We are living in an arms race, an unwinnable war producing the most enormous amount of horseshit the world has ever seen. And the real victims in all of this are people.
“Consumers won’t say 'Here’s more ads, thanks!' They think 'I thought I’d got rid of you with the skip ad button but now I find that I haven’t because you’re in my friendship circles"
- Nils Leonard
WE ARE LIVING IN AN ATTENTION ECONOMY.
This much we know. What we don’t know or can’t appreciate is the human cost of this attention grabbing or the effect it is having on traditional business models that are not built to withstand such relentless competition.
Even marketing literature is littered with attention grabbing phrases such as ‘TV is dead!!’, ‘content is king’ and other such nonsense. We simply don’t know how to measure this effect on individuals and more problematically for business, how to really know whether marketing now has any impact at all.
In 2012 the ASA (advertising standards authority) published a report that suggested that every year, 89% of all communication in every year is not remembered. 5 years hence I can only imagine that this figure hovers around 99%.
We are living in an arms race, an unwinnable war producing the most enormous amount of horseshit the world has ever seen. And the real victims in all of this are people.People who are bombarded with ever more disruptive messaging, ever more intrusive marketing initiatives designed to wrestle your attention from you, precisely because so many others are engaged in the same attention fracking activity.
WE HAVE TO FIND A DIFFERENT WAY.
For the sake of business and for the sake of our experience of being a human in the world today, we have to find another way of providing utility and experiences which benefit people and don’t simply drag them from their real lives against their wills.
Research has a large part to play. Traditional methods don’t help you see the impact of your communications on the lives of the people you are trying to interact with. They simply help you see how effectively you have hacked into someone’s life. A pretty blunt measure and definitely not one designed to improve our every day lives.
We don’t believe this pays off for business. A campaign or piece of packaging creative doesn’t exist in isolation and yet this is how we do research in marketing. It results in more shouty messages and more irritation on the part of consumers. Think about it, when was the last time you looked at your Facebook or Instagram feed and felt really glad to be interrupted? People switch off at best and at worst decide to actively avoid your brand altogether on the basis that it is polluting their lives.
Our tech platform Cumulus, offers you a more empathetic way of understanding the role communications should play in the lives of the people that buy your brand. It also offers you the chance to do or say something that might improve life quality instead of just nicking someone’s attention.