5 Ways to Grab Your Customers Attention in a Distracted World

by | Sep 11, 2017 | Insights

People’s attention has become a limited resource, and therefore if it’s a limited resource its currency, and in a study done by “Fails to Share” a professor at the Harvard School of Marketing, he talks about it being attention economics. I really like that term—attention economics, and what it means is we’re just bombarded with so much information that it’s just more important, it’s more expensive to get to that person’s attention, therefore attention economics, right?

The more information that’s available out there means getting people’s attention is just more expensive.We talk about getting your attention is such a very important part of direct response, and we make it a priority when we’re producing a commercial or an infomercial, and anything. You have to get your customers’ attention, and I think we’d all agree that our attention spans are so fractured that even on television, getting that attention is extremely important, therefore it’s extremely expensive and you have to put a lot of attention into it, so that’s tip #1. Get your customers’ attention fast!

Avoid prominent branding. People don’t like to feel like they’re being persuaded. They don’t want to feel like something is being pushed on them because there’s this natural reaction to kinda push back or to scale back when something is being push down on them too hard, and another thing that what I really liked out of this research by Harvard from “Fails to Share” he talked about brand pulsing, and brand pulsing is to, you want to have the brand prevalent in what you’re doing but you don’t want to like stick it too far in the forefront of everything, so if you can just subtly put it throughout your advertising, and what we’ve been doing in our direct responses is, I think we’ve been doing brand pulsing and we didn’t really have a name for it. We just kinda felt it was the right thing to do.

Recently, in an infomercial we did for Keurig, we really, I think we maximized the brand pulsing concept, so what did we do there? one of the things that we did is we conducted a man-on-the-street interview where we had people come in and taste the coffee, smell the coffee, react to what the coffee was all about in this particular show, and in the background, we had a Keurig logo, but it wasn’t front and center, and I think the bottom line is, one way to lose your customer’s attention right away is to look like a commercial right off the bat with your logo, or just signaling in some way that, “Hey, this is from Company X and I’m here to sell you something.”


We have an example even to show you and you’ll see in this example that the brand of Keurig is not in every shot. It’s very subtle throughout the whole piece, and you know we’re big advocates on response branding. It’s very important that you know who is delivering the message, and you know that you are creating a good compelling message, but you don’t have to go overboard with it. You want, you want good positive branding, but you don’t want to get that negative pushback.

Studies proved that a positive emotional feeling, that sense of joy really connects with the customer really, really quickly, and I think that we have a great example of that. We just did a direct response campaign for a new product called Smileactives, and we were very conscious about when we started the commercial, we had people looking at an iPad, and we had them responding to their before and afters of their yellow teeth to their white teeth, and Smileactives is a teeth-whitening product, and that joy that, that amazement, that excitement was really what grab people’s attention and not only does it grab their attention, but it grabs it in a positive way, therefore you’re feeling good, they’re feeling good, and you’re just, you’re open to the communication, you know, that’s about to come.

Number three, build an emotional rollercoaster. If you’re giving information, or demonstrating a product, you’re giving them information and you’re providing a solution for them, so they’re-they’re learning something and their attention span is on high, then what we like to try to do is bring in a question, or bring in an objection that potential customer may be having. So when their attention is at high, now you can get, keep their attention by saying, okay, well, what about this, or, or you know, take on that objection, take on that question, and then give the answer or the solution to that, so that attention span goes back up. So, it’s a high and it’s a low, and when I saw low, not low in a bad way, but low in a way that they can hear the question, they can hear the objection that they’re probably having themselves, and they’re opening to it, they’re listening to it, and then you provide that solution and it just keeps that rollercoaster of learning and feeling good, and understanding, and that’s how you kind of weave your way through the storyline into a compelling offer.

Number four, surprise your customer or audience, but don’t shock them.Surprise messaging creates what people do as they share. They tell people like, “Did you see that?” Or, “Check this out.” If you shock somebody, that gets more of just a view. Someone will just view it and they’ll be shocked, and it just kinda goes away. But a surprise message is what you want people to do. You want people to share. You want people to say, “Did you see that? Check this out,” or “Oh, my gosh! You’ll really love this!” And what are they doing by doing that? They’re sharing your message and they’re sharing your advertising for you, and that’s what you want, especially in, you know, our economy of kind of that ‘be everywhere’ economy where, you know, you see something on television, you can follow it up in social media, then you can share it in social media, so we like to always try to keep a surprise message so people will share it, but never, never shock people.

Number five, target viewers who will share your message. With social media, and television, you can be very, very directive on where you want to send your message, so let’s say you’re looking for an audience that is, you know, thirty-five to fifty-five year old women for a beauty product. You can be very, very specific there, and you can be very, very specific with that when you start doing what we start incorporating with our clients now kind of response driven ROI social media that’s in conjunction with our campaigns, and we can focus that same market, so when you focus that same market, most likely that market is going to share your message. So, focus on who you want, and they’re going to help, they’re going to be what I call your army, you know? They’re going to share that message within their, their hemisphere of people, if you will.


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