Striking the Balance Between Sticky and Change

Some marketing messages have tremendous staying power. Wendy’s infamous “Where’s the beef?” Have a Coke and a smile. The Geico Caveman.

Others don’t. These messages launch, and then, just as quickly, they’re forgotten.

What makes one idea stick, while another just won’t?

That’s a fascinating question, and it’s one that has been on the mind of Dan Heath for quite some time.

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Now a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), Dan is the co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, which recently debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

He and his brother Chip also previously co-wrote the critically acclaimed Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and
Others Die
, which was named the Best Business Book of the Year, spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and has been translated into 29 languages, the last of which was Slovak.

Later this winter, Dan will be speaking at the Aprimo Marketing Summit 2012, and I’m anxious to hear his talk and learn more about what’s new regarding stickiness and change. After all, they’re two sides of the same coin, aren’t they? And as marketers today we need to know when it’s time to nurture sticky . . . and when it’s time to move on.

On the one hand, we all want to create enduring messages, marketing campaigns that are creative, unique and unforgettable. We crave that kind of stickiness! But on the other hand, we’re also operating in an environment that’s characterized by constant change. Variable internal constraints, fluctuating budgets, proliferating channels, evolving digital strategies –marketers today also need to be adaptable, always open to new ideas and opportunities.

How do you strike the balance? When you decide an idea/process/message is worth holding on to? What signals tell you it’s time to change?

I look forward to Dan’s answers and insights, and I’ll be sure to update you after his talk, as well.

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