Sleep is the Great Eraser

Are you ever surprised by how quickly you forget things?

You know the feeling, you walk into a room to do something but as soon as you get there you forgot why you were there in the first place.

You see an ad for something that interests you and as quickly as you think, “I should look into that” something else grabs your attention and your first thought is a distant memory?

Or you have an idea that is so great you think it’s impossible you’ll ever forget it. So you don’t bother writing it down. Within ten minutes you’ve forgotten it and it never comes back.

No? OK, maybe it’s just me.

The reality is that people’s short term memory is just that, short term. According to studies on short term memory, psychologist George Miller states that the average person can store about 7 items at a time. According to Atkinson and Shiffrin the duration of short term memory seems to be between 15 and 30 seconds and will remain only through verbal repetition.

*Consider this:

  • In 1998, the average consumer saw 3,000 marketing messages per day.
  • In 1946, the U.S. had 12 TV stations. By 2011? 1,700.
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt cites that “Every 2 days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.”

We are bombarded by thousands of messages and images a day so it’s no wonder that in our fast paced world we have a hard time recalling things we’ve seen or heard.

Rule 29 of The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising by Micheal Corbett, ’Don’t Forget How People Remember’, the author asks us, How did we learn to ride a bicycle, walk, read, and remember your phone number? We all learned the same way, and that is by repetition. Repetition is the key to learning anything.

So when planning your marketing strategy, remember that repetition and consistency are your best friends. No matter what media vehicle you are using, be sure to connect and engage your customers on a daily and weekly basis. Reaching out on a monthly or seasonal basis will have you starting from scratch each and every time. Finding a consistent schedule that works for your business will ensure you build on your customer relationships so that they do remember you when they need you.