Advertising in the Age of Distraction

Advertising in the Age of Distraction

In the first 10 minutes of attempting to write this post, I have checked my emails 4 times, and I am resisting the urge to check Instagram for the tenth time today. Distraction theorists claim digital devices destroy our ability to perceive greater truth and beauty. Teachers and parents regularly contend that the younger generation has lost the capacity to concentrate because of the distracting technology available. Due to all these distractions, our train of thought and workflow can be disrupted and our critical thinking and decision-making ability can be impaired.

Attention-grabbing headlines, digital distractions? How many times a day do you look at an interesting screen but wonder how you got there? What did you originally set out to do? With desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets pinging every few seconds, we often find ourselves lost down fantastically interesting pathways, with an evaporated focus.

The use of the internet as means of communications has given rise to several new marketing tools that may be much more effective and cost-efficient. Marketing is an ongoing process that evolves over time. The core functions of marketing are to create awareness, demand and value for the product and traditional mass marketing methods are intensively challenged by new media and technology.

In 1985 when the TV industry was dealing with the idea that advertising was going from a standard 30 second advertisement to a 15 second advertisement there were enormous cries from the industry, fast forward to today and the environment is very different – mobile and multiple devices are distractions – the advertising industry definitely doesn’t feel the same way today as it did in 1985. In the age of distraction, marketers need to focus on context, in the sense that some brand relies heavily on content rich media, whereas other are visually represented.

Marketers need to know now, more than ever before, how to break through the clutter.

The digital age has levelled the field for business, big and small. Brands can access customizable tools at nominal prices and sometimes even for free. The way communication has changed is another facet of the age of digital marketing. Digital marketing channels are now more level than ever before. Due to the way customer behaviours have shifted, making it significantly easier to hit your target audience. These changes have the potential to make business more competitive and responsive, enabling companies to engage consumers and create value. Bearing in mind that, although there may be more ways to reach customers, consumers are harder to engage with than ever before.

We live in an age where information is readily available, it’s suggested that the average American is bombarded with between 5,000 – 20,000 brand exposures each day, from clothing labels; to food labels; to brand exposure online.

The key, we believe, is to learn and understand your customers’ needs and then to send them relevant information, offers and promotions which provide real value to them. Advertising to them needs to be personalized to their needs. It may mean more effort on the business side rather than a one size meets all spray and pray but the upside is a customer base who feels engaged with a business who truly values them as individuals.

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