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Is marketing into new industries like fishing?

Marketing into a new industry, product or venture is like fishing in the sea. For those who have seen these typical island reality survival shows, fishing only starts when the food has run out, and the hunger sets in. Fishing in principle allows you access to an ocean of sustainable food, but even if you are lucky to salvage a fishing hook or net, this will take many failed attempts before you catch enough food to survive.

Standing on the beach, you know the fish (customers) are out there. They want what you have, but how do you lure them in?. You have a rod and a hook with bait, which you hope they might find attractive. You don’t really know if all fish eat wiggly worms. You spend some time and energy sourcing these tools, but do you fish from the beach, the cliffs or do you cast in the deep or shallow waters?. Where are they? How do you begin?

Some logical advice is to ask a local fisherman or observe them closely. You don’t ask just anyone, rather ask the person fishing with a rod.

So your local fisherman gives your assistance, as they always do. “Stand on the rocks, use that spot, and cast deep”, is what he says. “This is how we do it in this area (industry or product). Also, use this bait because we have this type of fish”.

Now you begin. Casting deep and far doesn’t bring in the fish, but doing it for some time, changing bait, technique and the time of day, and you start getting bites.

While you feel the fish nibble, you need to slowly pull harder to have the hook take hold and then gently reel them in. Any tug or sudden change in movement and they will fight until they are free again, in this case, gently does it perfectly.

When your catch has left the water, you have to make sure it is handled with care or it will jump and wiggle until it falls back into the water.

Unlike catching fish, however, we don’t kill and eat it, we rather feed it well and release it again although sometimes a customer might deserve a knock on the head!.

There are many customers in the sea of all sizes and shapes, likes, dislikes, preferences, issues and opportunities. You won’t know this if you don’t start fishing. Fish the right spot, with the right bait, learning from locals and pulling out.

Happy fishing!