Tag Archive for: marketing effectiveness

So you’ve set yourself a New Year’s resolution…

So, you’ve set yourself a New Year’s resolution… That’s great, but how do you turn this expressed desire into a real, lasting improvement? The evidence for successful adoption of New Year’s resolutions isn’t encouraging. According to Forbes overall success is about 8%.

However, before we abandon any hope of self-improvement let’s look at ways we can change our habits. Erasmus wisely said that “A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit”. This view is supported by our increasing knowledge in neuroscience.

Why we form habits

We form habits, essentially, to save precious energy. The brain consumes energy at 10 times the rate of the rest of the body per gram of tissue. Even at rest it uses around 20% of the total consumed energy of the human body. So, anything that automates processes and reduces that demand is of great evolutionary benefit. Habits are about short cuts. The more often we repeat them the more likely it is that we will do it the next time without even thinking about it. They are automated processes that, with each repetition, are wired further into our neurons.

So how do we form good habits?

  • Step 1:  Understand what triggers your current habits
    To change a habit, you first need to recognise what triggers that response? Does receiving a deadline for a major project trigger immediate procrastination?

  • Step 2:  Decide which behaviours you would like to become your new habit
    For example, would you like to replace the procrastination with an immediate period of outline planning? Be very specific.

  • Step 3:  Decide how you will reward yourself for each successful new behaviour
    Rewards are important. The establishment of habit is closely linked to dopamine reward, which is often how we get into bad habits. Problem gambling is strongly linked to this mechanism. Augmenting the brain’s reward system helps establish the new habit.

So, try this…

Imagine you’ve received a deadline. You’ve immediately done some rough planning and role allocation. Try going out and getting a coffee or having a 5-minute walk… or something else simple that you enjoy doing. Repeated often enough, your brain will rewire your neurons to create a new habit to replace the old one, giving you the best chance to be one of the 8% who succeed over time.

Good luck!

Got a technology question? Steve Jobs still has the answer.

A client recently asked us for our opinion on which technology software solutions could best support the creation of customer journey mapping within their company.

It reminded me of a famous Steve Jobs YouTube clip from the 1997 Apple worldwide developer conference. There he was, in his trademark black polo neck, perched casually on a bar stool, taking questions from the floor. There’s a good chance you might have seen it too as it’s been watched by millions of people.

One man in the audience stood up and says: “Mr. Jobs; you are a bright and influential man” (so far so good) but then he added, “…it’s sad and clear that, on several counts, you don’t know what you are talking about. I would like you, to express in clear terms, how say, Java addresses the ideas embodied in OpenDoc…”

Essentially, what this man was saying to Steve Jobs was: “you don’t understand the technology”. His answer to the challenge was: “You’ve got to start with customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology.” And everyone knows how well Apple grew under Steve Jobs.

And this is perhaps the best answer to any question that starts with “Which technology can help us with…?” We are often involved in meetings where it becomes clear that there’s a belief, a hope, that technology might answer a bigger strategic need. But that’s a dangerous place to be. The only way to effectively answer the “which technology…” questions is to first ask “what are the needs we are trying to meet – and what is the customer / user experience that we are trying to create?”.

At wethepeople, we believe that understanding people, and how they behave, must always come first. We build marketing strategies and campaigns using techniques based on how our minds have evolved to function. If you are interested in how wethepeople can accelerate the effectiveness of your marketing activity, and indeed help you to answer the big technology questions, then get in touch.