'The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind' — Vera Nazarian, author

Stories are patterns. Understanding these patterns, these codes hidden in plain sight, is the key to telling stories in a world of infinite media. Stories today live across paid, earned, owned and shared channels – once divergent narratives now layer together for maximum impact.

Yet this still isn’t enough. There’s one more critical piece we need to break the story code. It’s the reason — the only reason — why the brand storytelling hero’s journey should matter.

We want to be remembered.

This is the common goal that the public and brands both share. It’s what moves people to action, even if they don’t consciously realize it or want to admit it.

At some point in our lives, we just want to be remembered – to know that in the end, however small or insignificant, we mattered.

Yes, brands, products and companies want to make money, but they want to be remembered, too. At a certain point just selling stuff doesn’t cut it.

If a brand isn’t remembered it can’t live on. It can’t make a difference. Someone or something else will take its place.

This is why genuine storytelling will always trump artificial content. It’s why we should shun the “content marketers” who are, by and large, insolent bottom feeders who could care less about creating a memorable human connection.

It’s why we need to stop talking about “big data” and “real-time” and all the other countless bits of bull that marketers create to make things sound more important or original than they really are.

Tell a real story. Talk like a real person. Don’t settle for treating people like statistics.

Be memorable before it’s too late.

Gary Goldhammer is Hill+Knowlton Strategies' US digital strategist.