4 Ways Marketing is like Monarchs

Monarch butterflies are beautiful creatures that go through a lot during their life from a tiny egg to graceful butterfly. Building a successful base of marketing for your business is also a journey. Here are a some of the similarities between these journeys.

1 – The Beginning is Especially ChallengingMonarch butterfly

The female monarch butterfly lays up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs face intense and immediate danger. So much danger, as a matter of fact, that only one of about every 20 will survive into adulthood.

Promoting your business is also especially difficult in the beginning. You may have little experience with marketing or feel uncomfortable doing it. There are such big demands on your time, marketing may fall to the wayside. You may be tempted to buy into expensive ad purchases.

Recognize that successful marketing campaigns don’t happen overnight. Many established businesses have a long string of failures under their belt.

The key to great marketing is to make the best decisions possible, make sure your efforts see the light of day, review what you are doing, and make continual improvements.

2 – Sometimes You Discover Unexpected BenefitsMilkweed Bug

When I first established a patch of milkweed in my backyard, I did it purely to help monarch butterflies. But as I searched for eggs on the plants, I found a wide range of other creatures hanging around as well – including spiders, snails, ants, earwigs and milkweed bugs.

As I’ve met people and told them about my milkweed I’ve learned this is no simple plant. The silk attached to the seeds is prized for its hypoallergenic qualities. And although the plant is generally toxic, some parts are edible at very specific times. (I haven’t been brave enough to try eating it yet!)

Marketing often leads to ‘aha’ moments in other areas of your business as well including customer service, product distribution, staff management, office systems and more.

As your marketing develops you should see individual marketing efforts working together to build an overall strong plan. In fact you should plan your marketing to do this! For example, your enewsletter should drive traffic to your blog, your website should have easy to find social media buttons so visitors can find you on Facebook, etc.

3 – Momentum May Take a Little Time

Before they become beautiful, majestic monarch butterflies, each was once a caterpillar. In the beginning these caterpillars are very small and quite inconspicuous. Once they get growing they develop voracious appetites and grow quite large in a short period of time.  In fact, the typical monarch increases in mass by 2,000 times while it’s a caterpillar. And that is in under 2 weeks!

Marketing works much the same way. It takes a lot of effort especially in the beginning to build momentum within your marketing. Absolutely you need to use a variety of marketing methods to gain traction, but don’t stretch yourself across too many initiatives. Pick a handful of efforts and be as consistent as possible with them.  (However, it will take more than 2 weeks to be successful…)

4 – Challenges After Initial Success

Once a monarch butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, it still faces significant challenges. It must find food sources, avoid pesticides, dodge predators, combat air pollution, navigate traffic, survive weather extremes, and much more.

It’s similar in business. Even once you have established your marketing efforts, you will still face challenges. While you can certainly relax a little, this is not the time to sit back and do nothing. It is the perfect time to identify what works well and increase support of these efforts.

Just as there is a lot of effort for monarchs to become the beautiful butterflies you know and love, it is the same for marketing.


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