Will You Make It Through This Article?
On a typical night in the Sugg household, you can find my four children relaxing in front of the television, much like I used to do when I was growing up. However, one thing is very different between then and now. I would park myself in front of the TV and become lost in a show; I would be completely fixated on whatever was going on inside that box in front of me. To my kids, the television is one of maybe three or four things they are paying attention to at that moment in time. While everyone’s winding down with some TV time for the night, it’s not surprising to also find my stepdaughter with a cell phone on the couch next to her and her laptop on her lap, my stepson with his tablet in his hands and his cell phone in his lap, my son with his PlayStation Vita in his hands, and my daughter with her iPod Touch in her hands. It’s absolutely amazing to me. How can this be relaxing?
Technology has changed everything, marketing included. The way we receive and process information is changing at a rapid pace. Think about it – Millennials will never know a world without the internet or without cell phones. The Yellow Pages is a foreign concept to them. Newspapers are dying and social media sites are exploding. Something can happen on the other side of the planet and within minutes you not only can be aware of it, you can see live pictures of it happening, and be discussing it with people all over the globe.
This past spring, Microsoft did a study to test the attention span of the average human being. The last time this test was done was back in 2000, with the average human attention span clocking in at 12 seconds. Fifteen years later, Microsoft concluded that our average attention span has dropped by four seconds, now clocking in at eight seconds. To put this into perspective, goldfish have been shown to have the average attention span of nine seconds. Take a minute to let that sink in – we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish.
So how does this all circle back to marketing and advertising? Well, to start, the media landscape is more fragmented than it has ever been. Smart marketers consider all of the many pieces of today’s advertising puzzle, rank them in order of importance, and own the ones that are the most important. You can’t ignore media options, but you also don’t want to spread yourself too thin. And digital is key. Still avoiding digital marketing like it’s the plague? Non-existent with Google AdWords, Yahoo/Bing search, Facebook, etc.? You might as well write off anyone under the age of 30 then. You must, Must, MUST have a healthy mix of traditional and digital media. Pinpoint where your target consumers are and own that media. Remember, you only have eight seconds to make an impact.