A New Marketing Strategy

The goal of marketing is to win. Don’t get stuck in an ego position if your current strategy isn’t working.

When you’re in marketing, you often have to explain to a disgruntled CEO why you want to abandon your original year’s plan and move on to something else. You may even have been asked, as I have, “If I hire you can you stick with a plan that you make all year?” the unspoken inference being — “or will you be ‘flighty’ like all the rest of my marketing people?” expletive deleted.

Well here’s a paradigm for why we do what we do in marketing that can solidify your strategies, and perhaps be used to explain them to significant others.

Consider the “Win-Stay, Lose-Shift” Theory from behavioral psychology.

If you’re not using the win-stay, lose-shift strategy, you’re in the “keep doing what you’ve been doing and you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting” position.

Everything we do now we learned at one time or another through what’s called “reinforcement” in behavioral psychology. We learned that doing certain things brought desirable results, and doing certain other things brought undesirable results. And then we learned to stay with the winning strategy, and if it was a losing strategy, to try something different: Win-Stay, Lose-Shift.

It’s so simple, monkeys do it.

Experimenters place a monkey in a cage with a blue button and an orange button. The monkey’s curious, like humans, and he starts pushing the buttons at random. When he pushes the blue button, he gets a peanut, and he likes that a lot. When he pushes the orange button, he gets a spray of water in his face, and he doesn’t like that.

So what does the monkey do? He may test the situation out a couple of times, but it doesn’t take him long to shift from the orange button to the blue button, and to stick with it: Win-Stay, Lose-Shift.

The goal of marketing is to win. Don’t get stuck in an ego position if your current strategy isn’t working. Monitor cause and effect constantly, and pay attention to results–to ROIM–returns on investment slash marketing. Know what you do that wins, and stay with it. Know what you do that loses, and shift to something else.

Susan Dunn is a professional development/marketing coach and the author of ebook “Marketing Secrets of the Pros“. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc.

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