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Marketing & Sales
Feb 15, 2018

Marketing to the Short Attention Span

Sponsored Content provided by Bill Hunter - President & Creative Director, Wilmington Design Company

We're easily distracted these days.
According to a recent study, the average person picks up their phone more than 150 times a day, with over 2,600 touch interactions. Holding attention in the digital world is difficult. In fact, it's gotten so bad that our attention spans have, on average, shrunk to around 8.05 seconds - that's shorter than that of a goldfish!

If you're struggling to keep your clients’ attention, you're not alone. Typically, a person will leave a web page in under 10 seconds, which isn’t a very long time to convince them that they should be your customer.
So, when it comes to marketing to your audience, how do you capture their attention long enough to notice you?

Respect The User’s Time

How do we cut through the clutter as marketers while our consumers are bombarded with different forms of communication competing for their attention? Gary Vaynerchuk is a famous internet personality, entrepreneur and CEO of VaynerMedia. He says,“time is everyone's number one asset. Think about the last time your phone or your computer was a hundredth of a second slower than what you’re used to on WiFi and how much you cursed and got pissed off. That’s how much we like and crave time.”
Customers’ attention spans are so short because they have been conditioned over the years to tune out the endless, irrelevant information and noise that surrounds them. There are simply too many choices to solve their problems. If your content and/or messaging isn’t constructed around the solution - and your value propositions aren’t aligned with that purpose - people will move on quickly.

Employ A Consistent Design System

Let’s face it - humans like consistency by default. Creating a consistent branding and design system with your company’s logo, fonts and colors will help communicate a clear visual message to your potential clients. When consistency is present in your design, people can transfer knowledge to new contexts and learn new things quickly without confusion.
Whether it’s your social post, email marketing or visitors to your website, having a well-thought-out and organized visual design system will help keep users from getting distracted and focus on your message!

It’s Not You; It’s Me

One of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make is to frame your messaging in terms of what you want to achieve. Of course, it’s essential to have goals as part of any marketing strategy but thinking of things exclusively in terms of your company’s goals and ignoring what the customer expects can turn users away in droves.
Your customers are searching for solutions to their problems. Framing your message in terms of a solution will accelerate your connection to potential clients. For example, if you are an attorney that specializes in DWI’s, you wouldn’t want to focus your message on the “nuances of what DWI means.” Instead, craft your message around how you can help someone looking for a DWI attorney navigate the legal system, using your years of experience trying DWI cases.
When it comes to business, time and attention are your customers’ biggest assets. In order of magnitude, we, as a society, literally care about the health of our loved ones, money, then time. It’s number three on the list. If you are going to be competitive in today's digital landscape, you need to consider what it means to “market to the short attention span”.
If you aren’t sure where to start, contact us and we’d be happy to help you streamline your site to market to your customers’ short attention span.

Bill Hunter and the WDC team believe that honest business and innovative design go hand-in-hand. Their talented team of designers, marketers and developers are as diverse as our work. They offer a range of services, including marketing strategy, branding and creative web and application development, as well as digital marketing solutions specific to your business. Contact Bill at [email protected] or visit

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