Joe Pélissier, of Pod Communications,, makes a good point when he writes that, while reading an article on fly-fishing: ‘I was struck between the connection between serious, passionate anglers and committed marketers. It’s to do with bait and mindset.

For every type of creature there’s a bait. You just have to work out what it is. For anglers, it appears that a successful catch is often due to a mindset that is scientific and experimental in nature. The first book on the subject was published in 1496. And the dry fly that fly-fishermen use today is the result of books published by Frederic Halford in the 1880s. His books lay out a system for fly-fishing based on experiment, observation, dedication and mechanics.

’A focused mind, willingness to experiment and the need for a system: that’s how to get great results.

’As a young boy, the fishing journalist, Brian Clarke, conducted an autopsy on every fish he caught – so that he could discover what they preferred to eat. Based on his observations, he designed flies that imitated those he discovered in the autopsy – and found that, from one season to the next, his catch increased by 600%.
’How dedicated are you to find the right bait for your customers: to discover what they buy, when, how often and why – and then create products and services they will want? Even fish get bored of the same old thing, so what chance do you have with customers unless you are prepared to ring the changes?

’What you market is not down to luck and chance. Like anglers, serious marketers study the swirls and flows of a river and then find the appropriate bait. And when unsuccessful, they change it, move to a different bank, or do both.

’Another important lesson to observe is that it’s fun. There’s pleasure and satisfaction in setting out to secure a prize catch. If you can take this approach with winning new customers, you remove some of the pressure and edge.

’So is your bait appetising? Are the fish nibbling or biting? Or, are you experimenting and just letting the line drift aimlessly – in the hope that something will eventually bite? If you have reeled in a monster, have you done an autopsy to know why you were successful? Or, are you going to think it was all down to luck and miss out on the opportunity to increase your strike rate by 600%.’