How Does a Business Get Attention in a Noisy World?

Your business needs attention to stay top of mind and capitalize on when you customer asks themselves or someone they know questions like,

What should we do today?,
What’s open tonight?,
What should we do this weekend?

or in a corporate setting,

Where should we book our next team event?,
Where should we have our holiday party?,
Where is a great place for groups in the area?

Getting attention that leads to revenue is critical for any business. You must engage with your customer where they’re at, not where you think they are or where they used to be. Today, more so than ever, the place to find and engage with your customer is mobile and social media. Mobile has evolved rapidly over the past decade, going from what was considered the third screen, and then the second screen and to now, considered as the first screen. Mobile is the new TV and social media are the channels where the eyes, ears and conversations of your customer are found. To be clear, social media is where you need to engage with your customer when they’re not directly engaging with your business. Savvy marketers focus on mobile first and everything else a distant second. Fighting for attention and succeeding means over-indexing on where your customers are and making strategic bets on which platform you can reach them on.

What about print, radio, tv and email?

If you’re spending your money in print, you’ve undoubtedly seen a dramatic decrease in ROI over the past 5 to 10 years. Print may not be dead yet…, but dollar for dollar, marketing programs aren’t as efficient when running print as they used to be. It’s no wonder rates are dropping fast as publications struggle to maintain revenue and keep their existing book of clients.

Radio is following the same path. With music-on-demand services like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and others, there’s no need to wait for your favorite song to come on. Radio as a discovery engine is also less relevant as computer algorithms suggest music to us based on our listening habits. Demographic targeting is generalized as radio spans age groups and inherently crosses “zip codes” over disparate communities.

TiVo was just the beginning of TVs demise as a place where advertisers could get attention for their products. DVRs are now standard bundled items in most cable and satellite TV packages. Think about how often you watch TV at it’s scheduled time, outside of sports events. For all the TV you do watch, how often do you watch the commercials versus fast-forwarding to the next segment of the show or event you’re watching. Even if you do watch live TV or don’t skip the commercials, your eyes and ears likely immediately focus on your mobile devices which are rarely out of arms reach the minute a commercial comes on. Much like radio, TV crosses communities and generalizes targeting. Furthermore, viewers have become loyal to shows and not the networks themselves. Reaching an audience in impactful way is increasingly harder at scale at an affordable cost and requires intense attention to plans as viewer preferences change, shows are cancelled and new pilots are launched. Quite frankly, TV is unreliable, not to mention hard to prove ROI.

Email enjoyed a good run. In the late 90s open rates were amazing. When you received an email from anyone, you likely opened it right away and read it entirely. Marketers had yet to go all in and adopt it as part of their marketing programs and strategy for connecting with customers. The movie¬†You’ve Got Mail romantically summed up the delight people felt when they got an email notification. Today your inbox is like a firehose, and one you can’t keep up with. How many unread messages do you have? I don’t dare share my mail app notification count.

Email is now an important compliment to digital, although the list is only as valuable as your customer’s loyalty and relationship with you. Focus on the relationship first and email can sustain a profitable relationship with your customer. Sending emails with out building a relationship burns bridges and erodes trust quickly.

What about the web?

Surely the web is still a valuable place to market your products and services. It remains an important component of marketing and advertising strategies. Efficient reach (the ability to get in front of your target audience) and overlap (efficiently connecting with your audience amongst advertising networks that share the same catalog of publisher sites) requires exhuastive analytics and effort across mobile and desktop creative. Furthermore ad blockers are on the rise making it harder for your message to be seen. Digital advertising on the web can have a tremendous impact on your business, but as a starting point is a lot to handle especially for small businesses without a dedicated digital team.

Get Social and Get Attention

Social Media is a bit of a misnomer. Social Media today really means content and for you to connect and be relevant with your customers, you need to produce content that resonates with them. In some cases that content can be leveraged in the form of advertising and/or content marketing. The best content is shareable amongst friends and connections, doesn’t immediately ask for the sale and provides value to the reader.

Facebook and LinkedIn are great examples of this. Think about your newsfeed. What are people sharing with each other? What type of content gets the most engagement? Instagram is unique in that you can’t directly link to a piece of content natively; only ads in stories or in stream allow for direct linking. Share your brand story with your customers on Instagram and they’ll connect with you in ways that weren’t possible in the past. With Instagram becoming the “I was here” media, thank your customers for their business and compliment their carefully crafted images and stories. Humans are visual and pictures have the power to communicate more than any single blog entry can in words. Finally, connect directly with your audience through conversation on Twitter. You can directly engage with people and show interest in them through a reply or DM if you follow each other. For some businesses, finding their audience on Pinterest or Snapchat is better. Test, learn and continually engage with your customers. They’ll respond by letting you know what they like and what they don’t. Listen and you’ll enjoy the results of a two way exchange of value and depth.

The internet and mobile made yesterday’s news old and old media less effective for getting attention. Now our attention has shifted and technology at our fingertips has transformed the relevancy of the previous our or even the previous minute. Humans are connected, distracted, and crave content. Your business has the power to form relationships with your customers through social media in a way that hasn’t been possible.

Stay top of mind, be authentic and keep innovating. Your customers will thank you for it.

1 thought on “How Does a Business Get Attention in a Noisy World?”

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