Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Brain and Marketing

There was a valuable tool that I learned from a previous manager when it comes to effective advertising. That is...why does advertising work or why it doesn't? Many other marketing experts make it a bit more complicated by adding more than the three elements. While the majority of the augmentations are true...they can most likely be still housed within the power of three! The great thing about these three elements is they have little to do with an individual medium and everything to do with the human brain!
The brain has short term and long term memory. Short term memory only has the capability to house 7 things at any given moment. Think of the numbers, license plates numbers... From my work in Outdoor Advertising/Billboards I learned it was crucial to keep the message for any given client at 7 words or less. Advertising goals are to turn that short term memory into long term! For radio, short term memory is the creative message! If the radio commercial is creative and catches your attention it will be stored in short term memory. That is until another message is received that the brain wants to store then, goodbye mister business owner! The ultimate goal for any business owner is to expose a potential customer/client to their message but find a way to maintain that message in the long term memory. Why? Approximately 2% of a population would be in the buying position for a given product right now. Most advertisers use the majority of their budgets speaking to only that 2%, forgetting the 98% that may be in the market for their product or service in a month or 3 months. Long term memory has two aspects; flash bulb memories (Ex: 911, the death of JFK...) create a long term image but fades over time. The second aspect of long term memory is rehearsal or repetition. That's why we sing a phone number to ourselves over and over to remember it. Or write events/appointments down to retain the details. Rehearsal or repetition is the ONLY way a message can go from short term to long term memory. I don't care what media you is how the brain works! How does that apply to the Power of Three? More to come...

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