CIM Marketing Podcast - Episode 57: Managing and maintaining motivation

CIM Marketing Podcast - Episode 57: Managing and maintaining motivation

The secrets of powering up 

 This podcast will: 

  • Explore the techniques to enhance and maintain motivation 
  • Examine why recognising impact is a crucial motivator 
  • Ask whether it is acceptable to be unmotivated



Podcast transcript

Ally Cook  00:01

Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast, the contents and views expressed by individuals in the CIM Marketing Podcast, are not necessarily those of the companies for which they work. This series is currently being recorded via web conferencing. We apologise for any issues with the audio.


Ben Walker  00:19

Hello, everybody. Welcome to the latest edition of the CIM. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you moving? What gets you motivated? It's one of those strange, semi scientific questions that perhaps not many of us really know the answer of. But today, we hope to help you find the answer with two experts on motivation in marketing. We're joined today firstly by a very special guest Abigail Dixon, Abigail, many of you will know is the author of the hit book, The Whole Marketer, which has helped many, many marketers across the country and further afield, improving their careers and take their careers in directions and new directions that they want to go in. She's also the founder of Labyrinth joining us as well is Lydia Crossley who's the founder of Good Morning Digital. Ladies, how are you today?


Abigail Dixon  01:10

I'm well thank you


Lydia Crossley  01:11

Well thank you!


Ben Walker  01:12

Highly motivated for this podcast, I presume?


Abigail Dixon  01:15



Lydia Crossley  01:16



Ben Walker  01:17

It's difficult, isn't it? When we've had, we've had a couple of difficult couple of years in this industry, I think it's fair to say, sometimes I think all of us will admit, to have noticed waning motivation, perhaps a little bit of boredom, same day, same place, same venue, same room, for many of us for that over the last two years. And yet somehow we've managed to get through it. But we've not always known the rules of motivation. You two, are different from many of the species, I would say that you're both very highly motivated people, you always come across and present as highly motivated. Is that a natural consequence of just being marketers? Which is an industry that most marketers want to be in? They're proud of being marketers. Or is there something more to it that has helped you retain that motivation? Abby?


Abigail Dixon  02:08

Great question. I don't know if it's a marketer thing, or if it's a human individual thing. However, I would say, naturally, what am I like to be around? I would say I'm very passionate about what I do. And I would say if you go back to the key principle about what it is to be a marketer, which is an the skill of marketing, which is: to identify the wants and needs of our consumers, then really, there's an element of intrigue around us psychologically as individuals and what drives and motivates us. So there potentially is, I know, there is an overlap for me in the work that I do as a coach and helping individuals and also the work that I do is marketing being that there's that human being as an overlap in between. But would I say that as a marketeer makes us motivated? Not necessarily, does it make us more able to understand what we need to feel motivated our values, attitudes and beliefs? Possibly.


Ben Walker  03:09

That's interesting. So your work as a marketer helps you understand the parameters, the fundamentals of motivation, although not, doesn't inherently make you motivated. When you're putting together your framework for your whole marketeer book. And those people that don't know the book that has a whole bunch of frameworks to help people work through it's a workbook to help people develop themselves and developing their careers, when you were developing that framework Abby, what were your inspirations, you know, what was the process that led to that framework that's helped so many marketers?


Abigail Dixon  03:41

Well it was a bit of a Jerry Maguire moment, actually, I was on holiday in Cyprus, sat by the pool, boys are in the pool. And I was reflecting on the two weeks of work that have just gone before me. And whether that was coaching, training, mentoring, consulting, depending on what I was doing. There was just this current theme, which was marketers were feeling both overwhelmed, and probably no longer clear on the skills that they needed to have today to grow the business of tomorrow, like marketing evolves so massively, and probably since they first came into the profession and had their formal training. And they probably had maybe one or two training courses a year, but they just weren't clear. But the biggest driver was the fulfilment. And so when I think about what was my vision, when setting up the book was how can I help marketers to become both successful in what they do, so that they have the tools and the skills and the know how today because marketing has evolved and changed, to grow the brands to business tomorrow because we get a book on the latest approach, but we don't just go, let's just draw a line in the sand and what are all the skills now? And the second thing was the fulfilment. And, for me, fulfilment is when you feel alive in your soul and you feel alive in your soul because you have the clarity on your own personal understanding what drives and motivates you, and the self belief around who you are and what you bring to the world. But more importantly, you have the clarity on your values, and your goals and where you're going. Because fulfilment, for me lies when you're doing something every day that edges us closer to our goals, or plays to our values. So I almost thought, okay, so how do I bring you all together to think holistically about what skills do marketeers of today need a) to be successful so the technical skills to lead that long term commercial agenda, the soft skills, that we now need to have to have that deep rooted emotional connection with our consumers and our customers, and to bring plans to life cross functionally, because we're now leading the organisation, and we need to be able to embrace and lead those cross functional teams. And to face into the reality of how difficult marketing is in actually bringing to life I always say, the strategy, the reality are two different things. And then to also have the soft skills to lead to to be a leader, to be a leader to lead the long term agenda and your cross functional teams, but also your teams and the practical elements. Because we often arrive into marketing leadership positions without that kind of formal training or headspace to think about the type of leader that we want to be or need to be for our teams. And then the last section of the book, or the last pillar, if you will, of The Whole Marketer is that personal understanding. So with a coaching hat on what can I do to help others to get that level of personal understanding they need to feel fulfilled, and working through who they are owning who they are their strengths, to get their clarity around their values, their goals, where they're heading, but also to give them the tools in the day to day to overcome the limiting beliefs that they will find along that path to get to where they're going. So how to reframe limiting beliefs, how to have that growth mindset, and how to ensure that you take action to deliver your goals.


Ben Walker  07:06

There's a lot about in there about goals and goal setting, you know that you said earlier, it has resonated with me that the closer we get each day, to our goals, the more fulfilled we will be as marketers and as people actually, are there any quick tips you can share about goal setting and how we should set those goals so they're realistic and achievable.


Abigail Dixon  07:27

Interesting that you say realistic first, Ben, because I think if you start on a point of realistic, you're limiting yourself straightaway. I would always say dream big without limitation. So that shut your eye moment. You know, listening with your mind's eye, what is it that you truly want for your life as a whole, and the role that you want work to play within that?


Ben Walker  07:50

That's interesting. So have a grand vision, a grand vision for yourself, and then create those discrete goals that get you nearer and nearer to that vision. A lady who has a vision of our own, and has been on a journey of her own is Lydia Crossley, who is founder of Good Morning Digital, and Lydia has been a Chartered Marketer for 10 years and getting a chartership is no mean feat it is a difficult, arduous process. Lydia, when you were starting out as a marketer, did you have a grand vision that you wanted to be at the top of the trade? Have your own business, have a chartership? Were you setting those discrete goals along the way?


Lydia Crossley  08:28

Well, I think so many good tips there from Abby. I'm just still processing some of those. But yeah, I think for myself, I've always been very self motivated. And I think it's fantastic to have big ambitions, and to have some direct goals, but also not to be too hard on yourself, if you're not meeting those goals, perhaps as quick as you might like. To talk about the Chartered Institute of Marketing and being a chartered marketer for 10 years, which, incidentally, has absolutely flown by 10 years. I wanted to say a little bit about that. Because if I take it right back to why did I even join the CIM, and when you know, when you were fresh graduates, or your're a new starter in a marketing role? You can or you can't, you know, it's up to you and, and I thought, well, I love to be part of what he's deemed to be the world's biggest community of marketers. And maybe I'll join that and see what else I can achieve, which would sit outside any organisation that I'm part of that would be for myself. So, I just independently joined and found out that you could become such thing as a Chartered Marketer and a why not try and do that for myself. And I was quite fortunate actually, in my first marketing role to be given plenty freedom and responsibility to develop and I became a marketing manager in my mid 20s. So that meant I could begin on the Chartered Marketer journey really quite early on, and that's been been so beneficial for me. And I guess, why do I care about that so much because of motivation, to me is really about caring and it's about belief and I'm so proud to be in the marketing industry and to be a marketer every day, I feel really proud to be a marketer. And that's what really does drive me forward. And I think if being a Chartered Marketer or just being a marketer, in an industry that you love, does anything to fly the flag for that, let's say, we're not just marketers working within an organisation, I believe marketers drive an organisation forward, and that's why we're here. So that's the flag I'm waving. And if being a Chartered Marketer brings added credibility and respect to that, then I'm absolutely all for it. And it's certainly kept me going. And 10 years, I've not even noticed it. I've managed to do my learning and my reflections, and I've thought about the value it's brought each year. And that in itself is a great way to hold you to account.


Ben Walker  10:46

It's interesting, if you think about the value of this work you're doing. Before, you know, before the show, we were talking to Abby about the work she did on the book, you know, the graft it to the fact that she had to concede a whole bunch of fun weekends when she was working on a book and her friends and family are out enjoying themselves. But the credibility, it brings you this sort of work, whether it's a book or chartership, Chartered Marketer, if you can concentrate on the fact it's going to enhance credibility, it's going to enhance your value is going to enhance your skills as well, of course, that's the way to keep motivated if you can keep concentrating on the benefit, this work will bring for you.


Lydia Crossley  11:24

Yeah, and I think as well, a badge, what is a badge these days, it's either to represent something or it's to belong to something. And I think it means both to me, when I started out, it just meant belonging. But now it means representation of the industry that I love. So it's a great badge to have. And I think any badge in any course, not just in marketing that you take on, that's how you should view it, and they keep you motivated.


Ben Walker  11:47

But you know, when you're actually going on these journeys, are there any specific techniques you can employ to help you along the way, and by that, I mean, sort of people have said in the past, to me, they listen to songs, they listen to certain podcasts, they do particular kinds of reading, there are all sorts of manner of weird and wonderful things that people do. Lydia, are there any techniques you have, particularly to keep yourself doing that graft that learning that work that you need to do to get you to where you want to be?


Lydia Crossley  12:14

That's a great question that Ben, I think, yes, there are. But I probably take it back to when I was younger. When I was a child, really, I played so much sport. And to me, that's where my determination and passion came from. I was part of teams I captained teams. And I always remember watching and still do watch fabulous sporting moments happen on TV. And when you see the belief that someone has to make one of those moments happen, that can just encapsulate that bit of motivation that you need. So if you want to, if you like have a hack to get to that motivation really quickly, so you're in the middle of a project, or you've got a presentation or you have something that you really want to excel at, I do tend to listen to some music, it helps. And I don't know if I should say this or not, but there's a specific song and clip that I listened to, which I hope the listeners don't turn off here, Ben and be bored. It's a duet by Alexandra Burke and Beyonce from the X Factor and I recommend anybody to Google this from 2010 After this podcast, of course, and if you don't watch that, and feel inspired. Well, that's it. It's a fantastic clip and the passion contained within that. I hope you've seen it, Abby, I don't know whether you have but definitely check it out. It's just fantastic. So yes, music. And then if you've got more time, have a coffee with either one of two people, somebody that makes you laugh, or someone that inspires you. And both those mood changes will give you that edge that you need to go back and be like, come on, let's do this.


Ben Walker  13:42

What sports do you excel in?


Lydia Crossley  13:44

Well, when I was younger, it was hockey. So school hockey captain was, believe it or not what I love to do and then I realised I was probably getting a little bit too small as everybody grew and I was maybe a fast runner, but I didn't quite have what it was needed to carry on with hockey so I switched to tennis and badminton and absolutely still love those sports now.


Ben Walker  14:03

But what's great inspiring moments from sport, find musical tracks that get you going, inspire you, footballers often listen to music very loud before they go out onto the pitch. So similar similar sort of mind technique. Abi are those techniques you usually do you do some other mediums to help you keep going.


Abigail Dixon  14:21

Music is definitely one thing that I they use as well. I mean, I don't know that song that you just mentioned there Lydia but I have actually a whole playlist called: Say yes. And that playlist originally came because I went to a Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within it and so if anyone follows Tony Robbins and the work that he does about kind of the energy being able to achieve your goals and the clarity around your goals, he says two key things. He says one change your physiology so change your body's position get up move. And the other is obviously how he uses music. So if you've ever done his training, literally you're on your feet for something ridiculous like 14, 15 hours while you're listening to his trainings, it was literally like a marathon and I've never ran one. I'm not sporty. But that's probably the closest I've got to it. And so I do completely use music, I have different songs for different things. And people will often say to me, oh, how'd you arrive at your training, like so full of energy and, you know, ready to go. And I'm listening to music, my whole journey in, that playlist plus others that I have. And I'm listening to it on the tube, I am dancing on the tube, trying not to remember who is looking at me kind of nodding so myself singing out loud, making the universe my dance floor. So you would see me dancing at the traffic lights, or if I'm walking around the fields near my house, Lydia, Greatest Showman across the field?


Lydia Crossley  15:54

Absolutely. Just need our top hats.


Abigail Dixon  15:57

Just need those top hats. No one's looking, you know, I am the greatest showman. So you know, music and moving your physiology are really key, I think there's also quite a lot of pressure actually, to have these amazing habits. So you know, there are some great thought processes out there. And they will say, oh, let's look at high achievers or high performers and, and what they're doing. And, you know, they get up at 6am. And they meditate, and then they do this, and then they do that. And then they do this. To be honest, that feels like quite a lot of pressure. I personally, I'm very slow to get out of bed in the morning, if I'm completely honest. And I don't meditate until later on the day after I've woken up, or maybe maybe have five minutes to journal and capture what I've learned from that day or what went well, or, you know what, what I've achieved, but I don't have these great habits that you have to achieve in order to feel motivated. And I think sometimes that narrative that keeps going round that high achievers do all of these things, puts pressure on people to feel that they have to do those things in order to feel motivated. And I think you just need to find the thing that works for you.


Ben Walker  17:02

Yeah, I think dancing as if nobody's watching on the tube to me is far more attractive than getting up at 4:45am and doing Pilates and yoga, followed by a sort of boxing session before six. Do what works for you. Great tip, you know, and one thing that puzzles me slightly is when you become, Abby, the whole marketer, the name of your book suggests there is an endpoint that you become the whole marketer. And you could say that Lydia has got the business, she's 10 years now Chartered Marketer, she's getting on one would assume to being the whole marketer. If not, there already once you become the whole marketer, if it's if indeed that is possible to ever become the whole marketer. How do you keep going? How do you keep motivating yourself to do more? You've got nothing to chase, you could you could, you could feel that you're complete, you've got nothing more to do.


Abigail Dixon  17:56

Great question one that I've not had before Ben. So I'll take it. Good challenge. I would say there isn't a finish line. So the book allows you to understand the skills that you need today to grow the brands and businesses of tomorrow. Marketing is constantly evolving. I would say the whole marketer is more about philosophy, that allows you to say, are you willing to take the reins of your marketing career? Are you willing to keep abreast of the latest changes, and possess the skills that allow us to grow the brands and businesses of tomorrow as we evolve, to be mindful and constantly evolving of the soft skills that allow us to be and have that deep rooted connection with our consumers. But we're all works in progress, right. So even as we sit here and say, you know, I might say to Lydia, Lydia, do you know your values and your why and why you get out of bed every morning and your purpose. And Lydia may do the work and it is work it is work to to look back to look forward to mind to do all of those things and to refine them, but other things come up along the way. So a belief that you didn't know that you were carrying may come up and stop you from doing something or maybe trying to keep you safe which is what your brain is designed to do. And so to say that I am this whole marketer here and I am finished isn't the concept the concept is about am I willing to take the reins and do the work on me and constantly evolve both professionally and personally?


Ben Walker  19:22

Interested in constantly evolving Lydia I mean other marketers we get we get a broad range of people listening to this podcast many 1000s of subscribers many of them are earlier in their careers although some people are more established. Those people early in their careers could look at you Lydia and think we just got it all she's got it all. She's been a Chartered Marketer for 10 years she's got her own business very successful marketer. She's got nothing to strive for nothing to chase for. Abby says that's not true. There's always more is that your experience?


Lydia Crossley  19:51

Yeah, absolutely. Right. There is always more and I definitely don't think I'm active is ever the finished article. How can we be when the industry changes so fast, how can we ever be finished, I'd be mad to suggest I would sit here and think there's not a things that scare me about marketing that I still need to know more about. And those are the things that I decided maybe at the start of the year that I want to learn a bit more about. So you can never be finished. And motivation, I found for me is just like a fire inside that was there all the time, and sometimes it needs to be stoked up by some of the motivation methods we've said, and sometimes it's just there and ready, ready to run with it. And I think that motivations can change throughout your career. And for me, maybe at the start of your career, you're thinking about those big goals, the big points that you want to get to maybe that's a certain role, or certain organisation, or job title, or salary, that kind of career ladder that people talk about when you're fresh into marketing and, and motivations, then are all focused on personal development, personal achievement, and maybe you want to win an industry award. We've all been through that stage. But I found as my career has progressed, and indeed, I've got older, and you know, and life's come around as well, I found that my motivations are slightly different now. And I think that being happy is a clear motivation, staying aligned to my values, as I've just mentioned, is key for me too and that motivates me. But I think it's important to, you know, be certain that your motivation drives you forward, but it can change. So goals can change, be flexible marketing is all about flexibility. So there's nothing wrong with your career path, and your motivation, being open to that level of flexibility as well.


Ben Walker  21:44

Do you ever think it's okay to be unmotivated? Abigail Dixon,


Abigail Dixon  21:48

Of course, we're human, there are times when we're going to wake up where we feel tired, for varying different reasons. Sometimes there may be more mental load that we are carrying with other things that are happening in our lives as a whole. I think what's more important is that we acknowledge when we are feeling demotivated, and we try to understand why. So what is it that we are carrying in our head, you know, that I often say get a blank sheet of paper, because often get a blank sheet of paper and write down everything that is bothering you. And what you will often realise is that things that you weren't considering that's potentially taking some of your headspace away that stopping you from being motivated. But I think it goes back to what we were talking about earlier, which is why do we do the things that we do? And if work is just work to you, I think you will feel demotivated more often. Whereas if the work that you do is your career, your 'why', you are driven and passionate about what you do, then it becomes profession. And it becomes the legacy that you're going to leave behind, it becomes your contribution to the world. And I think when you are attaching the work that you're doing in the here and now to a greater 'why' then I think the motivation naturally comes because the reason why you're doing it is greater than the here and now.


Ben Walker  23:12

That's interesting. And have you got any techniques Lydia for keeping going when it's inevitable, Abby Dixon says, says is inevitable as human beings, we will sometimes feel a little bit in a funk, a little bit unmotivated, you got to get techniques for keeping going, whenever you feel that sort of, you know, slurry of demotivation, sorting starting to hit you or touch your toes or maybe your ankles.


Lydia Crossley  23:34

Yeah, and I think in marketing roles, we're are often so busy with such a lot of responsibility and deadlines and time pressures. And it's you may have your sight on on a big goal but to get there, you need to put in some steps to keep that motivation going. And I guess in a way, it's like micro motivation moments, and you need those. And certainly, this is an example for my career if I may share it. When I was looking after a big family attraction in the Lake District, and we're in marketing in there with my team, we were so so busy and such a lot of visitors, such a lot of content, it was always fantastic. But we struggled maybe to get some of the recognition for that work. And then one day a tweet came in. And this is what it said. It said: 'Just overheard a little boy saying to his Mum: mummy, this is the best day ever.' And this tweet came through. And I read it out loud to my team and I actually printed it out and stuck it in my notepad because in that moment, it meant so much it meant that everything we've been trying to achieve with our brand and our marketing, to that point had just been said by a customer in the perfect possible way. And I always look back at it if I had a challenging meeting or just you know just where you need a little boost. That being said by someone who we've been trying to achieve it with our customer, which matters more than anybody else, was just that little bit of micro motivation. So make time to find them celebrate some little moments on the way to that big moment.


Abigail Dixon  25:04

That is really key, the celebration. So in order to train the brain that when you're doing work, and that there is a positive at the end, we must celebrate those wins. In fact, I have a coaster here that says, time to celebrate. So when we do achieve those milestones, when we do achieve those landmarks, we need to reward ourselves for it. So our brain sees that work and activity as a positive thing, and not a negative thing. So I think just as much energy needs to be in, in the celebration as the activity itself,


Lydia Crossley  25:35



Ben Walker  25:36

Interesting, isn't it? Sometimes it's important to just reflect on the impact, we are having another people outside our inner circle outside the people we work with. Abby and I were speaking before the show about her book, and as I said spend lots of time grafting at weekends and evenings, and missing out on all sorts of stuff. But actually now when she gets an email from a reader and said that it's helped her on a job, it's a celebration of the work, you've done that that Abigail Dixon, which makes it all worthwhile.


Abigail Dixon  26:04

Definitely. And I think for me, the driving motivation behind the book was to help others grow, which is my why to help others grow. And that was what kept me going on the dark days, when you're tired, or it's not flowing, or the deadline was imminent. That's what keeps you going when you are attached to a greater why.


Lydia Crossley  26:25

Perhaps a good thing as well to think about is, which we often overlook is how much you impact someone else's motivation on a daily basis. So when you say a little thank you, or you say, Well done, that was great, that could make someone's day and in trying to do that, I think you'll find it does make your own day as well. So always be nice. It's nice to be nice, isn't it? We all need a little bit of a thank you sometimes,


Ben Walker  26:49

We do indeed and I'm gonna put you two ladies on the spot here. There's a first this is a new, a new element of the CIM podcast. So the you're the pioneers of this is a quick fire round, we're going to try a quick fire round here. And the goal is to answer these questions as quickly as possible, and we take it in turns on these. So you got to keep you've got about a second or two seconds for each one. Here we go. I'll start with you, Lydia. What's more important positivity, motivation or success?



positivity leads to motivation. And that will lead to success. Hopefully.


Abigail Dixon  27:27

Motivation. Can I can I elaborate? I know these are quickfire questions. But can I elaborate?


Ben Walker  27:33

You're gonna have 20 seconds to elaborate.


Abigail Dixon  27:35

Okay, motivation, because success is often somebody else's definition of success. You need to make sure it's your own, and positivity, You don't always need to be positive in order to get the work done. You just need to have the motivation to do it.


Ben Walker  27:49

Interesting. I'll come back to you then if you could recommend one book to our listeners that has helped you stay motivated in your career. What would it be?


Abigail Dixon  27:57

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. He talks about what we do to keep ourselves safe and self sabotage from moving outside of our comfort zone and achieving what we really want.


Lydia Crossley  28:10

Do Purpose by David Hyatt. Absolutely fantastic. Will read it cover to cover in an hour. It will give you your fire back, it's one of the reasons I started my own business. Absolutely get yourself a copy.


Ben Walker  28:10

Lydia over to you.


Abigail Dixon  28:11

I've read it, it's great.


Ben Walker  28:25

You get to start this next one, Lydia, how important is it to align your learning to your values.


Lydia Crossley  28:32

Really important, your values mean more than anything and they'll be the things that drive you forward? So absolutely, yes.


Ben Walker  28:38



Abigail Dixon  28:39

More important to align your learning to your goals and to what you are trying to achieve.


Ben Walker  28:47

You get to start this one, is it essential to plan your career?


Abigail Dixon  28:53

Yes, you can change the plan. But yes, and the reason is, it will ensure that the choices that you're making in your day to day, What projects you put your hand up for and what roles that you want to do are laddering up to the long term goal of where you want to head.


Ben Walker  29:08

Batton over to you Lydia


Lydia Crossley  29:10

I'm gonna say no I'm gonna say have big ambitions and don't be frightened to change your course just stay true to yourself on your mission.


Ben Walker  29:18

Interesting, this one's for you to start then, a final one what is more important Lydia Crossley, what you know or who you know?


Lydia Crossley  29:29

What you know all things in an equal world, who you know is really important, always be open to mixing but what you know.


Ben Walker  29:37

Abigail yet to close it.


Abigail Dixon  29:39

What you know, because the self-belief that comes from what you know starts within.


Ben Walker  29:45

Ladies, thank you very much for your time and insights. Your great insight today on this podcast. It's been fantastic. I know it will help motivate our listeners and marketers who want to learn how to keep that motivation. Going and stop the demotivation and get to where hopefully, you two are today. Thank you very much for joining us. I hope you'll both join us again very soon.


Lydia Crossley  30:09

Thank you, Ben.


Abigail Dixon  30:09

Looking forward to it.


Ally Cook  30:11

If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to the CIM Marketing Podcast on your platform of choice. If you're listening on Apple podcasts, please leave us a rating and review. We'd love to hear your feedback, CIM Marketing Podcast

Ben Walker Host CIM Marketing Podcast
Abigail Dixon Founder & director Labyrinth Marketing Ltd
Lydia Crossley Founder Good Morning Digital
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