in the field. Some marketing campaigns require extra efforts on different mediums such as digital or print. These skills are necessary in order for them to be successful.


  1. Patience is a virtue.

People hardly catch a fish on the first cast. The whole point of a marketing campaign is to warm up prospects as they learn more about a business and its services, build trust with the company, eventually “bite” and become a customer.


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or change your method.

Unsure of which bait works best? Which locations have the best fishing conditions? Just ask. Unless someone is guarding a secret fish gold mine, they will be happy to talk shop with you. The same goes with marketing. Marketers learn and grow with their peers and influencers. Those who are willing to share tips and advice share a common goal of succeeding, not just as individuals, but as an industry.


So, who’s ready to catch the big one? With the right tools and information on your side, you can tackle marketing campaigns with confidence. Remember that even the best laid plans take time, and give yourself room to be flexible. There are plenty of fish just waiting for you.