Peter Brook in Threads of Time says that experience cannot be divided into two opposing categories, into what can be felt and what can be defined. Behind taste, artistic judgment, and cultural habits exist proportions and relationships that touch us because a quality of emotion is integral to their nature. At the same time, lurking inside every measurement is a factor that goes beyond classical physics to relativity and a place where science springs to life and becomes pure poetry.
Guided by this thinking, Brook wanted to break through the divisions among science, art, and religion and unite them within the same observable, understandable experience.
The nature and quality of human experience are exactly determined by their place in a rising and falling scale of energies of differing intensities. This discovery allowed Brook to see how the presentation of the space around us bridged the gap between the vagueness of our inner experiences, however intensely they are felt, and the rigorous outlines of the observable world. Observer and observed united, science as human, and levels of quality in human experience inseparable from the structures of measurable reality.
Brook talks about the stage as the experiential space. Isn't all of life a space where we stage different kinds of experiences?
The Art Part
It is meant to design an experience within a defined context. This experience therefore is charged by the quality of emotions it evokes and how they connect with what is going on in your head at the time. So the experience is always subjective.
The timing of when it shows up in your life is important. Are you relaxed and in a good mood? Do you need that information right now? The nature and quality of the information as it relates to your taste and preference plays a role as well. I mentioned elsewhere that our brain is an associative network that records not only events, but also our feelings about them.
The Science Part
Our brain grows by use. It does so when the stimuli are presented with increased frequency, intensity and duration. This is especially true for messages that are not new -- we are already wired to remember novelty. This is as good as it gets.
The measurement piece of marketing is possible, of course. First and foremost, pay attention to what you are measuring. There are multiple metrics and new techniques adapted to the differing challenges of different industries. Today we need to track the effects of multiple media and marketing elements in driving sales. Is impact easy to measure? Not by a long shot.
Andy Lark has several great posts on his blog linking to resources on marketing measurement. Because marketing is in the business of creating experiences, we cannot separate what can be felt from what can be defined 100%. Ultimately, marketers need to be keen observers and participants in the conversation with their customers, partners and colleagues.
And you thought that all we did was dream up pretty pictures and clever headlines.