The 10 Seconds

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by Mr Brand

Attention Economics: how can marketers get a bigger slice of the pie?

According to Microsoft, the most intelligent species on the planet is now unable to focus or concentrate for more than 8 seconds.

The bottom line: marketers must adapt to this change in behaviour

Humans have a finite amount of attention

Let’s imagine a friendly grandmother’s just baked a pie. If there’s only a few people to feed, no problem – everyone gets a nice portion. But what if there was a hundred people competing for a slice? Shared out equally, the individual portions would be mere slithers. However, that’s in an ideal world. In reality, Grandma has preferences, people she likes more, so she gives them a bigger slice at the expense of others, and inevitably some people end up with nothing. This is attention economics.

In general, the more touchpoints that compete for an individual’s attention, the smaller the slice. And right now the world is full of touchpoints screaming for attention.

So how do we as marketers deal with this? How do we assert ourselves in this attention feeding-frenzy and win a bigger slice of the pie?

Getting to the root of it: the first 10 Seconds

If you can win a person’s attention in the first ten seconds, they’ll give you another ten seconds and so on. However, before they give you a bigger slice, you need to sustain the interest and win their respect. So what’s the best strategy for achieving this?

All roads lead to quality design, production and storytelling

The Hook is a common device in literature, filmmaking and advertising – it grabs attention. The skill of the artist then keeps the audience interested, keeps them turning pages or watching the film. On the flip side, badly crafted material repels us and we switch off.

Even if the audience is genuinely interested, there’s only so much badness they can take. Poor writing, poor production, poor presentation, tiny text, low-contrast font, awful music, not enough negative space – all this destroys attention and causes the audience to move on.

So the quality and artistry of the content is essential for capturing and maintaining the attention. And it all starts with the hook, the first 10 Seconds.

That’s how you get into Grandma’s heart and win yourself a bigger slice of the pie.

About the author

About the author

Mr Brand is the ambassador for 10 Seconds. He’s on a mission to give marketing professionals a competitive advantage in the Age of Attention Economics. He believes that to gain such advantage you need crystal clear communication. It’s all about the initial moment. Win people’s attention in the first 10 Seconds and you’ve opened the gateway to the final 10 Seconds, that all important conversion. He also likes to challenge conventional wisdom and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

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