“What’s your spirit animal?”

This question has been an ice-breaker standard for years. A “spirit animal,” for the very few of you out there who don’t know, is an animal with whom a person identifies with on a spiritual level based on that animal’s basic traits.

Not only is it a fun conversation starter, but you can actually learn quite a bit about someone by the kind of animal they choose. For instance, if someone says their spirit animal is a house cat, you can assume they are patient, introspective, quiet, and tactical. If someone says they are a dolphin, they are likely a free spirit, pretty chatty, and have a hard time staying in one place for any amount of time.

I’ve been told my spirit animal is a golden retriever… so I’ll let you figure that one out.

This question is not only a good gauge of an individual’s personality, this question can also be used to define the personality of a company – especially when it comes to their marketing. We see lots of different kinds of businesses here at the ‘Peg, so it’s hard to boil them down. That being said, here are 4 common examples of business marketing spirit animals.

 

The Mouse

A business that is a mouse is timid about its marketing. They are afraid or otherwise hold themselves back from embracing new marketing techniques either because they are intimidated by the digital age or they are simply stuck in their old ways using outdated methods.

This kind of company doesn’t blog, isn’t on social media, doesn’t send out newsletters and has an extremely outdated website (if they even have one at all). Instead, they rely on broad, often ineffective, marketing techniques like a small ad in the paper or a billboard.

 

A mouse may have attended some seminars or seriously considered making the leap, but every time they have second-guessed themselves and stuck with the same old routine.

At the end of the day, their marketing timidness holds them back from achieving their potential as they hide away in their hole in the wall.

The Turtle

A business that is a turtle has their marketing bases covered. They have a blog, they have a Facebook page, they have a small email list and their website isn’t terrible. The only problem is the development and growth of their marketing moves very, very slowly.

Yes, they have all of the components of effective digital marketing, but they never use them! They only send a newsletter every couple months. Their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in weeks. You don’t even want to know the last time they published a new blog.

 

This stagnation could be caused by several things. Maybe after they set all of this stuff up they never really appointed anyone to manage it. Maybe there is just a lot of bureaucracy and getting approval on anything is a total nightmare.

Regardless of the reason for their slow movement, the going is indeed very slow. And, when push comes to shove, they are content to hide in their shell and convince themselves they are doing all right anyway. Just having all that stuff is good enough, right?

The Squirrel

A business that is a squirrel, as you can probably guess, is the opposite of a turtle. They have an email list, social media accounts on every possible platform, and a blog. All great things. However, squirrels are way too eager and overzealous.

This kind of company read or heard that it was important to be active on social media and on email… but they never bothered learning that there is such a thing as being too active. They post way too much on social media and they send emails too frequently. They may think they are doing the right thing, but they are actually just annoying and turning off their target audience.

 

Not only are they posting on social media too much, but they are posting the same kind of content everywhere. The squirrel is so eager to get content out that they don’t do the research to realize that different content works on different platforms or that they may be better served focusing on a specific niche.

A squirrel isn’t afraid to try new tactics and tools they hear about, but they don’t have the wherewithal to crunch the numbers and see if it’s actually working. Basically, a company that is a squirrel is doing a lot of things right. They are just wasting so much time and energy trying to do it all.

The Lion

A business that is a lion is the quintessential “king of the jungle!” This kind of business has done their research. They know exactly who their audience is, exactly how best to reach them and what kind of content to provide them with.

The lion has an active blog that helps fuel their social media, email newsletters, and even their downloads and white papers. However, they are still mindful about inundating their audience.

 

A lion isn’t afraid to be bold like a mouse. It isn’t lazy like a turtle. And, it actually has a thoughtful plan and strategy, unlike the squirrel.

Lions constantly challenge their business marketing. They research and experiment with new tools and strategies. They don’t just look at the numbers and data from their website and marketing efforts – the lion takes the time to interpret them and build off of them.

A mouse has the potential to become a lion with the guts, dedication, and knowledge. However, a lion can also become a mouse by getting too complacent.

“What’s your spirit animal?”

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