It’s critical to create a powerful message.

But in an age with so many messages floating around in the customers’ mind, it is important for companies to make concerted efforts to ensure their messages are not being lost on their customers.  It is even more important for companies targeting customers like Millennials, which have extensive experience in ignoring advertising and corporate communications.

Here are a few considerations for creating a powerful message.

  • Elaboration

    • Linking a stimulus to other information at encoding of a message in the customers’ mind
    • Using examples to emphasize the message
  • Visual Imagery

    • Creating visual images to represent words to be remembered
    • Emphasizing concrete objects that have impact in the minds of customers
  • Mnemonics

    • Providing associations between easy-to-remember constructs and data
  • Associative Networks

    • In research, this consideration concerns the Activation models of memory, the Associative network of related information, and Knowledge structures of interconnected nodes
    • Symbols, objects and messages are linked together according to how closely they are related in memory
    • The activated thought in the customers’ mind represents the overall meaning of the product for the consumer at that time.
    • Whatever thought or message gets activated influences cognitive or implicit processes that occur as a result of activated stimulation in the environment.  Companies may consider introducing passion, excitement and a call to action into their message.
  • Spreading Activation

    • As one thought is activated, other nodes associated with it also begin to be triggered
    • Think of a customers’ mind as a web.  When one thought is triggered, those associated with it will also be triggered.
    • Associated nodes:
      • Brand-specific
      • Ad-specific
      • Brand identification
      • Product category
      • Evaluative reactions

How to Measure Customers’ Retention

Companies can use the Starch test – trying to see what memories are left after reading magazine ads. Not a lot of effort has to be put into this. Another approach is “associative” based on associations and what is “read most”

Other Tips for Memory Retention:

Research firms need to be aware of the following obstructions to memory and retention of messages among customers:

  • Memory for facts vs. feelings – It is easier to remember feelings and emotional states than facts.
  • Encoding specificity – memories are recorded in a specific environment and context.  Companies can make use of the context in which the memory should occur in.
  • Mood congruency effect – memories should be “congruent” with the consumers’ state of mind at the point of encoding.