Lists – tick lists, To-Do lists, task lists, chores, check lists – successful people of all types and stripes are driven by lists, either as a way of measuring success, or of keeping your day, week, month, company, on track and focused on moving forward without forgetting anything. But what if we could spend less time focusing on knocking tasks off of a list and more time contemplating the more broad strokes of what marketing is about and what it’s supposed to accomplish. Would spending more time thinking and less time doing actually improve our results?
In a word – yes!
Studies coming out of Stanford, MIT, and University of Wisconsin indicate that deep meditation can actually change the physical structure and chemical behavior of the brain long term. Studies of gamma synchrony, the fast-firing of neurons in the brain that lead to a feeling of enlightenment or well-being, have shown that those who meditate or contemplate deeply and regularly can trigger this synchrony, which has also been associated with increased mental ability in in higher mathematics, enhanced creativity, at will through meditative techniques.
That’s great, but what does that have to do with Marketing?
Everything, if you think about it. A large portion of what the majority of people feel is marketing activity involves doing. Doing campaigns, researching and data gathering, hunting for lists, selecting images, writing and editing headlines, press releases and collateral, producing ads, commercials and websites – all doing. But those in the know have figured out that the big bucks really come in when you get paid for what you think, not what you do. Doing is the logical extension and the expression of thinking. They don’t call it doing leadership, it’s called thought-leadership, and for good reason. Taking time to think deeply about a subject or about a concept, idea, product, or technique leads to ways to express those ideas and thoughts in a way that influences others to see things your way – it’s the essence of marketing!
How much more successful might you be if you took an hour, or even thirty minutes, to do nothing else but think through your next campaign strategy, or to contemplate possible uses for your product, or think deeply about the customer experience you’re creating for buyers? Most of us are so busy doing, we don’t take time to think deeply about the actual purpose of what we’re trying to accomplish, of the consequences and ramifications of our actions, or how they affect others, or how they can be improved.
Deep thought, contemplation, and the training to focus those energies on a single element of our work, to trigger those fast-firing neurons and reach an altered consciousness state that can deliver new insights could be the most powerful tool in the arsenal, but most don’t know it exists, let alone take the time to stop doing, and learn how to use it to their advantage. I know, it all sounds a little geeky and a little off base from the central tenets of marketing, which typically are all about the “do” – but if a half hour spent thinking can improve your insights, and therefore your success rate, by even 20%, I’d say that the most valuable 30 minutes you’ll spend all week!
For a list of topics that should be contemplated at greater length, be sure to pick up a copy of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes“