Behavior modification for marketers

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

I see it everyday and especially during budget season. Marketing talks the game of connecting to revenue, marketing talks the game of aligning with   sales, marketing talks the game of wanting a seat at the table, but marketing is often not willing to change themselves in order to accomplish these goals. Too often I see marketing looking for a quick fix by obsessing about the latest piece of technology or the latest trend in marketing. What I see is a lot of talking and very little concrete change in behavior. Yet, we all know that to really change, we must change our fundamental behaviors.

Let me share a story.

A technique used by therapist to help modify many negative behaviors is the snapping of a rubber band worn around the wrist. When the person is faced with the choice of a bad behavior (eating that piece of cake or smoking that cigarette), snapping the rubber band brings them back to reality and can help them make a better choice. This technique helps the wearer become aware of the bad behaviors while learning new behaviors designed to improve their life. I used a similar technique for my own recent transformation.

In 2013, as a busy executive, I had let my health slip. The usual stuff, over-weight, over-tired and over-stressed. In July of that year, I decided to take back that control and knew I had to modify my behavior as it related to food and exercise. I joined a CrossFit gym (something I had done in 2004) and began working out 4-5 days a week – even with my hectic travel schedule. I stopped eating sugar and most grains, added organic whenever possible to my diet, and re-discovered how great food is as a fuel for your body, not just a hobby. The results were impressive in several areas. I lost weight and dramatically improved my strength, endurance, flexibility and fitness. I love Olympic lifting and found the strength training at CrossFit to be particularly effective. (I can clean 125 lbs and snatch 95 lbs). From a mental perspective, I found myself to be sharper at all times of the day, not just in the mornings. My stress levels decreased and I was no longer tired all the time.

The rubber band snap for me everyday was my daily weigh-in. First thing in the morning, I weighed and recorded my weight on a pad attached to my bathroom wall. This allowed me to be totally honest with myself and helped me to seek, learn and practice the good behaviors that allowed me to adopt a new life-style.

It’s All About Behavior Modification

When people ask me how I accomplished my transformation, I tell them – not from a “diet” and not from a quick fix, but from modifying my behavior. And, I have a list of specific behaviors that I live by. For example, I know that if I don’t shop for fresh and organic foods on Saturday, cook and test new Paleo recipes on Sunday, and have my refrigerator stocked with Paleo goodies on Monday morning, my week is not going to go well. This is a set of concrete, observable, and measurable behaviors. I know that I cannot go to McDonalds or any fast-food restaurant – it simply something I do not do. I also know that going to the gym is a behavior that I must do. I know that if I miss more than two days of working out, I am going to be in trouble so I plan my work-out every week. It is an appointment I place on my calendar. When I travel, I make time to work-out. When I book my flight and hotel, I also find the closest CrossFit gym, check out their hours and schedule in the time to visit a new gym.

How Will You Modify The Behavior of Marketing in 2015?

What I am really talking about here is a life-style change that is fueled by a new set of behaviors. Behaviors that are concrete, observable, and measurable. As marketing begins to transform from being a cost center to a revenue center, it is a life-style change and needs to be fueled by a new set of behaviors.

In 2013 I published Rise of the Revenue Marketer. The crux of the book is that as the role of marketing changes in relationship to revenue, marketing leadership is floundering on how to lead this transformation. I interviewed 24 marketing leaders who were having success in driving this transformation and the common thread across all of their success stories was how they changed their own behavior. Now, they did not go around wearing a rubber band on their wrist, but it wouldn’t have hurt. What they did do was recognize the new behaviors needed to be a new kind of marketing to the organization.

So, you have to ask yourself, are you practicing the behaviors that are going to transform your marketing group from being a cost center to a revenue center? If not, it’s time to take a behavior inventory. Make a list of behaviors that will produce the outcomes you need to achieve. Make a list of behaviors that are the “bad” behaviors and practice getting them out of your department.

Remember, talking the talk won’t get you there…you need action and a new set of behaviors.

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About Debbie Qaqish
Debbie is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator and speaker in Revenue Marketing with more than 30 years of experience applying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. She is the author of the award winning book – “Rise of the Revenue Marketer,” Chancellor of Revenue Marketing University, and host of Revenue Marketer Radio (WRMR). Debbie has been at the forefront of the marketing automation phenomenon, first as a beneficiary, and now as an advocate and expert. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to Revenue Marketing transformation, leadership, change management, sales and marketing alignment, ROI, content, organization, talent and marketing operations. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer” in 2011. As a principal partner and chief strategy officer of The Pedowitz Group, Debbie is responsible for developing and managing global client relationships, as well as leading the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Debbie is also PhD candidate and her dissertation topic is how the CMO adopts financial accountability in an e-marketing environment.

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  • Posted by Debbie Qaqish
  • On 06/18/2015
Tags: strategy, execution, behavior modification, marketing behavior, performance

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