Listen to the Experts

Marketing is all about one thing. Changing behaviour. Any successful marketing campaign will make customers change their behaviour. That could be going to see one show over another. It could be going to see a show over a basketball match. Or it could even just be getting them off the couch and into live theatre. And how do you do this? Let’s start working those obliques!

When it comes to behaviour change, there are a lot of industries that might think they have a hard time. But no industry is facing a bigger uphill battle than the weight loss industry. Think about it. Their competition is Netflix which keeps us on the couch, all that unhealthy food which tastes so delicious and a deadest mindset which doesn’t see the harm in one more biscuit. These are difficult behaviours to change. So if there is an industry to look at for motivational behaviour change strategies . . . it is certainly this one! And I know just the woman.

Michelle Bridges is Australia’s fitness goddess. She has inspired a movement of people through her coaching role on The Biggest Loser. She has changed the way people eat with her cookbooks. She is getting people up and exercising with her incredibly successful 12 Week Body Transformation Program. (And there was even that time when she showed that you can still eat delicious food on a diet when she almost won Celebrity MasterChef Australia). So if anyone has a secret to behaviour change it is Michelle Bridges.

Yesterday she released a run-of-the-mill weight loss video through the 12 Week Body Transformation Facebook page inspiring people to break bad habits and do some exercise. But this one is actually anything but run-of-the-mill. The ideal goal for her program is to get people going to a run and doing a significant amount of aerobic exercise during the day. But you cannot start there because that takes a lot of effort and motivation. This video was simply titled Couch Workout and aimed to get people off their couch and exercising in front of the television.

But what’s so revolutionary about this?

It starts with small achievable steps. It doesn’t involve any significant changes to routine. And it has the added benefit that people can still watch Netflix while exercising. The real lesson: it listens to the target audience and doesn’t take them too far out of their comfort zone.

The outcome will be that exercisers reap the benefits from this simple work out, get the added bonus of feeling happier thanks to endorphins and next time the opportunity arises may add a bit more effort and do some more exercise. Eventually they will have built up to full on workouts and 5km runs without even noticing.

Maybe it is time that the theatre did the same thing . . .

Don’t expect your audience to go from sitting on the couch to suddenly enjoying and wanting to go to the theatre. Start them off slowly with a couple of recorded musicals on television. If they enjoy that, give them a channel to find out more online. They may then get the motivation to try out a local community production. And if they love that, before you (and they) know it, they will be sitting in a theatre.

After all, both industries want to get people off the couch . . . so why not learn from each other?

Excuse me while I go and do some couch workouts and watch The Sound of Music Live! . . .