3 Memory Hacks to Make You a Better Marketer

How to mine your subconscious for the locked treasures within with sensual, visual, and muscle memory.


Debbie Walker

3 years ago | 4 min read

Sitting here staring at this blank screen while developing my marketing strategy, I want to scream, “why can’t I remember the words I was” … oh my, I forgot what I want to say. Hmm. Could it be my age? Or something else?

What can I do to improve my recall of words and ideas? Understanding how and why memory works can help us build and create an effective marketing plan.

Well, let’s track the path of this thing called memory. The first step, I believe, is to determine what kinds of memory are available at our fingertips.

Muscle Memory

The first is muscle memory, “a process of reorganizing and rewiring our nerves to make the brain/body connection stronger, faster and more accurate.”

Wow, that’s a lot to digest. Let’s think about this in terms of learning how to dance.

Say, for instance, I am a dancer. I practice my steps over and over until I can dance without thought to the placement of my feet or how many times to twirl.

I will eventually become an accomplished dancer. (While typing the previous sentence, I used my memory and imagined myself gliding gracefully across the floor.)

Thankfully, this type of memory can be applied to marketing too.

For example, a blogger who copies out by hand their favorite author’s marketing stories activates the part of the brain that governs the fingers and corresponding muscles.

This area is the precentral gyrus located in the primary motor cortex and is responsible for controlling voluntary motor movement on the body.

I have often copied sections of my favorite authors’ books like the takeaway points in Seth Godin’s The Purple Cow and James Altucher’s Choose Yourself. In performing this activity, I am acquiring a new skill.

Meanwhile, the act of typing makes you think about sentence structure, paragraphs, and word choices on a subconscious level. Skill gets imprinted through action.

Also, when we read our work out loud, the audio, visual, and verbal parts of our brain are activated. Hearing what we speak gives us an idea of how our customers will perceive what we have written.

The dual action of hearing and speaking has the greatest impact on long-term memory. Our words become available for memory recall when we write.

All of these actions work together to make us better marketers and stimulate our subconscious for inspiration. Ideas, words, and concepts seem to come out of nowhere.

A marketer wanting to hone their writing skills can utilize the path muscle memory provides, to create by recreation.

Virtual Memory

Secondly, visualize yourself in the future with two objectives: the completion of and the process of accomplishing your goals.

  • Imagine the end goal of having successfully marketed your writing. Where are you? What are you doing? What emotions do you feel? See it in your mind.
  • For example, I envision myself depositing income earned from a successful email marketing campaign, setting up bank accounts for my grandkids, paying for my husband’s surgery, and planning a vacation.
  • Then, call up an image of a successful marketing plan from the past. Again, see it in your mind.
  • Recall the newsletters you wrote to your email list, writing your copy, comments and requests your readers made, and people clicking on your article or post.

Vision of the future + memory of the past = decisions of the present.

Play this movie again and again. You can project this scenario into the future. I like to say that I am bringing the future back to the present.

Sensual Memory

The third aspect of memory is sensual memory. I took a workshop with Rachel Thompson, and she taught me that remembering things from the environment through taste, touch, sound, sight, and hearing can impact recall.

Rachel instructed us to close our eyes and feel what was happening around us as we closed a business deal or how we experienced the act of creating a marketing plan.

How did the chair that we were sitting in feel? Was it comfortable? What did we see in the room? Were there pictures on the wall?

How did the environment impact us? If this is your first time, go ahead and use your imagination.

A while back, I learned about a fun trick to help stimulate memory recall and inspiration: a lightbulb. A photo of a lightbulb, a lightbulb lamp, or just a cartoon lightbulb.

@Daniel M Rattner cited a study that the mere sight of an illustration of a lightbulb is strongly associated with creative idea generation.

I tested this theory while looking at the picture of a lightbulb, which gave me the idea to search online for a lightbulb lamp to put on my desk. Voilà! I found many examples available with the flick of a click. (Thanks, Dan!)

Furthermore, if you are experiencing what I call recall block (instead of writer’s block), one way to stoke your imagination is to look over your file of ideas to attract potential customers.

Picture what they look like, what they need, and how you can resolve their problem. This will inevitably help you find a solution or idea you can use.

Remember how exasperated I was at the beginning of this post? I employed a little of all three methods to construct the article you are now reading.

You possess an outline to help you become memorable as you use memory in your creative marketing journey.

Memory helps us mine our subconscious to unlock the treasures within. Just like Twyla Tharp, who wrote in The Creative Habit, “the secret to creativity is to go back and remember.”


Created by

Debbie Walker







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