BJ Fogg, PhD, founded the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University where he explores the ways in which technology can change human behavior. While he calls the practice "Behavior Design," he pioneered a specific approach to changing behavior called "Tiny Habits," which involves two options that could redefine your approach to implementing marketing strategies: Change your environment (i.e., what surrounds you). Take baby steps. How to Create Tiny Habits Fogg discusses his approach for creating a flossing habit using the two steps above. Let's briefly explore this example. First, he changed his environment by placing the floss adjacent to his toothbrush and toothpaste. He simply redesigned his surroundings to be more accommodating and user friendly. The floss is now more accessible and in the forefront of his mind every morning. Next, he set a goal of flossing only one tooth per day. He didn't say he would floss all of his teeth, as that could've presented too stark of a disruption in his routine. One tooth, however, is a very attainable goal. It's a baby step. Finally, he realized his mentality slowly began to change. He thought if he flossed one tooth already, he might as well floss all of his teeth. It's as simple as this: Redesign + Baby Steps = New Habit How to Apply Tiny Habits to Your Marketing Efforts Let's take social media strategy as an example. According to an article on Fast Company, only seven percent of marketers don't use social media in their marketing strategies. As surprising as that may sound, we've encountered many companies in that seven percent who want to create a social media presence but don't know where to begin. What's our advice? Change your environment first. Then take baby steps. If our research reveals that your target audience primarily uses LinkedIn to gather information on your industry or similar companies, perhaps starting there is the best option. You might do this: Give one employee access to post to LinkedIn, and set a reminder on the calendar to post one piece of content weekly (i.e., change your environment). Post one piece of content on the same day each week (i.e., take baby steps). Once you get the wheels in motion, you've set the foundation for making a new habit. What's equally important is that you will also give yourself time to gather data to see what kind of impact the new habit is having on your organization's KPIs (e.g., conversion rate, net profit, net promoter score, etc.). Consider what this might mean for your other marketing efforts, such as launching a quarterly external or internal e-newsletter, sending monthly SMS updates, releasing a series of one-minute YouTube tutorials for your consumers or holding weekly status meetings for your internal team members to aid in hitting productivity goals (a habit we regularly employ). Before You Create Tiny Habits . . . Understand exactly what you are measuring. What are you hoping to discover, to prove, to disprove? Do you want to: Generate leads? Decrease your website's bounce rate? Increase ROI? Find out if your Net Promoter Score changes? Enhance employee retention rates? Every marketing effort must be measurable. When you begin the journey to create tiny habits, how will you measure success?
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