Here at AIM, we are proud to be known thought leaders in affiliate and performance marketing, always looking for ways to stay on top and ahead of trends, strategies, and approaches to driving improved results. As a team, we invite experts in various areas of leadership, business, education, training, and digital marketing to come speak to us as part of our ongoing team training and professional development. This allows us to expand our knowledge and strategic approaches which benefit AIM, our clients and our partners collectively.
Recently, our team had the pleasure of engaging in a science-based and extremely progressive presentation from Dr. Carmen Simon. For those who have not had the pleasure of meeting or hearing about this remarkable woman’s work, Dr. Simon is the founder of Memzy, a cognitive neuroscientist, keynote speaker, and author. As a double PhD in Cognitive Behavior and Neuroscience, she helps businesses leverage how the brain acts and reacts to different content to create memorable messages to help reach, engage and convert their audiences.
We wanted to share some of the fascinating insight we gained from Dr. Simon’s presentation.
Firstly, we need to look at the star of the show… THE BRAIN. The brain is the most enhanced engine on the planet. It is here to prolong our survival and control our body functions. It helps us move, which if we couldn’t do, we wouldn’t survive. However, the option in movement has changed throughout the years. Past memories assist in where your brain moves next and helps your brain predict the future; which is where the brain generally likes to be. Therefore, as humans, we subconsciously make memory our mission.
Although our brain’s mission is to house important memories that we live off of, it was surprising to learn that people forget 90% of what you share with them. This is easy to do with so many factors that contribute to forgetfulness; such as, stress, amount of rehearsal on a subject matter, motivation, current emotion, existing knowledge, use of drugs, and/or alcohol.
Additionally, since memory takes consolidation time, which often happens during sleep, the amount of sleep you get is a very big part of remembering.
So, how are we able to work with only 10% as a business and make memories with our customers? We must control the right 10%! Based on the forgetting curve, the little people do take away is often random, but we can try to change this with the following five factors:
1. Cognitive Ease
Creating a message that comes to your brain easily. This is important because of the movement the brain allows us to do. Does your message and/or brand come to your audience’s mind easily? This is cognitive ease.
2. Mental Models
We have a mental model of things we do regularly, such as going to the grocery store, remembering where items are located, where things are located at the airport, etc. We enjoy mental models because they allow us to save energy. This saved energy makes the brain want to engage in the mental model again and again. These models feed our familiarity needs and help us predict the next movement. With that, we as you to ask yourself, what kind of mental models are you offering your customers? Ease of checking out? Simple navigating?
3. Familiarity Needs
Mental models feed familiarity needs and the brain prefers this because we then know where to move next. This is because the brain is always trying to predict the future with memories that have served us well. There is little value from a survival standpoint to be in the present. However, while the familiarity will give a heightened state of attention, you can’t stay there for too long because the brain starts to habituate. This action is good for evolution but can be detrimental to remembering. To truly achieve memory, we need to do something that is familiar BUT ALSO with a slight twist to get a small jolt out of the familiarity.
4. Twist the Familiar
Cautious communication tends to not be memorable. At some point you want to be deliberate, so you can control the brain. What happens in the brain when we habituate? Dopamine (neurotransmitter that allows neurons to connect). For dopamine to have an impact, you must have dopamine in your brain to go get what you crave or want. This is the ability to take action – which leads us to the last key factor.
5. Elevate the Dopamine
What happens if we go through the effort (taking action) and receive nothing? The dopamine level increases. Therefore, UNCERTAINTY drives increase in dopamine and increase effort towards a goal.
Reward + Anticipation + Uncertainty (alternatives, suspense, discovery – the brain likes to learn)
While the above key factors don’t tell you exactly what to do for your brand, they allow you to think differently when approaching marketing. What is your 10% message? How often do you clarify between reward, anticipation, and uncertainty? And, how do you provide these elements in your communication materials? These are just some questions to ask yourself when looking at your upcoming strategies.
We hope that, like us, you found a new and interesting perspective and are excited to add them into your marketing efforts. If you would like to discuss other ways to help market to your audience, please reach out anytime!
You can also find more insight with Dr. Simon’s book, Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions or reach her at Memzy.com