Monday, February 13, 2017

CMOs: 3 Changes You Should Know about Reduced Attention Span

As a marketer, you are always trying to cut through the daily clutter as your high value markets become less patient and more forgetful. Being a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern, I have found two powerful articles around reduced human attention span and Google’s six-second solution. 

In a 2015 study from Microsoft, people on average lose their concentration after 8 seconds, even shorter than the goldfish. Researchers also found that heavy media users are easily distracted when multiple stimulus are presented. This is due to the emerging lifestyle of multitasking, especially among the younger generations. The good news is, consumers can also better memorize your messages during high attention bursts. With that being said, now your ads have to be more outrageous to get your brand memorized. 

Source: mobileday

To stay ahead of the trend, Google is promoting their new six-second ads. In the past three years, Google find it harder to engage their audience with 15, 30 and 60 second commercials on YouTube, so they turned to the six-second spot; it is too short to be annoying but long enough to trigger interest. Google also kicked off a competition between major ad agencies at Sundance 2017 to explore impactful story-telling within 6 seconds. They certainly have high hopes for this new format. Here is one of the entries:

Based on my understanding of the two articles, and relevant studies I have done in the IMC program, here is three action items you should put down now:
  • Focus on video - Quality of your video ads are critical to your brand’s future success.
  • Creativity is king - Your message should tell a story, rather than the repetition of logos.
  • Make Them short - Stay creative on the 15-second spots and be prepared for the 6-second future. 
Remind yourself of these three action items every time you develop a new video ad.    

    Jess Yang is a master of science candidate in Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill, Northwestern. She is graduating in December, 2017. Jess has four years of experience in social media marketing, and her major client @ShibaSommelier now has almost 20 thousand twitter followers.

    find her on LinkedIn and Twitter @RocK_YanG

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