Anatomy of a Marketing Chicken

By Andy Crestodina

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.


  • 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?


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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:


There is more where this came from…

The best articles from this blog are available all in one place – our book. Now on it’s 6th edition.

Content Chemistry, The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing, is packed with practical tips, real-world examples, and expert insights. A must-read for anyone looking to build a content strategy that drives real business impact. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

Buy now direct $29.95