Heodukky attribution theory

Through attribution theory, the ways in which people explain and report marketing events is changing.

People have a natural desire to attach emotional meaning to results and the idea of behavioural attribution, otherwise known as Heodukky, is one which offers an established measurement that just isn’t available through regular attribution.

That back to school feeling’s still here!

It’s still here, that back to school feeling, on a Sunday, every Sunday.

But why?

It’s been 15 years since I was forced to spend Sunday evenings thinking up excuses why I hadn’t done my homework, rather than actually doing it, so why does it still creep up and ruin my last day of freedom!

We’re pre-programmed by all those years of High School, and it just won’t go away. 

The same way we were pre-programmed to sit in class avoiding eye contact with the teacher and praying we weren’t the one asked what x equalled or what, in our opinion, was the real cause of the First World War.

Don’t ask me, because if I give you an opinion it leads to debate, and the debate will undoubtedly bring more requirements to make a decision, and after that … well, you know how it goes.

After much soul-searching, I’m pretty sure I know why I get that feeling – it’s that Monday Marketing Update meeting. You know the one where you have to meet the business stakeholders to discuss performance to date and the campaign plans for the week/month ahead – and, lord have mercy, what you are going to do to improve performance! 

Reducing the price is never the right answer, so it turns out.

I’m usually pretty successful at attending meetings just to be seen, and then choosing the seat in the shadows and only reminding people I’m there when it’s time to agree with the most senior job title in the room. 

But on Mondays, I’m the one with the senior job title, and people want to know my thoughts, my opinions – and the pressure is unbearable!

If you make a decision, it might be wrong – everyone knows that.

And then it’s your fault. 

And it’s that type of thing that gets remembered around annual review time. 

“Oh Gale, you can’t possibly have ‘outstanding’, remember when you spent £35,000 sponsoring that sea life centre which ended up on every news channel for animal neglect! The company-sponsored children’s charity really suffered when we had to divert funds to manage the crisis and protect our brand!”

So once bitten (by a sea lion), twice shy. 

Avoid decision-making. Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!

And here we are again, on Sunday evening with that ‘back to school’ feeling, hoping that the Monday stakeholders have all fallen victim to some superbug so that the meeting is cancelled and no opinions or decisions are required.

One of these Mondays, I’ll be lucky. 

I only need one. 

Please god, make it tomorrow.

Gale Winters

PS – Yes, I know this isn’t Sunday, but it took me so long to decide whether to post this that I lost track of time. Oh well, Happy Holidays everyone!


Work hacks: the secret to productive meetings

Another week, another productive internal stakeholder meeting out the way. I think.

It’s getting harder to decide if I’m making any ground with people, or if I’m getting closer to being found out for talking b*llocks

Nowadays I seem to drift between humouring peoples’ patronising ideas, and trying to figure out if they’re taking the piss.

I mean I’m up for a laugh, but there’s a line. Or is there?

Yes I’m winging it when it comes to making decisions, and my go-to tactic is still answering as fast as i can, recycling other peoples’ points and all…

But there’s one work hack I know I’ve mastered:

Laughter makes the work go round

Laugh along. Even when you’re not sure if  you’re laughing at yourself or something shit someone said.

Your time is coming, slowly yes, but building a rapport with the those above will allow you a greater chance to piggy-back on their outputs, and more importantly their inputs.

Sharing other peoples’ outputs is riskier than jumping on their inputs – nobody wants to share their success. But everybody wants you to agree with the decisions they make to get there. So do it.

Less decisions = less risk and better relationships. Why wouldn’t you.

Output is a buzzword. You can’t get to output without input. And maybe a bit of laughing at yourself.

So do that.

How to bounce back from a bad day at work

I got to work today and something I’d been working on failed. A lot.

The bunch we’re writing for are tough – to say the least.

It’s rightly so, as they’re really good at what they do and actually, they’re better at my job than I am.

It’s a tricky situation to have to deal with, but if I’m being honest I’ve been winging it since I joined

And I’m probably one ‘well this is what my last business did’ away from the push.

If my boss had the gusto anyway. But she doesn’t. Because she’s shit.

So here’s how to sort yourself out:

Impress your boss

You should do everything your boss says.
Yes she’s a twat, and yes that’s what you’ve done since you joined, but let’s face it, now isn’t the time to start being brave and start challenging her.

Find something that needs work (probably something that was done by you) and tell her how you’re going to improve it, really enthuse the idea that you’re not going to fuck it up.

Or sit in a pool of your own piss whilst everyone else makes the decisions – no one’s noticed yet.

Throw your co-workers under the bus

There’s a time and a place for developing and getting the best out of people. Now isn’t it. It’s not going to do you any favours, so do everything you can to avoid it.

If you’re selling your direct reports down the river, so be it.

At the end of the day, you’re their boss, and your probably shit at that too. But they’re less senior than you and they don’t make the decisions, so Jo’s pay rise can wait.

fuck’s sake Jo, doing two jobs doesn’t mean you deserve to get paid for two.

Deliver for your stakeholders

Now’s the time to get Donovan and Javed from Comms on side. You’ve probably done a shitfuck of a job for them so far, but what you need right now is kudos to your boss.

Hammer their door down and give them what they want.

Go out of your way to contribute.

Walk up to them, like you’ve never spoken to them before, and tell them why you’re going to smash the next marketing campaign. Be out of character and actually do something.

There’s plenty of opportunities for you to own your shit and deliver something.

Its like being in a shit relationship, you know you should leave, but you just don’t have the balls. You still make it work.

Thing is, you’re firing blanks in both scenarios so you may as well just crack on, it may not be as badly received as you think.

Or just piss yourself. Again.

5 reasons you should phone in to work sick

It’s not an easy decision, but just when is it okay to phone work and tell them you’re sick?

Aside from just dreaming of a decision-free day, there’s inevitably going to be times you’re actually not well enough offer your highest possible contribution, which, let’s face it isn’t that high.

And although it probably seems like that’s all the time, there are some challenges that mean it’s best to let the duvet decide your diary – another chance to pass the buk.

Don’t go to work if you’re not thinking straight

If you find yourself being more decisive than usual, do everything you can to avoid all contact with your work crew.

If, like me, skulking around in the corner appeals far more than crafting your contribution, you’ll just end up contributing more than you want to.

And people will start to expect it. Imagine that shit storm.

Dizzy? Take a detour to bed and stay there

Christ there’s nothing worse than propping yourself up against the printer as Mandy from Comms tries to tell you why her weekend was shit.

Whilst you drift in and out of consciousness nodding in agreement – now’s not the time to stand up and be a pal.

Nod, just nod. Or better still, turn over and sip your tea, ‘cus you’re a badass and you didn’t go to work.

If you’re feeling emotional, cry at home

It’s even okay to deliver uncontrollable howls of dispair at realising you’re 40, trapped in a mid-level Marketing position and have the inexpressive face of a 61 year old.

There’s always someone who did even worse than you. That’s the thing about being upset at work.

It makes you unpredictable. You’re not thinking straight. You just might forcibly deliver the steely, decisive aggression that you see from your ultimately more successful colleagues.

Fuck ‘em. Stay at home and cry, work on your 2020 ‘being anonymous and on the fence strategy’.

You’ll get sacked for being drunk at work (maybe)

“You’re drunk Andy, go home ”Said no one ever. You know why? Andy’s fucking hilarious when he’s drunk. And people love him.

Ever wondered how differently your career  would’ve turned out if you’d had just a little more ‘Jason from Underwriting just vomited in the car park again’ about you?

Of course you do, because you know you’re at your best when you’ve had a few.

Hangovers? Now that’s a different story – you probably won’t go in, but you deserve to, you’ll just be moving around at home trying to figure out if 9 Stellas on Sunday night is a ‘problem’.

You got lucky last night

Well you definitely didn’t. But let’s just pretend for a minute that you’re muff-diving like DeCaprio did in the naughties.

You’re not, because you’re a saggy-faced and slightly overweight Marketing professional who might as well have NSOC (no sense of contribution) on his Tinder profile.

Fucks sake Nigel, get a grip. But let’s say you did.

Full of energy and exhuberance, there’s every chance you’ll revel in your premiscuous prime and become uber productive in meetings, even contributing something.

To the extent that, back at your desk you may as well consider a new career, just in case, you know – you failed to agree with your bosses ignorant decisions.

How can you look at yourself in the mirror? Easy, because it’s in your bathroom, at home. And you’re still trying to get last night’s Stella off your breath.

Five top reasons to cancel your commute. Peace.

How to manage your meetings well

Contributing less is contributing more.

I mean, has anyone ever questioned meetings?

Sure, plenty of people preach about having less meetings and being more productive, but have you ever really thought about what happens in a meeting?

I was sat in a meeting this afternoon, twiddling my thumbs. Literally (and on  purpose).

It was a conscious decision, I had decided not to contribute. I don’t contribute a lot at the best of times, but I wanted to really understand the whole room.

I wanted to understand the reasons why people I knew did what they did, and why they did it when they did.

If you’re anything like me you get lost in meetings, always scrabbling around for something clever to say, usually anything, just to get noticed ahead of the crowd.

Truth is, thinking of something smart to say isn’t often easy. It takes a whole bunch of effort.

It might sound silly, but just try it. Clear your head entirely, actually listen to what people have to say.

I’ve decided, contributing less is contributing more.

How to make great decisions

I hate Fridays.

I can just about muster the enthusiasm to say hi to people every other day of the week, but Fridays are particularly bad – especially for avoiding making decisions.

It’s not that I hate them, just that it’s difficult to get any work done with all the things that need to be done by other people. Know what I mean?

There’s less people in the office, meaning it’s literally every non-decision maker for themselves. I mean, there’s only so much room on the fence. Get off my fence.

Especially when it comes to signing-off Nathan from Sales’ LinkedIn bio, or Mike from Brand is demanding we sign up to the next MySpace to expand our ‘digital footprint’. Whatever that is.

It might. I’m not denying that. It just might.

Amanda wants me to be the person who gets the blame when a GIF of someone’s genitals gets them a ton of awesome engagement? Yeh.. Maybe.

There’s far too much reliance on other people, right?

Here’s your shitty GIF Amanda.

The secret to making a great decision

Don’t be decisive – decide not to make decisions. The second you do, you’ll be relied upon to vomit a fruitful, enthusiastic plethora of engaging commitment – time and time again.

You think they’ll include you in the success of the awesome blog you signed off?

Probably. But that’s risky, and can you really commit to accepting that kind of recognition?

“Oh hey, Marketing made some great decisions that helped my Q2 email campaign really fly!”

Said nobody. Ever.

Well maybe they will but it’s not the kind of thing I have time for anyway.

Who’s got the energy to make decisions for other people? It’s not for me. I’ve got a wife and kids you know. I just couldn’t be the same person at home if I was being decisive at work.

I don’t make decisions for myself, so why would I do it for anyone else? Sure, people might consider me reliable, worthwhile, or even just a great guy to have around or chat to – while printing things they inevitably want approval for. Christ.

But do any of us really want that? Or do we just want to sit in a corner, offering our highest contribution through deep work. Or whatever the latest buzzword is.

Take it from me, it’s taken years to dig myself out of the ‘oh, hey what do you think about this?’ circumcision I found myself coping with. Make your first decision your last.

And I’m sure you’ll understand, Amanda – we need to wait ’til Monday to get final sign-off for your GIF.