Anatomy of a Marketing Chicken

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Andy Crestodina
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You’ve heard the excuses. Maybe you’ve said them yourself. We don’t do that. Our audience wouldn’t want it. We tried it once, and it didn’t work. We don’t have time. Cluck, cluck.

You meet these marketing chickens all the time, and they all have a few things in common. Here are five common traits, and a few barnyard remedies.

1. Bird Brain

The typical marketing chicken is shallow in their content. They hunt and peck at small topics with short posts, instead of writing in-depth, practical content. It’s all chicken scratch, one short post after the next.

Treatment:

  • Do some research, such as an industry survey.

  • Write a detailed how-to guide.

2. Near-Sighted Eyes

A lot of chickens are just not aware of what’s happening around them. If they looked up, they’d notice a few things. Which topics is their audience asking about? What’s happening in the industry? Do they have the attention of any influential roosters?

Treatment:

  • Use content to answer questions people are asking in sales conversations.

  • Write a post that sheds light on an industry trend.

  • Interview someone who is writing topics you find interesting.

3. Weak Heart

This is a common ailment among marketers. They don’t write from their own perspective. There’s no personality, no voice. Their posts are filled with soft statements and qualifiers. These chickens don’t really stand for anything.

Treatment:

  • Put passion into your next post. Write an opinion piece.

  • Tell a story about making hard choices.

  • Explain why you do what you do.

4. All Gizzard, No Guts

Some chickens are afraid to try something new, something big. They don’t experiment with different formats, it’s all text. They never cross the road to different topics or timing. No experiments, no learning. No guts, no glory.

Treatment:

  • Try publishing on a weekend.

  • Create a short series of videos or podcasts.

  • Ask for feedback, check your Analytics, repeat.

5. Low Egg Production

One of the worst problems with marketing chickens, they just don’t do much. They’re actually afraid of marketing too much. That means low email frequency, few posts, quiet social media accounts …and no baby chicks.

Treatment:

  • Get yourself on a cycle. Make your calendar visible, and stick to it.

  • Ask others for articles. There’s more than one hen in this hen house.

  • Rise at the break of dawn. Yup. Get up early and write. Everyday.

Tastes like…

There’s a whole lot of poultry out there. Most of it tastes the same. That’s because great marketing takes insight, perspective, and courage.

So spread those little wings! Keep your beak up, and don’t be a marketing chicken …or you’ll end up on a grill, slathered in BBQ sauce.

Editor’s note: Speaking of marketers and chickens, Andy had a little surprise a couple of years ago and it looked like this:

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Comments (19)
  • Nice post using the analogy of a chicken!

    Letting your voice shine through in your posts is important. However, some writers are afraid to do so because they fear rejection or confrontation. If someone doesn’t agree with your post, it’s not the end of the world. Acknowledge your critics in a professional manner and move forward.

    It’s important to implement a calendar. Think of yourself as an editor. Magazines are scheduled seven or more months in advance. If that seems too daunting, use three or four months. Or start small with one month.

    Go forth and write.

  • I think Andy just called me a chicken 🙂

  • Peck, peck…Thanks for the great info!

    • Kari Underly? I guess it makes sense that a poultry themed post can get the attention of a celebrity butcher!

      Great to see you here in the comments, Kari.

  • So, now that we’ve ruled out the chicken as the content marketing mascot, what would make a good marketing animal mascot and why?

    • You’re giving me ideas, Todd…
      Next month: “Anatomy of a Marketing Squid”

  • cluck, cluck I’m a free range marketing chicken! thanks for the reminder to get back in the henhouse and make some eggs!

    • Cluck to you, Mark! You’re winning for most puns per comment… 🙂

  • Great post! I think a lot of people are afraid to jump in and try something because they are afraid to fail. Fail often and quickly. Learn from it and move on. The more you try the more likely you are to actually do something worthwhile.

    • Exactly!

  • Love this!!

  • You wrote this for me, didn’t you? 😉

    • I’m not sure if you qualify, Jason. You go big with content on the podcast. You’ve got a great voice in your writing. I suppose you could increase production …maybe you’re a rooster. 🙂

  • This is a great post! Particularly the advice about writing with a point of view (and thus avoiding a “weak heart”).

  • You are the master of masterful analogy. E-i-e-i-o.

  • Tell it how you see it. Just be sure that you are seeing it clearly.

  • I love the humor of the analogy. This makes the subject so much easier to understand.

    Just signed up. Curious what else you guys have to offer.

  • I love this, Andy! A great analogy for marketing and for living life! 🙂

    • Thanks, Bethany! I’m glad you liked this one. And it’s great to see you here in the comments! Hope all is well at Bubbles Academy. 🙂

 
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