Every morning when I first get on the computer, I point the browser to a few web comics I enjoy. Starting the day with a nice dose of funny helps me be happier, more productive, and more fun to work with. There are three web comics I really enjoy, but they all have different update schedules. One updates weekdays. One updates weekdays plus Saturday. One updates Monday-Wednesday-Friday.
Yet for some reason, I load all of them every day. I know consciously that on Tuesdays I’m loading one too many sites. I know consciously on Saturday that I’m loading two too many sites. But still, I load up all three of them. It’s a habit, and loading the sites isn’t an act of conscious will.
I’ve been reading a great marketing book lately: Habit, by Neale Martin. It’s a fantastic book that walks would-be marketers through the difference between the habitual (unconscious) and executive (conscious) minds. I had never thought that habit played as large a role in my decision making as it does … then I stopped and thought about my daily web comic routine. There’s nothing conscious about it!
If you’re looking for something great to read that will stimulate the conscious part of your marketing brain, pick up a copy of Habit at the bookstore. It’s not cheap, but it’s fresh theory that will definitely turn your traditional ideas of marketing strategy on their collective head.