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The Buck (Doesn`t) Stop Here

Guest Post by Patti Ellis

Surviving Today`s Online Wilderness
They say opposites attract, and in this case, it couldn’t be more true.  I’m geekaliciously nerdy with a fond appreciation for any type of electronic gadget that is connected to the Internet.  I love to travel, and have a penchant for room service and fine wine.  My husband, on the other hand, would actually prefer to be wearing camo and living outside several hundred miles from civilization; living off the land as it were, cooking on an open fire whilst sharing tales of yesteryear with his hunting and fishing buddies and enjoying a brewski or two…

It’s deer hunting season here in Nova Scotia, and I received a rare invitation to spend this past weekend in a dilapidated camp in, well, I’m not sure where really, as I was blindfolded and permitted entry only after consuming several shots of Zambuca and successfully passing a hazing exercise that I am to never speak of again.

Let me set the scene for you, and relay to you why I feel this story is even remotely related to being worthy of a Chick blog post…

The hunters in this area have been hunting there for 20-30 years.  For many, it’s generational.  Their grandfathers, fathers and now their sons – and a few wives and daughters – now participate in the experience.  It’s competitive and very strategic, they tell me.   And, now it’s all about the technology.

In a very Sopranos-esque type of sit-down, they meet at the end of the day and compare their notes and discuss at great length any sightings, tracks or scrapings.  Then, they whip out their daily-collected SD cards and view them on laptops or digital cameras to see who visited what, where and at what time, and to check lineage (something to do with antlers and points).  They use high tech walkie talkies to communicate while they are out and about, and they use their GPS to keep track of landmarks, and their Blackberries to check the wind, weather conditions and temperature.  And, they drive big, expensive four wheelers that have names like “The Grizz” which ironically sounds very much like my first car, which was a muffler-less Chevette and very similar in size, I might add.

And, yet, with all of these tools, the elusive buck manages to sneak in unseen and unheard.  He has a six-course meal of apple after apple all the while seemingly knowing and not caring that every movement is being flashed at and recorded by high-definition game cameras.  He’s smart, selective and he’s been around the block a few times.

I *had* to interject myself into the conversation at this point, much to the group’s delight.  I suggested to this pack of Survivormen that they consider changing their strategies as they all hunt, nap and eat at the same time every day. Any self-respecting deer could easily figure their schedule out; perhaps offer something else up for dinner? Maybe some carrots or a Hosta side-salad would do the trick; afterall, isn’t using apples for bait the same as using direct mail?

Ok, perhaps I lost them with that last point, but what struck me is the similarity with which they were doing the tried and true albeit with the latest in technology.  We as Internet marketers, do the same thing only our tools are websites, mobile phones, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Consumers are getting smarter, and not only do we need to use technology in innovative new ways, we also need to ensure we’re actually reaching the consumer (i.e. that they’re actually eating a mixture of apples, carrots or the Hosta side-salad).

So, where do we invest our 2011 marketing dollars?  Download our 11 Tips for Budgeting in 2011 to learn how to get the most, ummmmm, bang for your buck.

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