Conversation Marketing: The Conversation is the Thing

Christine Fife

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Make a Memory

Marketing professionals have long known that commercials that are humorous or evoke another strong emotion in viewers are more likely to be remembered. 47.  Remember Wendy’s Where’s the Beef campaign? Or if you’re a bit older and/or have ever read any marketing 101 books, you’ll remember the famous 1970s Coca Cola commercial in which a field of young people drinking Coke want to teach the world to sing. But why are these commercials so memorable? Why do we find it easier to remember something that is funny or a catchy song that says, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”?

The human brain remembers certain types of information better than others. First, our minds are much better adapted for remembering visual imagery as opposed to words. Second, we’re better at remembering visuals that evoke an emotion or that trigger reference to memories in our long-term memory. And in the case of words, we’re much better at remembering words that rhyme or words that are set to a catchy tune.

Different types of memories are created in different areas of our brains and some of those are easier filed away in long-term memory as opposed to the area of the brain that stores short term memory–do you recall the random number that appeared at the end of the first sentence of this blog post? But you just read it moments ago. How can you not recall?

So, it’s wise for marketing professionals to use visuals that are appealing and create emotional responses and that their target audience can relate to on a personal level. And creating a catchy jingle can be really helpful. But that isn’t actually enough sometimes. One of my most favorite commercials was a beer commercial in which two guys, stranded on an tropical island, are sitting next to each other on the beach. One guy is wearing a fishing hat. Being that they’re stranded and thirsty, the other guy starts imagining that his buddy’s fishing hat looks like a cap on a bottle of beer and suddenly we see him trying to unscrew his pals head. Unfortunately, I have no idea what brand of beer the commercial was plugging. It made me laugh and I’ll always remember it, but the marketers didn’t do they’re job because it made me remember beer, but not their beer.

The job of marketing professionals today is to make a memory that their audience wants to file away, as well as a memory that includes their product.

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More Stories By Christine Fife

As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.