Survival of the Fittest: what the Animal Kingdom can teach us about Radical Collaboration

By: Chris Thompson on April 22, 2016 Categories: Content Strategy, Corporate Communications

Survival of the Fittest: what the Animal Kingdom can teach us about the Content Marketing Jungle

In today’s heavily saturated online marketplace, establishing and cultivating brand awareness has literally become a case of survival of the fittest.

And as the world of digital content marketing continues to evolve at rapid speed, the role of collaboration in connecting your marketing team with your entire company, as well as external agencies and freelancers, has become an essential survival strategy. That’s why we asked Brian W. Fitzpatrick, founder of Google’s Data Liberation Front and author of the book Debugging Teams: Better Productivity through Collaboration, to be the keynote speaker at our second annual Content Vegas conference, taking place June 9-10th.

In the lead-up to the conference, we decided to look to the Animal Kingdom for examples of unlikely but effective collaboration strategies in the face of life or death. Keep these in mind while you’re navigating the content marketing jungle.

Symbiotic collaboration: the goby fish and the pistol shrimp

In the Animal Kingdom, members of two different species will often form a collaborative symbiotic relationship in order to help both animals overcome challenging environmental circumstances. In symbiosis, the animals are completely dependent on one another to survive. The goby fish and the pistol shrimp have a unique collaboration that protects them both from predators. The pistol shrimp, which can dig into the sand, builds and maintains a burrow for both itself and the fish to live in; the goby fish can’t dig, but stands guard and warns the nearly-blind pistol shrimp of oncoming predators with a flick of its tail. Both animals can then retreat into the burrow together to avoid being eaten.

Symbiotic collaboration in content marketing

Collaboration among your content marketing team should align each individual member to the same over-arching goal: brand recognition and customer loyalty in the face of extreme competition. To achieve this goal effectively, look for areas where symbiotic relationships would prevent critical mistakes that could be deadly to your brand. Ensure there are plenty of eyes reviewing content and checking for errors, misguided brand messaging, or potentially deadly branding errors. Mintent’s Workflow tool makes it easy for your team’s far-flung collaborators to work together and communicate efficiently across different projects, platforms, and time zones.

Complementary collaboration: the honeyeater and the badger

Work smarter, not harder. In a complementary relationship, each animal can survive on its own, but results are better when they team up. The honeyeater bird knows this strategy well; it guides larger animals, such as badgers, to food sources they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to on their own. They wait while the accomplice does the “dirty work” and then they join in the feast.

Complementary collaboration in content marketing

At last year’s Content.Vegas conference, we explored the role of strategic alignment in implementing and executing an effective content marketing plan.

At this year’s conference, we’ll look at how effective complementary collaboration tactics factor into your team’s goals and your overall brand vision.  Linsey Ross, Director of Talent Acquisition, and CMO Sherri Whittington will address tactics for “Collaborating with Creatives—Hiring & Working with Content Marketing Professionals.” This will give you great insights into determining an individual’s areas of expertise as well as their weaker spots so that collaborative efforts can serve to reduce wasted time and ensure top-quality content.

Leveraging collaborative output: coyotes and badgers

Coyotes will eat badgers, and vice versa, if given the opportunity. Yet these two animals will often team up to hunt together for the greater good: acquiring more food. Coyotes can’t dig to capture burrowing animals such as prairie dogs and ground squirrels, but badgers can. When they pair up to hunt as a team, the coyote will chase down burrowing animals above ground, and the badger will take over once the prey descends underground.

Leveraging collaborative output in content marketing

The coyote and the badger will put aside their individual desires to eat one another and instead work as a team because it ultimately increases their chances of survival.

At Content.Vegas, CEO Greg Marlin will address issues around culture, philosophy, teaming and tools that can rally your entire organization around the development of engaging content for your customers, investors, and partners.   A great place to start is managing your content marketing team, which may be a collaboration of internal and external members from all over the world. Another key tactic is maintaining a free-flowing and open dialogue through the use of tools such as an Idea Bank

Content is king of the marketing jungle, but collaboration is key

In the Animal Kingdom, inter-species collaboration is a strategy that animals have adopted over time in order to improve their chances of survival. In the context of content marketing, it is imperative that your team members adopt collaborative strategies that will align them to the same goal—ensuring your brand will thrive in a highly competitive environment.

Mintent enables teams to plan, create, publish, measure & optimize content campaigns in one place. Get all of the functionality of a Content Marketing Platform, along with Content Performance Analytics and SEO tools that will allow you to maximize conversions and marketing ROI. To find out more about Mintent book a demo with us today.