WATCH | Fighting through the fog to grab consumer attention

Join the Future of Media online event on May 5 at 10am on how to gain and keep people’s attention in today’s distracted world

09 April 2021 - 15:29

“Stuff” is a catch-all for just about anything that puts pressure (subconsciously or otherwise) on people to perform mental multitasking at an often overwhelming rate. Right now you probably have one eye on this article and the other on your inbox or phone.

A quick Google search on “human attention span” reveals conflicting research that says attention spans vary from two hours to 20 minutes, to even as little as eight seconds. 

If you’re in marketing or advertising, you’ll know the time pressures of getting a brand message out there with high impact in as little time as possible. With the ubiquity of the internet and mobile devices, the intrusion of pop-ups on websites, and the “skip ad” option on YouTube and other streaming platforms, the job of brand management has become more challenging.

How does a brand build, boost and bag the attention of an audience in today’s world?
How does a brand build, boost and bag the attention of an audience in today’s world?
Image: Unsplash/Serg Antonov

The research also says attention span is determined by the task at hand. People who are deeply engaged in a task they enjoy will be less distracted. Could the silver bullet for brands lie in catching people during experiences they relish? After all, sporting events have for years provided an ideal platform that brands leverage in engaging consumers. The problem is that few brands have the financial resources to benefit from these investments.

There are, however, still many opportunities and platforms that marketers can use to best participate in the “attention economy”: social media, gamification, video, out of home, print, television and radio, influencers, events. But the thread that binds is content … and in a tight market, content remains king (or queen).

So how does a brand build, boost and bag the attention of an audience? What role does content play and on what platforms are target consumers to be found? How do you find the balance between being an intrusive irritation or becoming a valued message? How has technology changed our habits? How do we fight through the fog with a brand that shines?

Stay focused during this episode of the Future of Media online conference series, where a panel of experts discuss everything you need to know about human attention as a scarce commodity and how to earn it in an age flooded by brands vying for the same eyes, minds and hearts.

Panel members in the discussion, moderated by Siya Sangweni, include:

  • Isla Prentis — intelligence lead, Tirisano Consulting, within The MediaShop
  • Danny Druion — creative director, Wunderman Thompson Digital
  • Charis Coleman - market engagement manager, Kagiso Media
  • Kendal Zoghby - head of communication strategy, Yellowwood

Partners of the Future of Media online conference series include Vodacom, EziAds, Primedia Outdoor, The MediaShop, TILT, Wan-Ifra, The FM Redzone and The Media Online.