Some Thoughts on Marketing Inspired by Birdwatching

The birdwatching class I teach for City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme met today at Musselburgh, by the bridge over the River Esk.  We had a wonderful walk along the Esk, along the John Muir Way and to Musselburgh Lagoons. Some of the birds were starting their courtship displays, the male goldeneye ducks for example were throwing their heads back onto their heads, to attract the females and warn off their rivals.

A few days ago at Linlithgow Loch I saw great crested grebes doing their courtship dances.

And even without the displays and the dancing, have you ever noticed how polished and shiny the male birds look at this time of year? Look at the male tufted ducks below! Their black and white plumage is crisp and bright and they have little crests on their heads.

advertising for birds

They make themselves look nice so they can attract a mate. Good looks equal good breeding condition. This is the birds’ equivalent of marketing.

Marketing isn’t just a commercial activity that we should treat with suspicion (though some forms of marketing are dubious and definitely to be avoided!) but something that on one level is integral to survival!

As a writer, I’m used to fellow writers and other artists complaining about how they  don’t want to compromise themselves by marketing their work. Or how great work will just be discovered, they shouldn’t need to market. It’s not necessarily true! You need to find your audience!

Equally, to be fair, I do know of small businesses and creative individuals who are very successful and depend purely on word of mouth to expand their business. That however doesn’t work for everyone!

Most people will find themselves much more successful (whether that’s in terms of finding an audience, finding supporters for a campaign or selling more products) if they do some marketing.

So, if you’re thinking marketing is the devil’s work and not something you want to tarnish yourself with, just go out birdwatching, you might be surprised by how much marketing is going on in the bird world!


About julietwilson

This is my professional blogging account. My personal blog is Crafty Green Poet (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: