The BIG Game for Attention!

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The big players in the market are winning the battle for attention by adopting various strategies to make their brands click. They have understood that users have selective attention and they will automatically view, read or experience things that they “like”. Brands are thus making efforts to deliver to users what they like by understanding their pattern of attention. They are on the lookout for ways of communication that are designed to demand “selective attention” which stays in the consumer’s mind for a longer period of time unlike casual attention that is short term in nature. Let us understand a few tactics that brands follow to receive the attention they deserve.


Remember the time when your Grocery Manager said “Nice to see you Jane, you will find your usual in the last aisle”

Didn’t it make you feel special? Companies are trying to strike the same chord too, by adopting a customized strategy, for personalizing content tailored to different channels and customer groups. Segmentation of customers is done based on firmographics such as company size, location, job titles of contact persons, as well as features such as attitudes, demographics, buying behavior and more. For instance, Amazon uses algorithmically generated tracking to change its output and make it more relevant to consumers, as can be seen in its ‘frequently bought together’ and ‘customers who bought this also bought’ sections. AT&T built a giant custom-made hot air balloon to draw attention of drive-by customers, to the concerned AT&T locations.

Industry research suggests that, consumers are likely to buy from a retailer if they are recognized, remembered, valued and recommended – basic rules of human psychological needs at play here.

                                                              Source: Accenture

RECIPROCATE: For Jane, with Love!!

Imagine you love a brand and the brand makes you feel like it loves you back? That’s how marketers are extending the scope of customization by using ‘personalization’ as a tool for generating brand recall in consumers. In an attempt to get as personal as possible with the customer, Disney uses personalized books unique to the family for when they book a Disney vacation. The book is specific to their hotel, which includes reservation details, MyMagic+, and all of the information specific to that family’s needs. AT&T followed the strategy of personalized marketing by sending auto-generated personalized videos in its billing for wireless services. This strategy lets brands give users a sense of being treated as ‘special’, and that’s what makes them click!

BE THERE: We know where to find you Jane!!

Brands use social media to deliver different content through different social platforms; while LinkedIn has a more professional approach, Instagram is used for more informal content. Customers are using different channels to seek information about a product and share reviews or complaints. Well, the brands know it too!!

To promote its new car model, the luxury vehicle brand, Lexus, launched a massive Facebook ‘Beyond Utility’ campaign of over 1000 videos! These videos featured everyday items which highlighted the fusion of utility and style that Lexus' car represents. A different version of the video were shown to Facebook users, depending on their demographics, location, likes, and interests. For instance, a user interested in music would see a regular pair of headphones, followed by a pair of high-end designer headphones. Just to get an idea of the power of social media and personalization merged together; the highly relevant, targeted ads enabled Lexus to reach over 11M unique Facebook users and increase engagement by a whopping 1678%!

Since social media can create moments of blink and miss by virtue of its large pool of information, it is essential for brands to deliver the right content through the right social platform in order to break the internet!

HOLD ATTENTION: Jane, wait!!

Brands have now realized that just capturing attention is not enough. In order to hold that attention, several brands are investing in ways to build long term relationships with customers. One way of doing this is by establishing relationships with consumers incrementally, with small asks of attention before big ones, so that attention can be earned and held. Some brands do sequential storytelling in their campaigns, by breaking involved stories into several parts, and remarketing to viewers so they see the content in sequence. Each advertising message informs the next one creating longer engagements of attention. Companies can also manoeuvre with the length of their video ads by releasing short ads initially as a teaser, and then gradually moving towards long-form, more cinematic ads. Dove used a series of videos conveying the stories of real women and their beauty. SurveyMonkey used a chain of bumper ads on YouTube to highlight the value and ease of its tool, and to deliver quick but fundamental calls to action. Such campaigns follow “ladder of engagement” technique to keep the customers attached to the brand.

While there is no fix formula or strategy that is bound to click with the audience, one thing we can all agree upon is that the attention marketing age is HERE! With an influx of information and new undiscovered marketing tools at disposal, everyone is out there trying to make a point and get in the hall of fame. In order to rise ‘above the noise’, it is crucial that you make your 8 seconds count and use the best strategy based out of your instinct; because after all isn’t attention only an instinct?!

What is interesting about attention marketing is that it is not just for the big brands with enormous marketing budgets and full blown creative teams, but also for the smaller companies and startups that can use it to promote their brand value. Watch this space to know how startups with low or next to zero marketing budgets can use attention marketing to better engage their customers. 

Blog Author: 
Sneha Maheshwari
Marketing Analytics


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