(recall vs recognition test below)

I thought Content was king, until I realized there was a new king: Context.

Made sense as I saw the failure of brands trying to engage me with content at the wrong time, in the wrong place. Ha! if they even got to the real me and not a URL-driven profile of someone kinda sorta like me. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Turns out, in the super cost-efficiency of programmatic platforms, cost-effectiveness takes a super hit. Resulting in content missing the X factor for a relevant customer experience and sales: Context.

Without context as part of the programmatic buy, customers are reduced to the fastest, most aerodynamic search-and-find data points. Lost in that blur of speed — and in a brand’s investment — is the relevance, the intelligence, the wisdom, in knowing, and meaningfully engaging with, the real buyer. The person who views advertising, any content, with annoyance or anger when it is contextually deaf to their Real Human input:
1. Who I am, what I feel and want beyond generic URL-driven information
2. What is relevant to me right now, not in the irrelevant days, weeks or months past
3. Why your message is in or out of context with my life in this moment

So, how does context work? How does it play so powerful a role in memory? In keyword association? Let me ask, What do you think is more effective for your sales: If your customers recall your message….or recognize it? And what the heck is the difference?

Try this “Recall vs Recognition” test.
Let’s say I asked you to remember this list of words:


Then, later in the day, or tomorrow, or next week, what if I asked you to reconstruct the list from memory. How would you do? That’s a “recall” memory task.

Now, let’s say I add something to the experience: I first bring you into your kitchen…or a restaurant or a market… and I ask you, again, What items were on the list I showed you? Think you’d do better? By a lot. That is  a “recognition” memory task.

Recognition is easier than recall because it employs the X factor: Context. And context helps your brain get to it, through all the data overload. So, if you’re spending money trying to reach people, and leaving out context, well, your reader might not find you as relevant to their time and money. And you probably haven’t met the new king yet. Context is King.


Latest Update: Feb 22, 2018