Moonwalking and Memories
Yesterday, I found myself listening to Live Wire, a local radio program that is appropriately weird and irreverent for Portland, OR. I tuned in to an interview with Joshua Foer, author of the book: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Seems Foer, a journalist, was assigned to cover the U.S. Memory Championship. He does the piece, but found he couldn’t shake his interest in the topic. He felt these people who could memorize the order of a stack of cards in a half a minute to be “freaks”.
Long story short, Foer studies to become one of these freaks and discovers some very interesting facts.
Memory techniques have been around for 2,500 years or more. One technique is attributed to Simonides of Ceos around 500 B.C.
I never really thought about it, but it is obvious people needed some method to help them recall the events of the time. It’s not like there was a local newspaper, radio or a Google search available to them at the time. So they had these memory tricks to mentally organize information making it easy to recall.
The other interesting story Foer shared was that Socrates was apparently very upset at the prospect of a new technique that was becoming popular in his day. He felt it would make man lazy and stupid because they wouldn’t be using their brains to capture and store their memories.
What was it?
It was Writing.
Seems Socrates was right as we did forget how to hone our brains in order to hold on to information.
Flash Forward or Moonwalk to Today
We are constantly using technology as our memory keepers. Foer would say we are “outsourcing” our memories and claims this will become more prevalent in the next 5 or 10 years.
Frankly, as I age, I’m totally fine with outsourcing my memory.
Prior to speed dial, I used to be able to keep dozens of telephone numbers in my head because these memories would speed up my ability to do my job. I couldn’t recite any phone numbers today, except my own.
Can’t remember the grocery list? Not a problem. Check my smart phone.
Creating Memories is the Goal of Marketing
But there are some memories we don’t want to outsource or we can’t.
We can’t outsource the deep personal impressions we form about people and places. We can’t do a Google search about the feeling that comes over us when someone is genuinely interested in helping us find the correct energy efficient light bulb that won’t turn kitchens yellow. Or about that satisfying feeling we have when we leave a restaurant after an thoroughly enjoyable meal and great service.
We remember these experiences as they become etched onto our brains and into our hearts. We have a feeling of gratitude and positive emotions when we recall these experiences. These are the experiences we naturally share with our friends and loved ones.
In Socrates time, they would share such experiences in conversation. Today, we too spread the word, but we do so through using different tools. We Yelp it, post about it on Facebook, send a tweet.
The ultimate goal of all marketing is to get people talking about their positive experiences with you and your business.
As a business owner – be it brick and mortar or online – you need to craft marketing memories your audience won’t soon forget and that they will want to willingly share with their communities.
This is what they did in the time of Socrates. This is what we continue to do today. And this will always be the marketing challenge of business owners in the future.
Let me know if you agree with this premise by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.
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