What is a memorable telephone number?
A memorable telephone number, as the term might suggest is a number that’s easy for someone to remember. These numbers typically take the form of a local area code such as 020 for London or 0161 for Manchester, followed by digits that might be particularly memorable or repetitive such as 247 0247.
Why are these numbers more memorable?
To start to understand why these numbers are more memorable, we first have to dive into our working memory. This is the system that we use to temporarily hold and interpret information.
According to Baddeley’s Model of Working Memory, one of the central concepts of the working memory is something called the ‘phonological loop’. This is the part of the memory that deals with spoken and written material. This is made up of two parts: 1) the ‘phonological store’ which is linked to our perception of speech and holds information in a speech-based form for 1-2 seconds; and 2) the ‘articulatory control process’ or the inner voice. This is the part that rehearses and stores verbal information from the ‘phonological store’. So, when you see or hear a new phone number, our working memory is what we use to remember it.
Psychologist George Miller, one of the founders in the cognitive psychology field, theorised that the number of objects an average human can hold in our working memory is seven, plus or minus, two. So instead of remembering 10 or 11 separate digits, we find it easier to group these together. This is also known as ‘chunking’. So in the case of a phone number, if they can be easily organised together into smaller groupings, they can be recalled much easier than random digits. If these groups are easily repeatable, then this can be an added factor in terms of its memorability.
Benefits and uses of a memorable phone number
One of the large benefits for your business is that your phone number will be more memorable than those of your competitors. Having a memorable number can also be extremely useful in terms of marketing too, having a number that customers can easily recall is a big advantage. In the case of radio advertising for example, if potential customers recognise your number more easily then they are more likely to think of you first and use your services.
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