Fishing Is Like Marketing



The older I get, the more I like to fish. The more I fish, the more I realize fishing is a lot like marketing. “Good things come to those who bait.” On the surface (pun intended), fishing in the ocean and marketing to the whole world can be pretty random…and you’re not going to be successful at either one unless you have a plan.


Before I go fishing, I usually think about a few things, get prepared, and make a strategy. What kind of fish do I want to catch? Target audience. What kind of bait should I use? Creative messaging. Where do I find the fish? Market research. What kind of fishing pole and lures should I bring? Technology.


In most instances, you don’t need a complicated plan. Simpler is better, BUT, if the plan isn’t working, you have to adjust your approach. Change fishing gear, get different bait, or move your boat and try fishing another spot. The same is true in marketing. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.


How old is your fishing gear? Are you using the latest technology? Your website is like a boat. Maybe it’s time to trade up to a new model — and get a new fish finder. And if you’re fishing in the same old spots where you caught fish 20 years ago, they might have moved on to warmer waters.


Remember, the technology available today is rapidly evolving…whether you’re trying to catch a fish or hook a prospect. Your Grandpa may have taught you to fish with a bamboo pole, an earthworm, a rusty hook, and a cork bobber, but you’d probably have more success catching a redfish with a Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2, outfitted with Berkeley Vanish monofilament line, and a Rapala Saltwater Skitter Walk lure.


Yes, that outfit will cost you $150 plus tax, whereas Grandpa’s bamboo pole was free because you got it as a hand-me-down. This leads me to my last point — whether you’re trying to catch big fish or big customers, you need to invest some bucks.


These are the random thoughts I have writing this from a boat after a long day of fishing. By the way, Richmond International Airport (RIC) has more than a dozen flights every day to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)American AirlinesDeltaJetBlueSpirit AirlinesSouthwest Airlines, and United Airlines all have very reasonable rates this winter. I flew to Richmond yesterday and will be flying back tonight for the ridiculously low price of $61. So, if you want to go fishing with me and talk about marketing, let me know. #letminnow I’ve got a boat and fishing poles, so you’ll need to bring the bait and the beer. #reeltalk


Fish Dogs

My boat neighbor Greg’s Irish Setters, appropriately named Dorsal and Fin, keep an eye out for fish.


Monday, January 25 — Need S’more Votes


Speaking of marketing, consumers are drawn to visual content — especially on social media. So to start our work week, the great graphic design team at Madison+Main created some sharable imagery for our clients at CampHanover. ‘Like’ their post on Facebook and vote for them for Best Summer Camp of 2021 in VirginiaLiving’sBestofVirginia readers’ survey. If you ask me, Camp Hanover is picture-perfect.


Camp Hanover

Tuesday, January 26 — A Man & His Mittens



Unless you were hiding under a rock this week, you know that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and his mousy mittens, took the internet by storm — so of course, Texas Inn joined in on the fun. Thanks to some quick copy from Copywriter Derek Fair and the killer photoshop skills of Senior Art Director Carissa Ghaffari, we created our version of the meme. As it turns out, Bernie on a bench outside of the Texas Inn gained more than 32,000 views, 209 shares, and 900 reactions on Facebook. #cheesiesforall Back to my point above on marketing, Bernie saw an opportunity with the meme to hook some new fish and raised $1.8 million to support Meals On Wheels America in Vermont.


Texas Inn Bernie


Wednesday, January 27 — Sending Vera’s Fine Jewelers Some Love for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you do not want to wait till the last minute to get your quarantine partner some bling. I highly recommend staying away from the “Be Mine” stuffed bear this year and visiting Richmond’s Best Jeweler — according to Richmond Magazine readers 12 times since 2005. Our friends at Vera’s Fine Jewelers have been helping people pick out one-of-a-kind gifts for more than 25 years. Mike Caniglia and Vera Caniglia love their customers and we love them too.

Thursday, January 28 — Operation Thunder In The Spotlight


This Thursday, Bishop Daniel Robertson, Jr. of Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries was interviewed by Jeff Katz of the Jeff Katz Show for Newsradio WRVA 96.1. They discussed Mt. Gilead’s volunteer outreach effort called Operation Thunder. Last year, the church handed out more than 7,000 meals and 700 care packages to communities throughout Central Virginia that were hit hardest by COVID19. We were happy to help with the PR efforts and set Bishop Robertson up to discuss what’s next for their outreach efforts.

Friday, January 29 — Follow The Leader

Recently, we got to work with our client Dale Carnegie to create a landing page highlighting their one-on-one leadership coaching — a course designed to help business leaders reach their full potential. A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for marketing and advertising campaigns. It’s where a visitor lands after they click on something enticing. Have we enticed you? Check out the design and copy we created for our fab and funny client JJ White here!
Dale Carnegie Training

A Few of Our Favorite Events


CowanGates Memorial Blood Drive

13620 W Salisbury Rd. | Midlothian, VA 23113

February 16 | 2 – 6 p.m.


CowanGates, in partnership with Village Bank, is sponsoring a blood drive at Salisbury Country Club. Bring your mask and donate — giving blood will help save a life. Sign up today!

Virginia Living Magazine
Now – January 31
Virginia Living Magazine’s Best of Virginia voting has begun! Vote for our clients below who have been nominated — or if you’re feeling special, write some in!
Central Region
Best Summer Camp: Camp Hanover
Veterinary Clinic: Sycamore Vet
Family Entertainment: COMPASS Entertainment Complex (write-in)
Best Distillery: A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Best Law Firm: CowanGates (write-in)
Best Fine Jewelry Store: Vera’s Fine Jewelers
Best Burger Joint: Texas Inn (write-in)
Eastern Region
Best Golf Course: Two Rivers Country Club (write-in)
Best Wedding or Special Event Venue: Two Rivers Country Club (write-in)
Shenandoah Valley Region
Best Wedding or Special Event Venue: CrossKeys Barn
For Best Retirement Communities throughout the state of Virginia, vote for Williamsburg LandingLucy CorrBirmingham Green, and the five locations of Pinnacle Living!
Got an upcoming in-person or virtual event you want to share? Send us the deets! We promise we’ll look presentable.

Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!


“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” — Steven Wright