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Evolution, the key to survival

Written by 3:50 pm Digital Focus, Strategy Focus

Evolution, the key to survival 

These days no matter where you look there is advertising waiting to try and sell you something. TV, radio, billboard, social media, call centres, spam emails, SMS’s and the list goes on. It can be exhausting and whether we like it or not, it is almost impossible to avoid, unless of course you sell everything and go and live in a log cabin in Alaska. In fact, according to the New York Times statistics, consumers are exposed on average to over 5000 ads per day. I know this is a generalisation but I’m sure we can all agree that our daily lives are oversaturated by marketing. You can also begin to understand why consumers are using things like Adblockers and PVR for example, to try and curb the tsunami of unwanted marketing. 

On top of that, there are also articles theorizing that people’s attention spans have dropped since the inception of mobile phones in 2000. Apparently on average people’s attention span is 8.5 seconds which is less than a goldfish. So where does that leave us as marketers? Personally, I am not convinced on the “gold fish” theory just yet but rather that consumers have become experts at deciphering much faster whether your content is worth their time or not. They are professionals at scanning a piece of advertising and then immediately accepting or rejecting content based on it’s relevance to their lives. They have had to evolve and be selective. With all the content streaming into our feeds daily, there is just so much shouting for our attention. So whether the 8.5 second theory is true or not, the fact remains that marketers have to cut to the chase with their messaging a lot faster than in the past. In the old day’s people would look to tradition media for their entertainment and had no say on what was served up to them, it was a take it or leave it situation. You would have to endure the 30-second commercials during the ad breaks. Today it is a very different story. According to a Wall Street Journal article, YouTube viewers world-wide are now watching more than 1 billion hours of videos a day and closely rivalling tradition TV for the top entertainment medium spot globally and in a year or so who knows? Now more than ever people have more control over what content they consume, when and where, the power has shifted. 

So how do we market to this up and coming, tech savvy generation? 

Add value. If we use digital as an example, consumers are on these platforms for a reason. Whether to be entertained, to connect or to just be keep updated. Marketers are interrupting this experience and instead are trying to sell them something they didn’t ask for that is pedestrian and boring in delivery. Instead of trying to temp them away from what they were doing and put them on a new path and force them down it, would it not be more beneficial to rather identify the path they are currently on and use this to add value to their lives as a brand? Understanding how people interact with content on the different social media channel could be a great starting point. What are your target market interests, values and conversations? How can your brand be a relevant part of that? Some advertising executives say that as long as an advertisement is entertaining, people do not necessarily mind the intrusion – and may even welcome it.

Be relevant. That’s also why marketers who repurpose content across channels run the risk of consumers brushing over it, it’s just not relevant for that channel. Each channel has it’s own set of rules. We can see on Facebook, for example, consumers are gravitating more towards video content because of the entertainment factor and require little to nothing from the consumer, but to watch. Visuals that encapsulate your idea of what you are saying also helps consumers see whether they would be interested or not. 

We need to broaden our understanding. More specifically understanding people and how they interact with technology. Especially on the digital platform, this knowledge will play a bigger and bigger role as the marketing landscape evolves and becomes more digital. It’s no longer just a case of distributing your message and hoping for the best and it’s definitely not business as usual.

Ref: Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad. article from Newyorktimes.com 

Ref: The Human Attention Span. 2018 digitlainformationworld.com

Ref: YouTube Tops 1 Billion Hours of Video a Day, on Pace to Eclipse TV. Article from wallstreetjournal.com

Tags: , , , , Last modified: March 23, 2020
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