The peacock is known for his colorful and far reaching tail features. The blue and gold features are used to draw attention and to attract potential mates. The Peacock’s methods are very effective, as the average male gathers a harem of several female peahens.
While the male peacock proudly markets himself to potential mates, his female counterpart, the peahen, remains drab so she can blend into the bushes in an effort to protect herself and her incubating eggs. She is forgettable, unnoticeable, and this is by design.
Out of all of the animals I can think of, the peacock is the most unique and it is the easiest to identify and remember. There is no mistaking his presence or his ability to command an audience.
The peacock’s extravagant plumage is nature’s version of marketing.
The Peahen Has Great Limitation
As much as I love the nurturing nature of the peahen, she has limitations. Her ability to blend into to her surroundings also makes it impossible for her to attract a mate. She must follow the peacock, because he is the one who is in the lead.
In my years of online marketing I have met many companies and business owners who want to be the peahen. They are afraid of standing out in the crowd and they are afraid of being noticed by their competition. They are afraid that competition will come and steal their precious eggs.
They are misguided. They are letting fear rule and in the process they are letting their competition win.
This is the exact opposite of strong online marketing. To win online, you have to start by being the peacock.
In an Online World, the Peacock Prevails
There are thousands upon thousands of new URLs registered each day. The internet has grown so great, that it is difficult to stand out and be noticed. It is difficult to make yourself distinguishable and it is even harder to make sure that you are remembered.
To attract and capture a long-term online audience, you have to be the peacock.
You have to display your beauty proudly and in a very wide fan. You do not know who will look or when, so you need to make sure you are colorful and that you will be remembered for your uniqueness.
You need to figure out what will stand you apart from the masses and what will make someone remember your beauty.
Unlike the peacock, you have to do it very quickly. The average website visitor comes and goes quickly. The average Twitter follower is lost at lightning speed.
Be Bold, Be Colorful, Be Unique
When we engage with new clients I try and find their tail feathers. I ask questions. What is colorful about them, their business or offering? What makes them unique?
Clients struggle to articulate this, even though they know it deep within. Displaying your colors is difficult. As I grew up my grandmother counseled me on not being overly proud or focused on beauty. She told me to look for beauty within for this would be long lasting.
While I agree with her on a personal level and I try and instill the same values with my daughter, I know this cannot apply completely to marketing.
The internet moves so rapidly, that you have to be the peacock to have any chance at all of winning online.
The Peacock Still Needs the Peahen
In marketing you need to be the peacock, but marketing cannot have long-term success without continuing to nurture the initial connection. A solid business needs both the peacock and the peahen to be successful.
Longevity, and in particular long-term relationships, require substance and depth.
The peacock can attract your website visitors and make sure they take a moment to glance your way, but it is the peahen who makes sure the visitor stays and returns for another visit or purchase. It is a balance and one cannot truly exist without the other.
As you look forward to 2014, remember the peacock and the peahen. You must be bold and you must be colorful, but underneath you must have substance. Make sure your marketing plan and web strategy include both.