by Dean Whittaker

Have you been fishing? Most of us have. I would like to share an analogy with you regarding target marketing and going fishing as part of our newsletter effort to continue to share with you what we learn each month.

So, why do we go fishing? Is it to catch fish, have fun with our friends, be outdoors, or a host of other possibilities? I’ve known people to fish without bait because they really didn’t want to catch anything… Applying this analogy to economic development, many economic development organizations are not just in it for the jobs and tax base that retaining and attracting businesses create but also to accomplish a host of other purposes including: focusing resources, motivating and engaging volunteers, etc.

Going a little further.what kind of fish are you trying to catch? What industries and companies within those industries are you targeting for your attraction/expansion marketing/sales efforts?

What lures and bait are you using…What is your infrastructure and what incentives do you offer?

Who do you take fishing with you? Do you work as a team or are you the lone ranger?

Do you work regionally and share information or do you horde information and not tell anyone else where the good fishing places are?

How patient are you? Do you give up easily or do you stick with it day after day even when you don’t catch any fish because you never know when a fish will come your way?

Can you sit quietly and wait or do you need to be in motion all the time?

Lastly, do you take the tarter sauce with you when you go fishing knowing that you will catch dinner? Once you land a company or help one to expand, is it just the beginning or is it the end of your work? Do you keep your commitments to the companies you attract or help expand?