In an environment of information abundance, our attention is now the scarce resource.
The content and digital technologies competing for our attention have become so densely packed that we’re losing interest in and forgetting things faster as newer topics appear at ever increasing rates. And its undermining credibility in brands.
A global study by Havas should have marketers concerned. It says people wouldn’t care if three quarters of brands disappeared tomorrow. And that more than half of branded content is irrelevant. That’s money down the drain.
Brands can't afford to be "culture spam" or "branded noise". We can’t keep bombarding people with a constant stream of ads and expect them to pay attention.
People’s attention is precious. Brands need to start respecting that. And they will only give their focused attention to the things that matter to them on a human and personal level.
So how do we create work that matters to real people? Work that’s useful not interruptive. Work that’s about quality not quantity. Relevance not reach. Response not repetition.
Here are three ways to approach it:
1. Look beyond seeing people as ‘consumers’.
If we think our job is to market to consumers then we will only work out ways to promote product using clever marketing tactics. However, if we work out how product can actually matter to people, then we will create work that is not just relevant and impactful but also longer-lived.
2. Help clients be on the right side of the innovation curve.
The biggest worry for CEOs these days is creative and technological disruption. We need to help clients ensure that their purpose, proposition and product stay ahead of changing demand. No longer can advertising be the gloss that sells a mediocre product.
3. Put strategy front and centre.
If brands are made up of experiences and expectations, then the time feels right to put Brand Strategy & Experience Design right up front and centre. The best strategists are meaning makers, sense makers--people who can cut through the noise to get to the truth about what matters to people. It’s incredibly hard. Yet it’s a skill clients increasingly value.
To get there, we need a different breed of client willing to try a new approach. And a different kind of agency. Unfortunately, agencies have de-prioritised their strategy teams-- under-investing in talent and training at a time when clients need their skills the most.
At Studio Jigsaw, we put brand strategy right at the heart of what we do. We spend time with clients to tightly frame the challenge to be solved. We bring in the right expertise, not just creatives, early on in the process to build solutions that deliver real world impact and brand-led growth.
Because that's what matters to clients. The rest is just noise.