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How our mind creates now.

February 4, 2022
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What is now? How do people perceive now? Why does it matter in marketing?

What is now? How do people perceive now? Why does it matter in marketing?

If I would ask my neuroscientist sister, she would tell me that now is a window in which our brain understands a physiological present. In fact, neuroscientists identified that “now” is between 2 to 3 seconds.

This was identified through an experiment where a team of volunteers were exposed to a series of snippets of a shuffled story in sets of 2.5 seconds. If the sets were smaller than 2.5 seconds, context could not be made out of the story line. But in the case of the magic number 2.5 participants could make sense of the context and story.

This proves that our brain is able to integrate jumbled stimuli into a comprehensive manner within a frame of 2.5 seconds.

Now imagine that.
We kiss, handshake, nod, smile and express ourselves in so many different ways daily which result in a series of story lines. Does our brain make up context out of these moments? Does our brain understand those “nows” as “mini-nows”? Of course it does.

In a matter of fact, your brain can differentiate senses and actions of different nature (i.e auditory, visual, sensorial) and detect their order even if they are at least 50 milliseconds apart.

A hierarchy of now’s

So if now, happens, well now…how does it feel that some “now’s” are taking longer to stop being now and become the past? Well, this depends on the emotional impact of “now” and its unexpected occurrence into the stream of what you call a normal routine of now. Think about cases where an event took longer to be completed. Think of your wedding, or a car accident. Your brain can explain it more accurately, in bigger detail. Wait does this mean that you can expand the “perception of now”?

Stretching or expanding your now reflects to the rate your brain processes now. A lot of meditators tend to feel that their “now” is more aware, more mindful and complete; actually they are right. What these people manage to do is expanding their brain “CPU” by training it to understand the present moment by using a higher capacity of sensory and cognitive processes.

How can we use nowness now, for the marketing process?
1. Well at first, think about it as exercise for the brain, especially if you are a marketing executive being bombarded with blasts of information on a daily basis. Get into zen mode and manipulate your own now.

2. Think of it as exercise for your creative endeavours. The human brain understands more than you can imagine in fragments of milliseconds. Use it wisely and create streams of information via multi-sensorial experiences. There is a good reason bumper ads, stories and tik-tok trends are taking over your stream. Use it!

3. Mind-bend users’ perception via unexpected stimuli to expand the duration of now. This may also build more relevance and engagement for your brand.

Feeling confused?
Don’t be, there has never been a better time than now!
If meditation expands your now, then it can also expand your mind and eventually your life! Take some time to “train your own now”.

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