Outfitter Marketing


Some of the terminology used in the field of marketing can seem like just a bunch of jargon to confuse non-marketing professionals and make us sound smarter than we are. In the interest of breaking down the marketing-speak into something more useful, I have put together a list of comparisons between the marketing terminology and some common hunting/fishing terminology. Hope you enjoy the comparisons and find them useful. Future articles posted here will go into more depth (farther afield) to explain how these can be applied to your marketing efforts.

Target Marketing = Field Selection.
Target Marketing is all about increasing your chances of being successful by marketing to a more defined set of potential customers. Like selecting the right location for your tree stand or field blind, being present where your target is give a better chance of taking a trophy, or a customer.

Online Marketing = Long Distance Casting.
The further and more diverse your customer base, the further you have to cast to reach them. There is no more efficient of a marketing tool than the web. Once you have an email address, email marketing becomes the way of frequently passing a lure near them and eventually enticing a bite. Online isn’t easy, and all your competitors are likely out there already, so it becomes an essential part of your marketing mix.

Marketing Mix = Tackle Box.
There are many lures, weights, baits, and hooks in your tackle box, and none of them work all the time. Some are specialty items, some are general use items. The right lure at the right time has a greater chance of landing a fish. Knowing which to use and when is a skill usually learned through experience, understanding the behaviours of your quarry, and knowing the situation, plus some luck and chance meetings.

Direct Marketing = Fly Fishing.
Direct Marketing is simply a ratio of results. The more often you put a fly in front of a fish, the more chances you have of getting a bite. The more appealing the offering is the more likely the customer will take you up on your offer. The wrong offer presented in the wrong way will have little chance of success. If it looks fake, it will be ignored in favor of something else that floats by on the current.

Print Advertising = Scouting.
Print advertising puts you out there, searching farther and wider than other methods. You will come across more terrain and more species, hoping to find the location of the right game. Scouting set you up for success at a later time, when you are ready to pull the trigger and knock down the trophy.

Customer Surveys = Fishing Log.
Track your fishing success, noting the weather, location, lures, techniques, water temperature, etc. and you will find patterns and situations that lead to greater success. Looking these common patterns can generate future success. Asking your customers what they liked and disliked gives you tremendous insight into what to repeat and what to change to increase the success rate and customer retention.

Referral / Loyalty Programs = Catch n Release.
Each satisfied customer goes away with a tale of a great adventure, and takes your name with them. With each successful send off, you increase the brood stock for greater returns in the future. Hunting groups will often grow in size over time, from the two guys who booked their first excursion with you this year to the return trip with their buddies and brother in law next year. Treat them well and give them a reason to come back with more on the line next time.

Brochures = Fishing Lures.
A realistic looking lure, with a natural action attracts the most fish. A high quality brochure with a believable proposition to the customer gets the best response. Don’t use your home PC to design a brochure for your business, with WordArt as your substitute for graphic design. A cheap imitation will be ignored while a realistic professional piece will bring in the big fish from out of the weeds.

Tradeshows = Flocks of Customers.
Someone one described a tradeshow to me as a room full of customers. Customers come in waves, or flocks, passing by your blind (booth) and your decoys (booth signage) are what bring them in for a closer look. Not every customer at a show will be a customer, but the more time you spend, and more shooters you have, the sooner you will reach your limit.