In today’s marketplace, grabbing the attention of potential customers is more important than ever. In fact, research suggests that in today’s digital world, the average attention span is only 8 seconds! In the race for attention, marketers have increasingly focused on the importance of memory.
Consider for a moment the product category “soda.” Do memories of drinking a cool soda on a hot day come to mind? Do you think about the soda your family drank growing up? More likely than not, you’re thinking of a specific soda you prefer. This preference probably isn’t based on facts about that soda and why it is better than other brands — it comes from your experiences and your memories! Clearly, memories influence what brand comes to mind when we consider a particular product.
There are three major categories of memory:
- Immediate, or sensory, memory lasts only milliseconds, and we often aren’t aware of it
- Short-term memory lasts a few minutes. You hold onto information for as long as it is helpful to the task you are performing.
- In contrast, long-term memory is unlimited. Long-term memory is where we store facts, ideas, and stories. Long-term memory can be further broken up into concepts and facts (semantic memory), basic skills (procedural memory), and personal and emotional memories (episodic memory).
Based on this knowledge, marketers should be targeting long-term memory in consumers to inspire memories of your brand the next time they need a product or service in your category. How can your brand take up that coveted space in long-term memory?
The best way to tap into the power of memory is to give people memorable first-hand experiences, and there’s no better way to do that than with experiential marketing. By offering customers a brand experience, they engage with your brand on a more personal, memorable level. When people connect your brand to an awesome memory they have from your event, you become a part of their story!
Here are some techniques that capitalize on the power of memory.
The initial introduction to your brand should be interesting and engaging. Greet and communicate with your audience in a way that intrigues and captures their attention from the start. Set the stage for a meaningful interaction, and you’ll begin the creation of a positive memory!
Tap Into Positive Emotions
One way that episodic memory functions is through the principle of association. Objects, ideas, and experiences that frequently occur together are connected in memory. If the experience you provide offers excitement, fun, or joy, your audience is more likely to remember your brand. Throughout our Tractor Supply Company “Follow Us to the Fair” tour, we facilitate fun memories through activities like bean bag tosses, bowling, egg-and-spoon races, and more! Guests to the footprint are more likely to associate Tractor Supply Company with a positive brand memory because of their attendance at the fair events.
Imagination and Storytelling
Create an immersive experience that allows your audience to imagine what it would be like to do business with you and what the positive outcomes might be. With experiential marketing programs, instead of telling your audience how you will meet their needs, they can experience it for themselves! When your audience imagines and experiences the positive outcomes of a relationship with your brand, you create a lasting memory.
We worked with Disney to create and implement the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign, inviting potential guests to imagine spending their birthday at a Disney park. The immersive campaign included character visits, impromptu celebrations, and memorable Mickey Mouse balloons. Who has trouble remembering a great Disney experience?
Encourage visual content
Engage your audience and allow them to create and share content about your brand with others. Encourage attendees to your event to take photos or videos and make it as easy as possible to share those with appropriate hashtags linking to the overall brand story. Researchers suggest that taking a photo imprints a memory in your brain from the moment you took the photo. Upon seeing the photo again, your memory recalls the feelings and emotions you had when you were taking the photo. Tap into the power of consumer-generated visual content to trigger memories later on.
Learning By Doing
A fundamental part of our procedural memory is something called mirror neurons that fire not just when we perform an activity ourselves, but also when we watch someone else perform an activity. By watching a product demonstration, seeing others use your product, and interacting with your brand themselves, those mirror neurons will be firing. The next time your audience needs a product, they will remember the experience of using yours.
Repetition and Follow-Up
Your work isn’t over after your event! After you create a bond with your audience in real life, you need to keep the memory alive. Have a post-event follow-up plan that leverages the positive impressions you made.
Want to tap into the power of memory and make the most of your experiential marketing campaigns? Call us to start the conversation! 636.449.3162