We are worse than goldfish! – the increased value of 1 second of your attention

Have you ever thought about the value of ‘1 second’ of your attention? 

Humans’ attention span is getting shorter and shorter. (In fact, according to much promoted statistics about ‘the web,’ I already lost 80% of the readers by now… (80% of browsers spend less that 4 seconds on a page)

The ranking – winners and losers 

We are officially worse than goldfish (You and me, in 2000, we had an attention span of 12 seconds…10 years later, we are at 8 seconds, which is officially worse than a goldfish (9)… though I am not entirely convinced how they measure a goldfish’s attention span, it should still be considered a relatively poor result)attention span

Have you ever noticed that books are getting shorter and there are more and more TV series…?

Books are getting shorter. Now, this is a LIE. Most books are getting shorter, according to the Guardian, if you want to be successful at selling a book, you have two choices: either you have to write something that is shorter than 250 or quite the opposite…longer than 800. (just think about the Luminaires, this year’s booker prize winner)

Talk to me – only in pictures please! 

Most people cannot even read documents anymore… In fact, most people when they ask for a report, quite often the only thing it should not feature is




T. People cannot concentrate on reading documents… (but we do check our emails 40 times an hour!!!! Well, an average person does) Instead, we want to look at pretty pictures… (I am praising the day when people will be sick of info graphics… these days, if it was most people’s choice, they would put a poem into an info graph) BTW, after 20 min of research, I could not find ANY poem ‘written’ in an info graphic… so it looks like with poems we are on safe territory.

Positive realism 

BUT… Let’s put the sarcasm aside, and focus on the silver lining….

Short attention span also means..

• We have to grasps complex concepts much quicker.

• Which also means, we have to present complex concepts much simpler, if we want to be heard.

• Only the best marketers will survive – humor, gamification, unexpected turn of events … pictures…

• TV series are actually better than most movies anyway

• And as far as I am concerned, it made the world of World Cinema more appealing (because one needs to read subtitles, that makes us concentrate more and the best movies I have seen recently were all foreign movies…

Cinema Paradiso, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Hunt, Side Walls, Grand Beauty, Headhunters…just to mention a few)

AIDA is out, IPIAAEPF is in.

So where does this take marketers..

Anybody who sat in to any marketing class for at least 5 minutes will be familiar with the concept of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). These are (were) the stages that a consumer would go through as part of the buying process and is considered to be the holy grail for advertising.

According to new theories about Attention Economies, in addition to the AIDA concept, we should also look at other ‘intangibles’. These intangibles were identified as

1. Immediacy – priority access, immediate delivery – just remember The Times’ campaign from two years ago saying ‘guaranteed delivery by 6.45am’ (which apparently the average time a Londoner would get up)

2. Personalization – tailored just for you

3. Interpretation – support and guidance

4. Authenticity – how can you be sure it is the real thing?

5. Accessibility – wherever, whenever

6. Embodiment – books, live music

7. Patronage – “paying simply because it feels good”,

8. Findability – “When there are millions of books, millions of songs, millions of films, millions of applications, millions of everything requesting our attention — and most of it free —being found is valuable.”

This entry was posted in advertising, marketing, strategy. Bookmark the permalink.