The Content Imperative
The latest on content marketing strategy, insights and trends

Alex Barfield
Senior Planner

Alex is Senior Planner at Headstream. He ensures that all work takes a long-term view and is optimised based on business and client requirements. His work comprises research and insight, content strategy, data analytics and paid social.

Alex works across all Headstream clients on national and global accounts including BBC, GSK, National Trust, FatFace and Schuh.

Before joining, Alex worked at Universal Music.

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Image source: Paul Townsend

Content Marketing and Memory

| 15 July 2014

The article is called ‘How to never forget anything ever again’ by Mattan Griffel and it’s a fascinating read. 

Mattan explains a learning technique called spaced repetition. Basically, it asserts that it’s easier to remember something if it’s repeated over a long period of time.  He highlights that “the most effective amount of time to wait between repetitions in order to build long-term memory isn’t linear, but exponential.”

This got me thinking. 

Moving things from a consumer’s short-term memory to long-term memory is valuable for brands. The book ‘How Brands Grow’ by Byron Sharp, suggests that people buy products that are easy to remember and recall. 

So how do you make your product memorable? And how do you make it more memorable than all of the other products it is competing with?

One method could be to increase the likelihood of memory recall by edging your brand further and further into the long-term memory. Exposing someone to the same brand message repeatedly using exponentially spaced repetition might have this effect, but it seems a bit Clockwork Orange and might well end up creating some deep rooted brand related rage. 

But what if we could do something more subtle. What if we could harness some of the power of the always on, always connected digital environment in order to build multiple connections and associations to the things that people already think about and seek out everyday. Spaced repetition could then be applied across these different connections and associations to make them more memorable. The brand sits in the long-term memory and is connected to all kinds of different triggers or cues.

I like to think of the connections and associations as pieces of high quality content and distinctive creative, both directly and indirectly related to a brand or product. Combine that with a programmatic approach to advertising and maybe we can invoke the spacing effect to help people to build, useful relevant brand memories that make those long moments of indecision spent in front of the same shelf at the local store a thing of the past.

Content marketing – oh the possibilities.