Blogger’s Park: Navigating the attention economy

Product information is not scarce, consumer attention is

A recent Deloitte survey found that consumers may spend up to 140% more if the number of their positive experiences with a brand is more than that of negative experiences.
A recent Deloitte survey found that consumers may spend up to 140% more if the number of their positive experiences with a brand is more than that of negative experiences.

LS Krishnan

If you ask any marketer about the positive effects of the information boom, their instinctive reaction is the “information overflux”. It is the primary cause of clutter —the noise responsible for losing most marketing messages. How does one grab attention in such a scenario?

The move to get attention begins by making a metric (a media plan) that is functional and relates to the message assimilation score (TRP score) for every advertising environment. However, one must understand the human mind before trying to conquer its attention. A rule of thumb to follow is, it’s not the pleasure that the brain is after; the mere anticipation of pleasure is a more potent driver to achieve attention-grabbing dopamine levels. Although you cannot physically be there to measure the rush of dopamine in the mind of every consumer as they watch your ad, the significant positive changes in TOMA (top of mind awareness) metrics will be all the proof you ever need.

But before dopamine becomes the driver of attention, there’s a primary hurdle all marketers need to overcome — distraction pruning. Our brain does this to allow us time to pay attention to essential things. Of course, the exception to this case is “active intent”.

When you apply these principles to marketing, it becomes clear a more compact creative and messaging will grab more attention and get registered faster. A giant hoarding, in contrast, gets treated as noise in our heads (contrary to popular belief).

One example of an attention-grabbing campaign that filled the consumer’s mind with anticipation is Indiranagar ka gunda. Yes! Without me even mentioning the brand’s name, you started imagining Rahul Dravid standing out through the sunroof of an SUV, waving a cricket bat like a sword. FinTech unicorn Cred instantly grabbed the attention of the Indian consumer with this ad, making its way into the consumers’ memory.

While a lot of time and effort is invested in message creation, advertisers seldom focus on either the delivery mechanism of the campaign or its resulting assimilation outcome. A recent Deloitte survey found that consumers may spend up to 140% more if the number of their positive experiences with a brand is more than that of negative experiences.

This is among many other reasons that have paved the way for new ad formats like in-content advertising (ICA). ICA digitally embeds the advertising communication of brands into the content at the post-production phase. ICA offers a non-cluttered environment and provides exclusivity—meaning a 22-minute episode has only one brand communication integration. While the consumer is engrossed in watching her favourite show on TV, anticipation levels are high, which leads to a higher absorption rate of information. So in-between two continuous shots, when they see a brand advertisement of a real product, it almost instantly gets (a) identified, and (b) registered. The future looks promising with innovation to increase the attention score for brand advertising campaigns with sustenance goals.

The author is India CEO & director, Whisper Media

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