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, winding down, much like I used to do when I was growing up. However, one thing is very different between then and now (aside from the color of my hair). Back in the 80s, 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 3 or 4 things they are paying attention to at that moment in time. While everyone’s settling down with some TV time for the night, it’s not surprising to also find my step-daughter with her iPhone on the couch next to her and her MacBook on her lap, my step-son with his tablet in his hands and his phone in his lap, my son with his phone in his hands checking sports scores and my daughter with her iPod touch in her hands, playing an app or chatting with someone via Facetime. All the while, they assure me they are completely aware of what’s happening on the TV. 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 evolving 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 off 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.
Last year, 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 4 seconds, now clocking in at 8 seconds. To put this into perspective, goldfish have been shown to have the average attention span of 9 seconds. Take a minute to let that sink in – we now have shorter attention spans than something many of us end up flushing down the toilet at some point in our lives.
So how does this all circle back to marketing and advertising? Well, to start, the media landscape is more fragmented than it’s 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 simply can’t ignore media options any longer, but you also don’t want to spread yourself too thin. You need to keep your messaging short, and more frequent. And digital is key, especially when targeting those 35 and under. Still avoiding digital marketing like it’s the plague? Non-existent with Google AdWords, Yahoo/Bing search, Facebook, Instagram etc.? You might as well write off a large chunk of your audience then. You must, must, must have a healthy mix of traditional and digital media. Pinpoint where your target consumers are and own those media. Remember, you have a maximum of 8 seconds to make an impact.
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