How do you hunt moose? 1In 1986 I was a guest on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. Dr. Schuller was a televangelist based at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. His was a megachurch with seating for four thousand people. At the time, the Hour of Power TV program was broadcast worldwide to about thirteen million. It’s not important why I was a guest, but that day was pivotal in my career. There were two services every Sunday and after the second, Dr. Schuller invited me back to his office for a cup of coffee.

“You were very good out there!” he said. “You should think about being a professional speaker!”

Huh? A professional speaker? Get paid to speak? I had no idea you could do that.

He laughed, “Oh yes, you can get paid very well to speak to corporations and conferences!”

“But how do you find people to hire you?”

Now here I was, a marketing specialist, asking for marketing advice. I should have known better, but his answer was awesome.

“Well, how do you hunt moose?”

Huh, again? I was definitely caught off-guard.

Dr. Schuller laughed and went on. “Well, you wouldn’t go to Florida to hunt moose would you? No! You’d go farther north, maybe into Canada. You’d look for a forest where moose lived—where a lot of moose lived. And would you attract moose with Hostess Ding Dongs? No! You’d use some kind of moose bait, something moose would love to get and none of the other animals cared about. And would you capture a moose with a tennis racquet? No! You’d need some sort of moose gun. A big gun that’s especially made for an animal the size of a moose.

“But the most important thing to understand is you’re hunting moose! That’s first. There are a lot of animals in the forest—bears, wild turkeys, otters, maybe big cats, birds, and fish in the streams—but you aren’t interested in any of those other animals. You are only interested in moose.”

I’ve carried that marketing lesson ever since. It makes for the strategic marketing foundation for all the clients I work with: you must define your Moose as specifically as possible.

  • Who are your market prospects? What profile can you define that covers them? What are their needs, and what is the problem/pain they have that you can solve?
  • Where are they? Are they in a specific geographic location? Maybe you specialize in working with companies of a certain size, in terms of annual revenues, or number of employees.
  • What is your prospect’s title? Are they the owner or CEO? Maybe they’re a production engineer, or a web designer?

The more clearly you can define your moose, the better.  Learn everything you can about them, and then figure out exactly where to find them.

In my book, Uncopyable, How to Create an Unfair Advantage Over the Competition, I explain how defining your Moose fits into the Marketing Diamond (Market, Message, Media and Moment). Knowing your Moose allows you to hone your message with laser-beam focus. It’s the first step in developing an uncopyable attachment with prospects and customers.

Think about your target customers. Define them as specifically as possible by answering the questions above. Then ask yourself the same question Dr. Schuller asked me, all those years ago: “How do you hunt Moose?”