Watching Out for the Flock

by Shari LeGate

Over a recent weekend, I had the Opportunity to watch a starling murmuration. You know, when you see hundreds, sometimes thousands of the little birds flying together in synchronization and never crash into each other as they pulsate, swoop and swirl into a variety of shapes creating intricate patterns.

It’s a mesmerizing sight. It seems their movements are completely random with no reason for the quick change of direction, but in reality there is. The moves are because of an approaching threat. A predator coming toward them or a sudden change in the wind. But that’s not what fascinated me. I was curious as to how they could make these quick moves as one entity, no matter how many individual birds made up the flock.

There’s no telepathic extrasensory perception or special radar they use to communicate with each other. They just simply watch a few of their neighbors. They pay attention to a fixed number— seven to be exact — of the birds flying around them and then coordinate their movements to their neighbors’.

It’s impossible for the entire flock to see everything around them all the time, so depending on where a bird’s position is in the flock, they can see what’s around them and know when and where a threat is coming from at any given time. They then guide the huge lock by initiating a turn their neighbors mirror and then their neighbors’ neighbor mirrors and so on. It’s a very uncomplicated and effortless system.


“When someone else is watching
your back, keeping pace with the
market is effortless and uncomplicated.”


How do they react so quickly? Slow motion cameras showed it’s like a ripple effect that passes through the flock, but it’s imperceptible to the naked eye. Think of a cheerleading wave as it travels around a sports stadium. Fans watch it approach and when their neighbor starts to stand and raises their arms, they’re getting in position to do the same thing so it all looks like one seamless wave. Same concept, albeit much slower.

And this has what to do with marketing and advertising for your company? Like the flock of starlings, it’s impossible to see every new trend or threat approaching. Especially when it comes from all different sides and you’re busy trying to run a business.

That’s where FMG’s editors and sales team can help. Like the birds flying on the outskirts of the flock keeping continual watch of what’s ahead, the FMG staff is constantly on the lookout for new trends approaching, information on what’s happening in the industry and possible threats looming.

Every day, I see email threads from the editors and sales team letting us all know what they’re seeing and hearing on the front lines. They’re regularly keeping each other informed, and creating new programs and campaigns for clients to head off the continually changing marketplace. When someone else is watching your back, keeping pace with the market is effortless and uncomplicated.

Do you need a bird’s-eye view of the trends and changes going on in the industry and the market so you can spend more time running your business? Talk to an FMG rep and let them help you keep abreast of what’s happening ahead. It may not be as mesmerizing as watching a starling murmuration, but it will be mesmerizing to watch an increase in your bottom line.

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