Goose hunting in the winter is a Sickmeyer family tradition. My father takes me hunting as his grandfather took my grandfather and I will one day take my son. I was blessed with the chance to hunt geese with my father for a few days last week, and surprisingly enough, there are marketing lessons to be learned everywhere, even from a goose pit. Here are four marketing lessons that are important for all marketers and brands to remember:
Do Your Research
Before we ever trek out into the cold, we check the weather online in order to get a better grasp of when the geese are likely to fly. My father will also talk to other hunters to figure out what the geese have done in the past few days to give us an even better idea of what to expect. Similarly, marketers should take advantage of formal surveys and casual Facebook polls in order to get a better grasp of their customer bases. Marketers should also research competitors, perform SWOT analyses, and pay attention to past wins and losses in order to make more informed decisions moving forward.
Adapt To Your Environment
When my father and I hunt, we don’t go out in bright colored shorts and flip flops. We adapt to the cold weather with heavy clothing and the landscape by wearing camouflage to blend in with our surroundings. If marketers walk out in the proverbial neon shorts and flip flops, they’re in for a rude awakening. We’re in an era where anything that looks like an ad, smells like an ad, or tastes like an ad is largely rejected. Each and every piece of advertising must serve a distinct purpose and clearly state the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) factor for the sake of potential customers.
Speak The Language
My father and I use goose calls to lure geese in when hunting. It’s important to know their language and the difference between a distress call and a feed call. Similarly, marketers need to speak the language of their target demographics. Most marketing fails originate from a miscommunication that could have been avoided if the brand and target audience were on the same page.
Follow The Rules
In Illinois, where my father and I hunt, the limit is two geese per day. You’re also required to have a hunting license and are limited to shooting during certain hours of the day. These rules are designed to preserve the goose population for future hunters, but it’s important for marketers to follow the rules as well. Marketers must understand that few, if any, families appreciate an interruption for a telemarketing call during dinner and that you can’t send multiple promotional text messages within the same day, or else you risk burning out your database and alienating subscribers. This is as much common sense as anything else and really boils down to the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. If you wouldn’t appreciate receiving a marketing message in a certain format at a certain time, then it’s safe to assume that your target audience won’t, either.
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