Last week I was giving a presentation about the difficulty of marketing today because of how much harder it is to get attention now. The primary reason why it’s hard is that there are so many things competing for our attention today.
Think about all of the things trying to sell something to you: banner ads, social media platform ads, TV, radio, email, direct mail, in-app ads, sponsorships, product placement, magazine inserts, search result ads, sponsored media placement, billboards, cross-product promotion, etc.
Consider this for a moment: the average American is hit with 4,000 ads and promotions every day. Because of that reality we have gotten really good at ignoring almost all of it. That’s not encouraging if you’re a marketer or business owner.
Earn Attention. Don’t Demand It.
We can mourn all of the things competing for attention or long for a simpler time, but that doesn’t fix anything. Attention has always been important for marketing and it always will be…it’s just harder now. In the good old days marketers and advertisers could demand your attention and you were likely to give it to them. Demanding attention involves interruption or interception of something else you were doing but as the number of channels for interruption have increased, consumers have become really good at ignoring it. Demanding doesn’t work very well anymore. That means it’s time to blow up your marketing perspective if it still relies on demanding attention.
The opposite way to get attention is to earn it. How magical would it be if the people you wanted to reach actually chose to give their attention to you? It’s possible. In fact it’s happening every day. Social media platforms have helped lead the way here. Whether it’s a funny video like the Dollar Shave Club or a really helpful eBook like the UpDesk team created, there are creative, inspiring, engaging ways to earn attention. It just requires a mindset shift, but when it happens it opens up a whole new way of thinking that your customers will appreciate.