Fight Politely for Their Attention

If the Advertising digital transformation taught us one single important thing, it is that most people would do anything to ignore, block, or look away from advertising and our brand messages. Yet, brands are still sold and talked about at office watercoolers (or virtual coffee chats). The exponential rise of ad-blockers killed display advertising; the growth of skippable online video killed the 30-second commercial, the rise of multi-tasking, and 2nd screen viewing killed whatever direct attention we still try to earn before.

Is this over? I doubt it! The game became a bit more difficult but not impossible to win; we are in an “expert” difficulty mode at the game of persuading consumers with our messages. Great visual content, fantastic music, and relevancy will still attract people’s attention. Learning how to attract attention politely is the task of a marketeer in 2020. Gone are the days when we could force non-skippable videos and hope for the best; it is time to put a bit more effort in the content we create and the context in which we activate.

To not just highlight a problem, here are three solutions you could start with today:

  1. WARC, we just published a comprehensive guide on the Attention Economy – ask me for a copy (or subscribe to their service).
  2. Dr. Karen Nelson Field just launched one of the best Marketing books of recent years; it only takes 5 minutes to download it on your Kindle.
  3. Ask your Media and Creative agencies how optimizing for attention can potentially generate better results.

In the end, it is just about playing the respect game with the consumer, for a true exchange of value.

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