OCG Creative’s Joe Ross forces an awkward scuba diving metaphor.

In marketing, there are few guarantees. We set goals, do our research, plan, weigh the opportunities and threats, then execute. Finally, at intervals or once the campaign has finalized, we evaluate the result make decisions about what to do next.

The connection is obvious (right?).

It is little known, but prior to 1900 and a little after, there was a Lake Tahoe resort on the North shore of Emerald Bay called, appropriately, the Emerald Bay Resort. Then, as now, Lake Tahoe was something of a vacation hotspot, despite having  virtually every tree in the basin cut down and sent to the Virginia City silver mines. This is where the marketing/scuba diving similarities are uncanny. When the Emerald Bay Resort was in its heyday, they’d offer rowing skiffs and similar watercraft to guests, which they would use to ply the waters of the lake under human power. Although the resort is long gone, these little vessels, known to some as Emerald Bay’s “miniature fleet” had been scuttled and remain on the bottom. For small craft enthusiasts, the miniature fleet is like a liquid time capsule–a submerged museum of the evolution of boat building. On Sunday, our mission was to find it.

Stay with me…

Like finding a bunch of tiny boats, effective marketing begins with research. Imagine (and, who wouldn’t) the boats are your potential customers. As a marketer, your goal is to deliver your message to the boats, er… customers. BUT, before you can deliver your message, you must know where to find them. Your marketing dollars are like air (or, in our case, Nitrox, but that’s not important). It’s a big lake, so if we were to have any hope of finding the miniature fleet, we couldn’t just jump in and start swimming. And, unless you have unlimited time and money (who doesn’t?), the last thing you want to do is blow your budget not knowing whether your target market is anywhere in the vicinity. We read books, asked people in the area and dug through everything we could find on the Internet (BTW, I think this “Internet” thing might really catch on). Eventually, we narrowed our search by comparing old photos of the resort to the surface geology (rocks… big ones) of today. I’m no expert on geologic time, but how much could a 50,000 pound boulder erode in a hundred years? Thus armed, we chose our drop in point, geared up and rolled over the side of our trusty research vessel (aka. Joe’s boat). After about 25 minutes in the water, we hit our mark by identifying a lapstrake rowing skiff dating back to the late 1800’s.  Our research payed off and we had the opportunity to visit a unique piece of history because we narrowed our search without wasting our precious breathing gas.

And, that’s how we do it.

Your budget is your budget. Too often, the approach to marketing (especially media advertising), is to decide and commit, skipping the research part altogether. In fact, the system is kind of set up that way. Our job is to make sure that you deliver the right message to your boats while you still have air left.

Practically the same thing.

And there you go. Diving and marketing. Peas in a pod. PB & J. Different, but so eerily complimentary, that I believe it’s high time we thought about having meetings underwater.

The Scuba Industry

Speaking of scuba diving and marketing, OCG Creative is a Reno web design and internet marketing agency that provides marketing services for a variety of industries such as the scuba diving industry. Take a look at some of the work we have done for clients such as Adventure Scuba.