The Fly and The Bee—Lessons in Marketing

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In marketing, you’re either a fly or a bee. And there’s a big difference. One lives a purpose-filled existence while the other is an annoying pest. As a marketer, which one are you?

Bees Are Vital to a Healthy Environment

The more we study them, the more we realize bees play an important role in the cycle of life. And much like bees, good marketers play an important role, but we’ll get there.

Like other pollinators bees help plants grow, breed, and produce food.  For added value and to make a lasting impression, bees make honey to sweeten the deal.

It’s been estimated that more than 90% of the leading global crop types are visited by bees.  We need bees!

On another end of the spectrum is the house fly.

Like Many Marketers Today, Flies Are Pests

Their lives are short, usually lasting between 15 and 25 days and flies have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs.

They breed in garbage cans, compost heaps, and pet (poop) areas.

If you Google “flies” you’ll see the 2nd top search result is “Fly Control: How to Get Rid of Flies in the Home.”  Enough said.

There is a marketing story here…somewhere.

Be A Marketing Bee

You get to choose which kind of marketer you want to be, the fly or the bee.

The marketing bee is engineered to help things grow.  They go to market being “of service” putting their own needs second as they relentlessly focus on flowering brands to keep the cycle of business healthy and growing.

The marketing bee is a specialist.  Their mission is to pollinate.

Pollination is essential for plants and our crops.  We need marketing bees.

They produce real sustainable results in the world.

The marketing bee is patient and strategic.  The marketing bee is consistent and frequent, wisely understanding that these actions produce the best results.

The marketing bee is empathetic.  Sure, it can sting and cause great pain and suffering, but when a bee stings it makes the ultimate sacrifice as most die soon after.

The marketing bee is vital for brands.

We need more marketing bees.

But marketing bees are getting harder to find and are even face the threat of extinction.  New research found that bees are found far less common than they used to be; in North America, you are almost 50 percent less likely to see a bee in any given area than you were prior to 1974.

Climate chaos is the primary driver.

In marketing terms, today’s chaotic, highly fragmented and frenzied messaging environment has given rise to the pesky marketing fly – and they’re everywhere.

Don’t Be A Marketing Fly

The marketing fly is the most commonly found marketing insect today.

You know them when you see them.  They’re all about the buzz.

Just like house flies, they fly around and vomit irrelevant marketing messaging all over the place and proliferate in shit.  (Sorry, couldn’t help myself there!)

Marketing flies are short-term, impatient, and lack focus. And they’re annoying as hell.

If you’re a marketing fly, you rely on tactics and do the same things over and over yet still wonder why you lack results.

There are approximately 120,000 species of flies that have been identified by science.  For each person on Earth, there are 17 million flies.

Sounds exactly like today’s marketers.  There’s one on every corner.

Marketing flies add zero value and they spread marketing disease.

They’re bad for business and bad for brands.

Marketing flies make it harder for marketing bees to do their fine work.

Flies crave the buzzworthy.  Bees build a better future.

If you’re a marketer – it is better to be a bee than a fly.

And lastly, don’t forget about the almighty words you choose to communicate to the world because they matter.

Words are like bees—some create honey and others leave a sting.

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