What the birds can teach you about marketing

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A brief thought as I set up at the Eduweb conference for this week.


These birds were sitting outside of the seating area at the local coffee and pastry shop. They were quite successful in their “marketing” and “conversion”, getting lots of food from amused restaurant patrons.

The birds know what far too many marketers don’t: go where the opportunities are. Just because a place is busy doesn’t mean it has opportunities for you. The road right next to the restaurant has plenty of traffic and is plenty busy, but there’s no food there. The store next to the restaurant has no traffic and is completely safe, but there’s no food either.

Opportunity isn’t just traffic. It isn’t just where the crowd is. It’s where the crowd is that wants to do business with you. Facebook has lots and lots of people. The crowd is very clearly there, like sitting in the middle of a 10 lane highway. It may not necessarily be where your opportunities are.

The birds follow each other. As one finds food, it communicates with a happy chirp to the others who come and eat as well. Look at your fellow marketers in your industry and vertical, or of similarly sized companies. Where are they finding opportunity? Where’s the crowd that has the food? It may not be the biggest, most popular places. In fact, it might be the relatively quiet places (like discussion forums or other websites) next to the big highway that have the best choices for you.

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2 responses to “What the birds can teach you about marketing”

  1. The other thing about how birds market is that you know what they are looking for. There is no ambiguity!

  2. Unfortunately, those birds may not be getting the most nutritious food (business) by simply going where it’s easiest to obtain. Which, by the way, brings to mind the Willy Sutton’s famously and apocryphal quip when asked why he robbed banks – “because that’s where the money is.”

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