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Should advertisers worry about diminishing attention span?

3 min read

The world of advertising revolves primarily around two thing ‘how they say it?’ and ‘how many notice it?’ The digital age is all about swipe, scroll and tap, these actions are so small and quick that the audience takes only few seconds to either consume the content or dispose it off and move to the next one. The quick and convenient interface of digital platforms have reduced the attention span of the consumers significantly. Therefore, the advertisers need to understand the changing consumer behavior in terms of attention span and must design advertising campaigns that can fit in the changing digital scenarios and reap desired benefits.

Understanding the science of Attention span

The decreasing attention span is cannot be blamed on excessive screen time alone rather it can be due to number of factors such as anxiety, depression, learning difficulties etc. Increased use of digital devices or excessive screen time is one of them. According to the latest Microsoft study reports the attention span of consumers has dropped to 8 seconds in 2022 which was 12 seconds in 2000. This significant drop in attention span has forced the marketers to device content that is highly relatable and matches real-time thinking. To make their presence felt in the short attention span, the brands need to be available at all the possible touch points at which the content is being consumed by the target audience.

Technology intervention: The real game changer

Technology has played a pivot role in shaping the consumer behavior. The new technology that makes everything ‘instant’ defies the traditional route of advertising and marketing that would work on creating awareness first and then approaching the target audience rather it works to make the consumer act on impulse. If a brand is available at the time when the consumer if searching, shopping or making purchase decision, the consumer will instantly buy the brand and if not the consumer will move on to the next platform.

Taking advantage of the impatient and impulsive generational behavior, the apps are being designed with user interface so inconvenient and smooth so that it gratifies the need of the consumers to act instantly.

User Interface features that lure the audience to act impulsively:

  1. Skip
  2. Subscribe or unsubscribe
  3. Mute
  4. Closed captions
  5. Reels
  6. Like
  7. Emoji

All these user interface buttons of apps help the consumer to act quickly. As a result of which any content published becomes perishable and the need to make more fresh content becomes rapid. Now, advertisers can turn these UI advantages to work themselves by crafting content that is quick to absorb and is relatable too. For instance, any content with closed captions or subtitles extends the content’s exposure to people with different language and culture.

Reshaping the advertising strategy!

As we discussed above that to gratify the ‘impulsive generation’, the advertisers must design digital content that is easy to absorb, requires less need for attention, is highly relatable and can strike the consumer’s real-time thinking. To make such content the advertisers must work on the following details:

  • The content must provoke the audience to act quickly.
  • The content must communicate the message in ‘micro-moments’. These are the moments when the consumer is searching, chatting or browsing to make a purchase decision instantly.
  • The content must be regardless of strict factors such as age, location or gender rather it must be based on current global trends, lingos and generational behavior.
  • Keep it short, crisp, highly engaging and relatable.
  • Increase the chance of content consumption by adding UI friendly tools such as sound, subtitles, tags, share etc.