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Ian Jacob 06/06/2017 9:33:00 AM 3 min read

Online Marketing: Are You Talking To Your Customers At The Right Time?

I have spoken to a good number of sales directors of late, with very few of them suggesting they are satisfied with their current sales results.

They sort of remind me of the modern day fisherman who spends a lot of money on whizzbang gear, pins some bait to it, then throws it out into a body of water hoping to feel the line wiggle.

Meanwhile, next to him is a Pacific Islander who pops some time-honoured food blend into the water in front of himself and the fish all swim in and he scoops them out in multiples with a net.


Apart from comparing catching fish to lead generation, what’s this got to do with marketing?

Well, you probably find that the modern fisherman with all his whizzbang fishing gear is scaring all the fish or perhaps interrupting the fish when they don’t want to eat.  He has also most certainly made assumptions about the fish that are inaccurate.

Conversely, you will find that the Pacific Islander approaches his fishing with an in-depth understanding and respect for the fish’s behaviours.  He will acknowledge what the fish want to eat when they want to eat it and most probably why they are wanting to eat his offering.

A parallel can be drawn here in regard to marketing and generating leads for a business.  Globally business has changed.  People buy in a very different way than they did 10 to 15 years ago mostly as a consequence of the internet.

Previous to the internet businesses would try to attract leads and customers by advertising louder, wiser, more colourfully in an advertising world that was competing for space.  What I mean is, there is only so much physical space in newspapers and a limited amount of space on billboards that you can utilise to compete for your customer’s attention.  

But do you really get customer attention with these methods? I realise that the lights of Times Square are bright and luminous but I personally couldn’t name one business that advertises there.

Data supports the notion that buyers use the internet in the current world to purchase goods or services.  Obviously, each buyer is at a different place in the buyer journey. They could be researching, considering and comparing different offerings, or actually purchasing.  What they search and do online is a key in the transaction.

The available space on the internet to market your business’ goods or services is vast and ever growing, not to mention the targeting that is available.  It is fairly easy to see that glitz and glamour on the internet isn’t necessarily the key to attracting attention and being noticed by your potential customers.

That being said, it is relatively easier though to identify internet users that want to read about information regarding your goods and services – people are searching content using specific search terms and phrases.  People are also reading and commenting on content posted to the internet that we can identify with.

Often people are searching for an answer or solution to a problem that they are experiencing and need to solve.  This could be your businesses opportunity to offer a suitable solution i.e. solutions, goods or services to remedy their problem or needs. 

The fishing analogy revisited

In summary, like the Pacific Island fisherman that thinks like a fish and truly understand the fish’s specific needs we need to approach generating business leads in the same way.  No high tech whizzbang gear will work effectively without forethought and respect to our customer’s needs and wants.

We need to fully appreciate what our potential customers actually want when they want it and why they want it.  Not until we acknowledge this, will we as business people be able to present the correct bait to the fish.

Furthermore, whilst fishing it is best practice to actually be fishing for the correct species of fish that you actually want to eat, but that’s another story!

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Ian Jacob

Ian has 16+ years of experience in the online world he has seen the evolution of web marketing and advertising online. His goal is to make his clients marketing & advertising profitable.