In the digital age where brands and advertisers are vying for the ever-shrinking attention spans of consumers, obsessing about the technology is a mistake.
As consumers buy the newest i-whatever, many advertisers continue to adopt the strategy of “be everywhere” with hardly any regard for relevant content.
This was a common theme at the New York Ad Club’s “Media Day” event on May 10. Advertisers continue to use the throw-everything-into-new-media-and-see-what-sticks approach. Most have fared poorly as a result forgetting the key point that it’s not just about the apps and technology (which often miss the mark), but rather content is what truly engages consumers. What good is a shiny app without real content consumers can hold on to and connect with while making purchasing decisions?
In this multiplatform advertising world where we live and work without any clear divisions, we must continually adapt and leverage content, data and social interactivity to forge new consumer connections.
This task is proving to be more challenging as consumers’ attention spans shorten and expectations, interactions and demands become more heightened. Add in the fact that consumers are more attached and invested in the tiny screens of their smartphones than ever before—arguably more than tablets and computers.
Despite the amount of rapid change and the rate of failure, marketers can’t be afraid, said Jeff Gunderman, senior vice president and general manager of EYE, during the “Making a Mobile Strategy Work” session. While the discussion focused primarily on using mobile technology to engage with consumers, the overall theme included advertisers’ fear and confusion of it—and lack of budget for mobile strategy.
Considering there are 107 million smartphone owners, and adults spend more time with their phones than print, agencies must overcome this aversion and connect with consumers on this device in a humanly relevant way. It’s not about just slapping a QR code on an ad and hoping for the best.
“You need to continue to engage with a consumer once they’ve scanned the code, and you just don’t see that most of the time,” stated Gunderman.
Consumers are always “on” and about half multitask on their devices daily. If brands had a small window for consumers’ attention before the digital revolution, they have even less time now—and the real estate on mobile devices is tight.
However, even before the technology revolution, customers were more interested in messages that actually spoke to them no matter the medium. Granted, fewer channels were competing for their attention, but the fact remains: Relevant content reigns supreme.