Fragmenting – why visitor time on a campaign site might be quite irrelevant

There has been a discussion in my company and with some clients the last weeks regarding the value of a six minute visit versus a thirteen minute visit on a campaign site

. Is the latter twice as valuable?

Looking at how the brain works, and taking some cues from Daniel Gilberts book Stumbling upon happiness (TED Talk) we can learn that the brain does not store segments of time, but fractions of impressions

. When being exposed to an event we remember parts of it and store small fragments in the back of our mind.

When triggered to recollect the experience we pick up the fragments and then create the story in between, not based on what really happened, but based upon stereotypes, attitude and prejudice.

The fact that we store memories in fragments is also important for brands
. It would go to say that if the thirteen minute visit doesn’t create any more fragments than the six minute visit they are evenly valuable.

If you look to Gilbert again, and Barry Schwartz, author of the book Paradox of Choice (TED Talk), you see that they both describe the brains ability to remember an experience with the fact that we remember only two fragments of any experience:

  • 1

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    . The climax of the event (positive or negative)
    2. The endstate.

  • Which would mean, that when it comes to fragments, the brain doesn’t discern between a 30 second visit and a thirteen minute visit.

    This would leave me to conclude that the important function of marketing is to create a lot of strong impressions (fragments) in the mind, which influence subconscious and conscious decisions. And to focus on creating as many as possible of them as you will never know when our subconscious finds it relevant to pick up one of these fragments in a process and locate it to our consciousness.

    It would therefore be more important for a brand to create a lot of small, valuable impressions and activities – that create a lot of strong fragments, than a long expensive impression creating only a small set of fragments.