You might wonder what a die-hard content writer like myself is doing reading books like Switch: How to change things when change is hard by Chip & Dan Heath.
I’m a firm believer that content writers need to read far and wide. You need to absorb ideas from a range of sources. By restricting yourself to just reading about blogging or copywriting, you’re cutting yourself off from those ideas. All you’ll end up doing is regurgitating – consciously or not – the same content you’ve been reading.
At its heart, Switch: How to change things when change is hard is part psychology book, part management guide. In it, Chip and Dan Heath explore the fundamental way that the brain works when faced with change. They use the Elephant and Rider metaphor. The Elephant refers to the emotional part of the mind, while the Rider represents rational thinking and reason.
For any change to happen, both of them need to work together. If you appeal only to the Rider, he gets wrapped up in data and statistics and gets nothing done. If you only appeal to the Elephant, he might get excited and run off in the wrong direction.
The beauty of Switch is its applicability to a range of marketing endeavours.
Think about it. You’re a tech startup and you have an amazing solution. But you also have a problem. You need potential users to become actual users. That requires a change in behaviour or mindset. If you just provide a string of facts and figures, you’re only appealing to the Rider. The Rider has limited control over the direction or speed of the Elephant.
Without emotional resonance to back up those figures, you’re wasting your time. But if you follow the principles in the book, you stand a better chance at appealing to both the Elephant and the Rider. So you’re more likely to convert browsers into users. Using plenty of case study examples, Switch gives you a good insight into how other companies and organisations have made difficult changes for the better.
The Heath brothers also give you plenty of tips and advice in how to make changes in your own organisation. Like I say, these ideas apply to marketing as well. So their example might deal with the need for a company to streamline their procurement process. You can take similar principles to convince users to stop using so many programs if your solution bundles those processes together.
As with all of their books, they also provide a ton of free resources to accompany the title. It’s a well-written, easily digested book that will get your changing minds in no time!
You can buy your copy of Switch at Amazon (aff link).