I have 1200 Bible verses memorized.

I know that 1200 verses sound like a lot but whenever I start feeling a bit smug, I remind myself that Aleksander Solzhenitsyn committed over 17,000 lines of his own poetry to memory while imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag. He wins.

I used to hate memorizing stuff but that all changed when I learned how to get good at it.

It started when my brother told me about a book called Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. This book is about the United States Memory Championships.

I kid you not. There is such a thing as memory championships. Full disclosure: I didn’t actually read the book, but I did start researching the crazy world of memory athletes.

In my travels I came across a guy named Ron White. (You can find him on YouTube as “Ron White Memory Expert”.) He is a two-time US memory champion and uses a technique called a “memory palace” as a mnemonic device. (Yes, the same memory palace technique that Sherlock Holmes uses in the BBC reboot of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic.)

When I learned how to use a mind palace memorization became fun, and I rapidly grew my list of memorized verses.

Let’s practice imagining

One key to good memorization is being able to imagine stuff. Here’s what I mean. I want you to imagine Tom Hanks launching a blue VW van off a dike in Holland and into the sea.

Tom Hanks in a blue VW van.

Launching it into the sea off a dike in Holland.

Close your eyes and imagine it a few times. (Humour me!)

Imagine you’re watching this from the beach and Tom waves at you as he flies over head. Imagine he hits the water so hard that a huge wave rushes up on the beach. How big would the dike have to be to get the right kind of height to clear the beach?

Can you see it?

Fun hey?

Memorizing in marketing

This past year, I entered the world of marketing as a Certified Story Brand Guide. Many times during training I have heard the team at Story Brand repeat the phrase, “Marketing is an exercise in memorization.” That excited because that because I know a few things about memorization! And THAT meant I knew a few things about marketing as well.

There are many memory techniques that could help you in your marketing. Below I share three ways that you can amplify your marketing by applying memory skills. Specifically,

Breaking down your message into small bites

Among the 1200 verses I’ve memorized are three entire books of the Bible (short ones!)

I can guarantee you that I didn’t sit down and try to memorize them in one big chunk, or even several medium sized chunks. This is the brilliance of using a memory palace. I won’t go into the details of how to set up and use a memory palace (you can check it out at this link), except to say that it allows you to systematically memorize one verse at a time.

That’s helpful when memorizing books of the bible, because if someone asks me what “James 4:8” says, I can mentally go through my memory palace and come to that exact verse!

This is good advice for your marketing as well.

You want your potential customers to be able to quickly remember what you are about. This is why many businesses need to learn how to simplify their websites. There are so many websites that have what feels like pages and pages of information.

There’s some hard truth you might need to hear; no one does business with you because your grandpa started your furniture business in his garage in 1948 after he returned from the war. People do business with you because you solve a problem they have.

If your website is going to be effective as a memorization tool, it can’t have a ton of information in each section. It needs to be succinct.

Words(lists) are even more effective than small statements. If you can get someone to associate a word with your brand, you are getting close to genius level marketing. Imagine if someone said, “dog groomer” and the only kennel that came to mind was yours!

Here’s your first 60-second tip. Sign up for a free website review. I do these all the time. I spend 5 minutes recording myself on your website assessing whether it follows best practices.

If you would like to take advantage of my free review sign up here.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Marketing is an exercise in memorization and memorization is an exercise of repetition.

This means using exactly the same words in exactly the same way over and over and over again.

Of course, if your message is confusing it won’t matter how many times you repeat it, no one will remember it. Likewise, you might have a cute and clever tagline that is memorable but says nothing about your business. You can paste statements everywhere you can think of, if they don’t clearly say what problem your company solves, no one will care.

So, while repetition is really important for marketing, repeating something that doesn’t clearly communicate is a waste of time and money.

The words you repeat about your company are called your brand message. Having a clear and consistent brand message is extremely important for marketing today.

Your second 60 second marketing tip is to do the Brand Message Assessment on my website. In reality this will take you more than 60 seconds, but it will certainly take you less than five minutes and will result in some great insights on how to strengthen it.


The key to memorization is finding a ridiculous way to remember it. Specifically, you imagine a famous person doing something ridiculous (say Einstein moonwalking), to trigger what the memory was about.

For example, let’s say I was memorizing the 52 US states alphabetically. The first three are Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona.

For Alabama I would imagine Weird Al Yankovic playing with Bam Bam from the Flintstones. (Al-a-bam-bam)

For Alaska I would imagine Weird Al putting down Bam Bam and taking a drink from a flask. (Al-flask-a)

For Arizona, I would image Al filling up his flask with a can of Arizona iced tea. Then I would review.

The crazier the famous person, the easier it will be to remember the detail you want.

The same is true in marketing. Marketing needs to be memorable. It needs to ignite the imagination. Personally, I love funny commercials, so I remember them easily. Remember the “Wassup” guy from Budweiser commercials? What about that Asian dude from Toyota commercials? Cindy Crawford from the old Pepsi commercials?

Wassup Comercial Budweiser - an exercise in memorizing

When you do your marketing, being memorable is so important.

And if you can weave a story out of your marketing, you’ll do even better! This is the power of Story Brand marketing. It takes the power of memorable storytelling and provides a framework to write compelling copy.

Your 60-Second Task for this is to look at your last social media post. Is there a person doing something memorable in the image? If there isn’t, what could you have added to help people remember it?

I tricked you into memorizing!

Here’s a test.

Without scrolling up can you remember the name of the actor I told you to remember?

What was he driving?

What did he launch off of?


Tom Hanks.

VW Van.

Launched off a dike in Holland.

And you just memorized my name – Thom Van Dycke.

Thank you and good night!