Attention is what all brands crave for. It’s always been key, with whatever marketing model you work. It is the “foot in the door”, the way to awareness and the way to interest and trial. More than ever before, it is today’s (hard) currency. Attention is very scarce and therefore very expensive and difficult to get.
The marketing world used to be simple. You could buy your way to attention. That model doesn’t really work anymore. Actually, to a large extend…
…Typical one-way TV advertising is dead.
…Brand websites are dead.
…Brand pages on facebook are dying.
So, how do you get attention in a world where paying for it doesn’t work any more?
“Relevance” and “content” are the killer words here.
That moves the paradigm from “pay for” to “earn” attention.
But there are still challenges in “the new world”:
1- You might have the most relevant content for your audience, but how do they know? Content is not everything either.
2-You are not alone. There is lots of competition on many fronts. Most ideas and content pieces are out there in some shape or form.
3- The brand becomes second to the content. Unfortunately. These days, you have to almost avoid to talk about the brand/product itself has benefit. That makes marketers very uncomfortable. But we all know you’ll lose that scarce attention if you are “in their face” too much. You’ll earn that attention if you give your target group the things they look for. And brand association will follow and will be stronger.
4- Holding attention is even more difficult. You might get attention for a second, but that’s not going to create deep connections to your brand.
5- There is a difference between big brands (that have a big user and fan base) and smaller brands. Obviously, when your conversation-base is big enough, getting attention is easier, being part of a conversation is easier because there is a connection between consumer-and-brand already. Good for the 50+ year old brands that can ride on that wave. Easier, but not everything – good to understand that big brands can be uncrowned if they neglect that.
What to do? (by no means a complete playbook)
- Real relevant content creation is a must! That is NOT: a brand manager that thinks he has a good “idea” or “story” that he thinks might be interesting to the brand audience. You have to go deeper than that. Find out what your TA is talking about to their peers … That will lead to REAL stuff. Dale Carnegie has an amazing quote on that: “You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you!” Give people something they really want, and they’ll come back to talk to you (read: your brand) about it.
- Let them talk about you! Don’t talk about them. What you are after is “share of talk” not “share of voice” ! Important to think about this one. (See the video a bit further in this note)
- Search/ SEO is (still) key. People will look for content and brands like you or for content you can offer through search primarily. Google is still a 1st go-between for many things. You HAVE to enable people to find you! Worth a lot of money! Make it central in your plans.
- When a consumer “gives” you attention, then you HAVE to engage! You can not be silent on fb, twitter, Myspace, etc. -you HAVE to talk back. There’s only one opportunity, and it is instant. Build systems to catch people when they have their ear to your door.
- Hack attention! Create enough seeds across multiple touchpoints to “feel” whether your TA has any interest. Then “suck them in” and let the conversation and the content flow.
- Go mobile. Big time. A mobile device is with your consumer 24/7! Open up enough “listening power” to see where mobile traction is for your brand and for brand-related content. Build those apps. And make them easily discoverable, accessible to all, and … free!
- QR codes have had their ups and downs in the last 2 years, but they are in my humble opinion a thing of the future. It is a way to be “discoverable”. A QR code will draw the consumer you want to you! Once the code gets scanned, make sure you impress, dazzle, and give them everything they are looking for!
- Get those bloggers lined up for you. Blogging is growing and is a becoming a trusted source of information/content for many people. Bloggers can do the work for you, for your brand. Find them, hook them, bring them under contract.
- Create open platforms where you, your brand and your consumers can interact, openly.
- Last but not least: if you want to “send” a brand communication, then be damned ORIGINAL…and tell a story, don’t “sell” a brand!
Net net, focus on the currency value of brand “attention”.
Have a look at this great presentation that wraps it all up nicely:
Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog post. Let me know what you think, here, on twitter (@kurtfrenier) or on LinkedIn. Kurt.