Human Attention Span and Marketing

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Human Attention Span and Marketing

You might have already heard that our attention span is reducing dramatically. According to the Consumer Insights team of Microsoft Canada, humans had 8.25 seconds of attention span in 2015 as compared to 12 seconds of attention span in 2000. That means we are officially more distracted than the goldfish with 9 seconds of attention span. BBC has questioned these findings but one thing is for sure that we are more distracted by all kinds of screens in our lives.

Here are some cold hard facts about human attention span:

  1. An office worker, on average, checks his or her email inbox 30 times every hour.
  2. The average cell phone user picks up his or her phone at more than 1500 times every week.
  3. 25% of teens forget major details of close friends and relatives
  4. 7% of people forget their own birthday from time to time.
  5. 39% of Americans have forgotten one basic piece of information or lost one everyday item in the past week.

And because we are so distracted it is really difficult to capture someone’s attention and market to them.

Digital media is so pervasive these days that it is virtually impossible to imagine our lives without it. Since the advent of smartphones, the amount of digital information we have produced is unprecedented. Now, all that information is available on the internet for everyone to consume. People are curious and they are distracted. They are looking for answers on the internet. They are looking for advice on the internet.

Here are some facts that affect online marketers:

  1. On an average people stay on a web page for less than one minute (10-20 seconds in most cases) and they ready on average 28% of the words written on the page.
  2. Most people will leave your site if it does not open within the first 3 seconds.
  3. People delete an app they don’t like in less than 7 days.

Here is what you can do to market to a distracted audience:

  1. Do some research on your audience and design a personalized marketing message for them. Tell them a story and help them succeed.
  2. Focus on delivering quality over quantity, when you are using content marketing.
  3. Engage with your audience outside of the digital world.
  4. Map your ideal customer’s journey and deliver your marketing message over a period of time across several different channels.
  5. Use behavior-based (also called account-based) marketing.

PS: You can take your own attention span test at Psychology Today’s website here.

Here is my score card. 26/100.

I am embarrassed. You might be wondering how do I manage to write blog posts like this once and I am wondering about that as well now 🙂

Don’t forget to post your results in the comments below. I would love to learn about your thoughts on distraction and how you are overcoming that challenge in your marketing efforts.

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