The hummingbird marketing model

Most birds go to massive lengths to protect their nests. They may build them in a deep cavity of a tree. Or high up in a tall tree.

They may cover their nest with mud to disguise it. Some build their nest in the form of a deep sock to prevent entry by unwanted visitors. And birds use many more tricks to attempt to outsmart predators.

The result?

Many of these birds end up having their nests invaded, the eggs stolen, the babies eaten and often the entire nest may be destroyed.

Not so with many species of hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds are smart little suckers.

Black-chinned hummingbirds build their nests in close proximity to Coopers Hawks nests. Why? Because Coopers Hawks feed primarily on other birds, so other birds do everything possible to avoid them. And since other birds are the main predators for Black-chinned hummingbird eggs, their problem is instantly solved.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds in Florida are known to build their nests above alligator infested waters. Since their main predators are raccoons, the
alligators provide a reliable “predator removal” service.

Yep, I actually took this picture :-).

Cheez, Serling, what does any of this have to do with marketing?

I’m glad you asked.

You see, most people aren’t much different than birds when it comes to marketing.

They overload themselves with dozens of marketing strategies, tactics, and tasks almost desperately hoping that something will stick. Or fearful that they’ll miss that next big thing.

Truth is, you’d be much better off focusing on just one or two marketing strategies for any given area of your business and mastering these rather than
doing dozens of things incompletely.

For example, find one paid method of generating traffic and one free method. Devote the bulk of your traffic generation efforts to just those two methods and you’ll soon see a lot more progress than trying to chase down every new traffic
method that pops up each week.

Same goes for landing pages. You can actually increase your sales by double digits just by improving your landing page.

So focus on finding just that single landing page format that gets the most prospects to take action for your business (which could be very different than what works for another business). Once you do, if you can increase opt-ins by 30% and your conversion process is effective, that should mean an increase in sales of 30% as well.

Just like hummingbirds, when you focus on just one or two tactics in each marketing area that are the most effective for your business, you simplify your life and increase your sales. And you also keep your predatory competitors
at bay without them ever knowing what hit them!

Am I nuts? Am I right on target?

Feel free to let me know – or share your own experience with this topic – by leaving your comment below.

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8 Responses to The hummingbird marketing model

  1. That’s a great analogy Bob.

    We think we are smart creatures but there are many much smarter. There are many examples in nature that we can learn from.

    To communicate we build towers to send messages via satellites and then we all carry devices to connect.

    A dolphin, whale, shark, flocks of birds, they just signal each other.

    Now, where are my binoculars?



  2. Ignatius says:

    You are right on target, it takes a better study of the immediate market environment and the acceptability of the product in question, for sales to come. better understanding better sales.

  3. So true Bob, I’m with you on that one.

    I love how you always bring it back to basics and common sense. My experience with business is just that – they get bedazzled by the latest bright shiny objects and never spend long enough at one thing to get traction!


  4. Excellent, thought-provoking post Bob!

    Willie Crawford

  5. Nick Lucko says:

    “Truth is, you’d be much better off focusing on just one or two marketing strategies for any given area of your business and mastering these rather than doing dozens of things incompletely.” makes all the sense in the world. (Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! – Thoreau)

    I wish that I had thought of this myself or at least learned of it earlier. Thanks Bob.

  6. Dolores says:

    Great example of protecting your business. Mastering one or two methods that work also protects you from overwhelm (another predator).

  7. sharon gist says:

    I learn from watchinghummingbirds every day.
    Thanks for this article. I know that the
    more focused and simplified I am,
    The more consistent, higher quality
    Are my results.

  8. John Polk says:

    Great post!
    I like analogies and stories to make a point about marketing and life. This is a great metaphor for all of us to live by.
    I always enjoy reading and learning from you. I am like you, an older direct response marketer. Its nice to see a brother still making hay. Look forward to more wisdom and insights.

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