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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dreaming and doing: Changing habits

Habits are hard to change. When we've been doing things one way for months or years on end, we resist.

We need catalysts. Fear works, sometimes. Romance is helpful. Occasionally a leader inspires us. Cajoling blog postings aren't usually that effective, alas.

Some marketing habits are good. If you get results doing things the way you have always done them, why change?

But some habits are bad. If you rely on, rather than nurture, referrals and repeat business, you need to change. If you advertise only when a telemarketer phones you and offers you a great deal in an obscure journal, you should discover new habits. When your "Internet marketing" is paying a small fortune for leads which you could have collected yourself, you should turn things on their head and do things differently.

But you won't, most likely.

One way to change is to make a public commitment. It takes courage but the embarrassment of failure can really stir you to action. Last month, I wrote in this blog that I would finish the rewriting of my Construction Marketing Ideas book by updating a chapter a day, and posting the results on Twitter. I'm at the final chapter. You can read the second-last chapter, about using leads services, here.

Another approach is to set an annual planning process (another habit, once developed) with systematic meetings and follow-up. You can't get too far off track before you are reminded.

Do you have a marketing habit you want to change?

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