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Three Skiing Lessons from Cycling Motivation: The Accomplishment, Name-Up-in-Lights, Comparison Trio

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It’s what we hope to do as marketers, but it’s a mysteriously little bit of human behavior. As such, I try to notice the things that motivate me. The things that, when indulgent alternatives exist, still get me to here or there or doing this or that.

This is no more true than with cycling: a sport where I regularly (and willfully) push my body to its physical limit with no external voices telling me to do so.

This week I want to share three things from my cycling life that have motivated me and a few very simple ways (I’m not kidding, I’m keeping these insanely straightforward) resorts could apply them.

What it Is
If it weren’t for Strava, I doubt I’d be riding as well as I am right now.

Not that I’m gonna give Lance a run for his money, but this one little app has created motivation to ride more than any other because of one simple feature: leaderboards.

Get to the top and you’re the KOM (King of the Mountain). Not only do you see how many people are in front of and behind you, everyone else does too.

Why it Motivates Me
That combination of accomplishment, comparison, and name up in lights is a powerful trio when applied to the behavior of a human being.

Naturally, we want to be better than other people, we want to be seen and recognized for our accomplishments, and if both happen in tandem, well shoot dang…that’s some strong stuff.

Last fall I kept riding a month later than I planned simply because I wanted a certain KOM and it took me a while to finally bag it.

What Resorts Can Do About It
I can see two applications of this concept. First is a personal report of your day on the slopes. A few Ryan Solutions clients are already starting to do this, and maybe there’s another step: comparisons.

Well, maybe not rankings, but showing what percentile they were in. Like “nice, you skied 15 runs today, that more than 92% of the people on the mountain today.” You’d better believe some people who get that email will stay out a couple more if they know a number like that is coming when they get home.

And then leaderboards. What if you could then put the top 5%’s names up in lights with a leaderboard on your website. Ranked by days skied, runs skied, vert, whatever, if there’s a chance for people to “move up” on a publicly visible place, you’d better believe they’ll try to do just that.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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