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How to get consumer attention

In todayโ€™s western world, we are more distracted than ever before, but why?


Think about what you do when you first wake up. Do you instantly grab your phone? Send a text message? Turn on the TV? How many brands have had an impact without you being aware? And how many do you remember?

From the get-go, our attention is being fought-for.

When we are conscious, we are aware of our surroundings, whether it be the environment we are in, the people around us or, the task in hand. However, this doesnโ€™t mean we are paying any attention.

Before consumers can be affected by the messages in advertising, they first need to be paying attention. From a recent study conducted by ourselves, we have established the key contributors that act as a distraction are interruptions while at work, social media and, television (for example, TV shows/series). Respondents believe they are only distracted 5.5 times per day. However, research shows that it is actually around seven times per hour โ€“ which is a lot of distractions!

The insight team at Microsoft Canada (2015) released a report about attention spans. Throughout this study, it mentioned how the public is blaming themselves instead of modern media for believing everything that is seen or heard. One example of this is the goldfish myth you know how they have an attention span of 9 seconds? It is false, but we tend to believe what we read if it looks like a reliable source. In the same study, it revealed that the average human attention span had shortened from twelve seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2013.

The way consumers pay attention is changing and the number of devices fighting for our attention has increased. So how can your business become top of mind? Here are a few tips:

  1. Find your consumer

Making sure you are grabbing the attention of consumers who are interested in your product is key. One of the greatest mistakes you can make is trying to design a campaign thatโ€™s too general. Finding your target audience and promoting them will increase engagement and increase the chances of them wanting to purchase a product/service. Itโ€™s also highly likely that they will pass on this information to family and friends, and according to a Neilson report, 92% of consumers trust their recommendations over anything else.

  1. Be right in front of your customers

Pay attention to what your consumers do on a day-to-day basis. How can you attract their attention without making it obvious?

Promote your materials on billboards or posters that they will see on their journey to work. Target your customers and walk alongside them. Show your advertisements and remind them of the products/services that youโ€™re offering without having to bombard them with direct messages. Although they arenโ€™t receiving them personally, theyโ€™re still very targeted.

  1. Connect on an emotional level

Emotional arousal is a key attention-grabber โ€“ think about it: if you have an emotional connection to the task in hand, you are more likely to want to complete it without any distractions, for example, not using your mobile phone or trying to engage in conversations with those around you. Once you have created an emotional bond, consumers are more likely to pay attention to the brands that they recognise and know. This must be a priority to gain attention.

  1. Create a multi-media strategy

To capture user attention, you need to be present across multiple platforms to be able to reach your whole audience. Smartphones and tablets have changed the way consumers interact with and consume media; therefore, your business must be adapting to these habits.

Eye Square Media conducted an eye-tracking study for Facebook IQ and noticed that when people are watching the TV, they are only actually looking 65.8% of the time the show is being broadcasted, which reduces to 36.6% during an advertisement. Likewise, 28% of viewers will look at their phones during a programme but; this increases to 55.5% during adverts. From being active on different media channels, you are opening up your door to success.

Get in touch today to discover how you can gain emotional arousal and make that connection with your consumers.

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