RAM is “random access memory.” We’re familiar with this concept as it is an important attribute of our computers. We just don’t think of it as it relates to our human nature. Yet, it’s important as the more we have of it the more we can draw upon in helping us solve problems, recognize and capitalize on opportunities, relate with prospective customers – succeed in all aspects of life. It’s the sum total of our experiences which can be gained through everyday reality that we encounter as we go about our professional and personal lives, and those we experience vicariously through the lives and wisdom of others.
The amount and type of RAM can provide a distinct edge in marketing. It can enable us to see what others might miss, identify alternative options and make better choices. But you have to fill and draw from it. You also have to test your conclusions to create a feedback loop that will improve the quality of your RAM to enhance your effectiveness. But, this issue of testing is a topic for another meditation.
When we know in our gut that we should attend to some matter NOW that’s not serendipity. It’s coming from our RAM. When we feel strongly about a path we need to take it’s not the occult. It’s our RAM that is leading the way. When we are clear about the choices we have and the one to take it’s not false bravado. It’s our RAM that is shining light on the possibilities. When we dread that a choice being made by the organization is not going to work it is not cynicism. Again, it’s our RAM underpinning our conclusion.
The question is, “how do we fill our RAM to provide us with more to draw upon?” If we just mindlessly work to answer emails, attend mind-numbing meetings and execute without assessing performance against clearly articulated, measurable goals then it is unlikely we are filling our RAM and/or filling it with relevant data. It all starts with “getting our heads out of our butts.”
We need to step out of our day to day work to observe what is going on in the world around us. Discover what is going on in marketing of other brands in your company. Then expand your view to competitors in your category. Broaden further to include marketing in general. Make the connections. I learn from observing my barber. It is no accident that he drives an Maserati, owns a penthouse on Chicago’s Gold Coast and has a second home in Puerto Viarta. Despite my 45-years of experience in marketing I can learn a lot from him.
Read! Studies of successful people show they read >5-hours per week. Reading opens our minds to new worlds, ways of thinking and experiences. It doesn’t have to be all non-fiction either. We can learn about human nature and develop empathy, both critical for marketers, by reading how characters handle problems and respond to others. Movies fall into this latter category.
While we’re at it, TV shows, even the commercials, can help us increase our RAM. It’s amazing to me that many marketers do not experience the vehicles that they or their competitors use to message.
Let’s get our heads out of our butts and observe to build RAM.