It wasn’t too long ago that businesses could rely on simplistic advertising to persuade people to buy a product or service. Television commercials were for years uncontested as the ideal marketing channel, but those days have gone by the wayside. That isn’t to say that TV ads are universally obsolete, but smart businesses know better than to rely on any single channel, exclusively.
Why, you may ask? Because the nature of consumer attention has rapidly changed. Harris Beber at AdWeek already described the growing problem for advertisers. “We’re watching TV while browsing on our phones and talking to a spouse or friend,” explained Harris. “We’re skipping ads, using ad-blockers and fast-forwarding through the moments when attention is wanted most.” In other words, attention spans have never been more divided.
The implication should be clear: capturing attention demands far more creative effort than ever before. Nowadays, that means balancing art and science. Cydney Goldberg at Braze did everyone the favor of unpacking what it means to take a more scientific approach to modern marketing and advertising.
Her article synthesized research findings published by Professor Thales Teixeira at Harvard Business School. “Teixeira has calculated the cost of attention to have jumped seven- to nine-fold in real terms since 1990,” she explained. “Making it the most dramatic business expense increase in the last 25 years.” There are countless businesses that cannot afford such a waste of precious resources, which makes it all the more important for them to hone their respective crafts.
Thales’ manuscript emphasized two key ingredients while describing ways to overcome divided consumer attention. The first one is high-quality content and the second is effective high-quality content that successfully informs and entertains users. Circumstances can sometimes prevent organizations from developing that content themselves.
The market has already addressed that barrier with external providers. For instance, an upstart think tank under tight publication deadlines might tap into a professional research paper writing service. Effective distribution depends on expert segmentation. In other words, users who are most likely to share the marketing messages should be the ones targeted to receive them.
Fortunately, Mr. Teixeira took his wisdom and forged a much simpler and far less academic article to help businesspeople better apply his data-driven guidance. “Lest there be any misunderstanding, ad effectiveness is not down across the board,” he wrote before outlining his series of prescriptions. “Only when it comes to mass traditional media, which doesn’t hold attention like it used to.” Out with the old mindset and in with the new.
His first rule of thumb for modern marketing is avoiding what he calls “spray and pray” media spending. He suggests, instead, to focus on targeted digital channels (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram.). Optimizing the creative factors that are susceptible to direct control is his next recommendation. That means marketers have to design emotional rollercoasters and master the timing of brand logo presentation.
The third and final takeaway resolves around “building consumer attention over the long run.” Thales essentially highlights the marketing principle known as the ladder of engagement. According to him, “the idea is to build relationships with your brand incrementally, with small asks of attention before big ones.” All three tactics ought to be used in tandem to produce the most promising results.
Those readers searching for conceptual rather than pragmatic direction should consider the perspective shared by Forbes contributor, Larry Myler. He proposed four thematic strategies to cut through the clutter. One such example was proactively facilitating fruitful connections between current clients. Another option was injecting something novel into the value proposition. No matter what businesses choose to do, however, it has to be genuine. Otherwise, they run the risk of alienating users.
Suffice it to say that modern marketing could use a serious overhaul. The advertising methods of yesteryear are no longer as viable. Any business planning to grow and thrive has to totally reevaluate how they market their brand to users. The advice above is by no means exhaustive, but it is probably the best place to get started.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.