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Musashi Marketing: Forgetting is the Key to Remembering

Steve ManattSeptember 29, 2014

In marketing we talk a lot about knowing the customer. Understanding the customer. Creating value for the customer. To do that, it is vital to connect the data dots to extract meaningful insights. But for as important as it is to learn as much as you can know, it’s also important to forget a lot too. Think about it – does every web search you’ve ever done indicate that you’re actively shopping and in market?

I came across this video, The Upside of Forgetting, where I learned that each of us have two proteins, musashi and adducin, which are in a constant struggle. With names like that, it’s no wonder. Can’t you hear the announcer’s voice now, “Will Musashi use his turbo kick karate chop combo to pummel Adducin? Will Adducin use his super strength binding powers to tie Musashi up in the corner?” You see, musashi helps us forget while adducin helps us remember, and they are in a constant tug of war. Why is that important? Without forgetting things every now and then, our brains would become so full of (extraneous) information, we’d lose our ability to focus on what’s important.

Does the same thing happen to us in marketing?

If we do not have a clear understanding of the business challenge we want to solve, it can be very tempting to hoard all the data possible so we leave every option open for present and future marketing programs. But if we do that, it’s just as likely we’ll have so much data input that it’s nearly impossible to know what is more accurate, more relevant. (I remember leaving my keys on the table, but was that today? I also remember putting them in my jacket pocket. Oh! And what about the hook by the door! I hung them there too – was that yesterday?)

big data cartoon

With a clear data strategy, we have a much better idea of who needs to win a particular battle: Musashi or Adducin. With our eyes on the prize, we know which super hero to cheer for. As Heather Hall stated in an earlier post, there are three questions to answer when crafting a data strategy:

  1. What is the business problem you are solving?
  2. What are the appropriate, necessary data assets?
  3. What is the end goal for the customer?

Answer those and you’ll be well on your way to a clear, defined strategy that translates into real value not only for your business, but for your customers as well. Now please excuse me, I need to go look for my keys…