teens on their phone

The Declining Attention Span: How It Affects Your Marketing Strategy

Focusing on Gen Z’ers, it’s so easy to spot how learning has changed. Being born as digital nomads, it’s normal to be dependent on the internet and the web. Knowledge is just at the top of their fingertips and so, demand everything to be just as instant.

Aside from fetching information heavily via just their mobile phones or any other digital devices, making Gen Z’ers the basis, the demand for data is now through visuals. Today’s generation remembers information better with image-based messages, which is why businesses enlist the services of video production specialists for their marketing.

Millennials Are the Biggest Owners and Users of Smartphones

However, take note that it’s not just Gen Z’ers becoming evermore internet- and web-dependent. All the other generations, too, are reportedly reaching their phones out first when they have nothing to do.

While seventy-seven percent of Gen Z’ers, those born between 1997 and 2012, affirm that they do so, reaching for their phones when nothing occupies their attention, millennials prove to be the biggest users of technology. Ninety-three percent of millennials who are between 23 and 38 years old now own smartphones.

The millennials’ purchase of smartphones and ability to easily embrace any new devices are the highest. Put Gen Z’ers and millennials’ purchasing power, you get the highest spending power. This impacts businesses greatly, so marketers seek to understand any factors that play into their purchases.

The Problem About the Shrinking Attention Span

Another concern among marketers is the issue of shortening attention span. Statistics claiming that peoples’ attention spans are deteriorating, now only between twelve and eight seconds like a goldfish, are everywhere.

Even the Telegraph, Time magazine, USA Today, National Post, and the New York Times claim this to be so. All of them claim that everyone’s attention span has evermore shortened, except BBC that questions the credibility of their sources.

Time claims that people nowadays lose focus after eight seconds, pointing out that we are increasingly on a digitized lifestyle, making it harder to filter irrelevant stimuli from many media distractions.

With just one ping from our phones, desktop, and many other devices, we’re bombarded with distractions that can quickly shift us from any routine. Since the mobile revolution started, our average attention span dipped as low as eight seconds.

However, BBC doesn’t really agree with their claims, upholding that the way attention spans shouldn’t be measured in such a way they do it. The organization believes more in attention being task-dependent, which means that the attention we pour on something depends on what task we have at hand.

As per the BBC, comparing this generation’s attention span to that of a goldfish being short is also a wrong notion. It turns out that goldfish have the same learning abilities as birds and mammals, which means that goldfish don’t have short memories and attention spans—far from their very reputation.

Any could be true, but what remains to be sure is that with the mobile age comes the more extraordinary ability to do things more simultaneously. Since the concept of multitasking really means not doing things simultaneously but rapidly shifting to doing things at a given time, we have become better at moving from one task to another.

We can do FaceTime, watch TV, then order from our favorite restaurants just so easily. So with lessened attention span or task-dependent focus, how does this affect the marketers? This challenges them to do better in their marketing content, to become adept at catching their audience’s attention better.

man on the internet

How Marketers Can Gain and Maintain Their Audiences’ Attention

The challenge among marketers is how to gain and retain their customers’ and potential customers’ attention. It’s crucial to grab their attention in this greatly distracted world. The two key ingredients to this are high-quality content and effective distribution of the marketing message. Here are some tips for businesses:

1. Don’t make people feel they’re persuaded

Brands that have too prominent branding tend to repel people away. In fact, the moment people notice that the logos appear while watching video ads, they stop watching. Marketing content should display brand images unobtrusively over a dozen times without overwhelming the audience.

2. Give off an immediate positive feeling

Joy and surprise are the best feelings you can trigger in your audience. Any of the two can immediately get your viewers’ attention and maintain it.

3. Create an emotional roller coaster

But joy isn’t the only thing that keeps people attention. The best way is to provide them with an emotional roller coaster—giving them joy, taking it back, then giving joy again. Many ads reaped success using the concept of emotional roller coaster.

Converting Attention to Sales

In the end, the main goal for businesses is to convert that attention to purchase, which is the next step to this. Make sure that your marketing contents have compelling visuals, are high-quality, concise, and direct to the point.

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