Today’s consumers are inundated with countless marketing messages, tactics and ploys vying for their attention. As each one battles for relevancy over the others, the message starts losing its value to the customer. So, how do marketers fight for the customers’ attention? They scream louder. But this drowns the message or special offer or app or content further into a sea of ignored noise.

Welcome to the supply and demand application to the human attention span. There is a high supply of marketing with a low demand to pay attention to seemingly time-consuming, irrelevant messages – sometimes cat antics on YouTube wins the attention and sometimes a perfectly timed marketing piece breaks through.

It’s not to say you aren’t getting their attention but attention does not necessarily increase lead generation or sales. Customers see the generic emails from businesses with “salesy” subject lines and delete it or place in a spam folder or viewers click “Skip Ad” so they can watch what they wanted to. Or worse, the potential buyer is sick and tired of hearing from you and, therefore, you completely lose the customer.

How do you fight against the endless noise?

According to Steve Lucas in his Engage to Win white paper, no one wants to be marketed to, they do want to be engaged with.

In a survey of consumers conducted by Wunderman, “Some 79% in the U.S…said they would only consider brands that show they understand and care about me. Brands must demonstrate at every step in the customer journey that they understand what consumers need and want.”

87% also indicated they don’t measure brands across similar industries stating, “You aren’t just measured against your direct competitors anymore. You’re stacked up against the best, regardless of industry.” In other words, if you own a car dealership, you’re not just being compared to the level of customer service at the dealership on the other side of town, you’re being compared to Netflix, Starbucks and Apple.

To maximize engagement, Steve Lucas offered these 4 things to consider when it comes to marketing:

  1. Impressions are not always good impressions and the bad ones can result in a negative ROI. Over-communication or sending messages to those who don’t want them aren’t just a waste of resources but can shed your brand in a bad light.
  2. Whether B2B or B2C, the buyer has access to more information about your brand and will have formed their opinions before you even truly engage. From reviews and influencers to blogs and videos, your buyer can extensively research whatever you are trying to market before you speak with them. Engaging with them should increase their interest, not reduce it.
  3. To create meaningful relationships with your customer it’s important to appeal to their emotional side. It’s difficult for customers to engage with features and functions.
  4. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Adapting to the ways customers want to be engaged and remaining flexible will be the key to surviving and thriving.


Before generating your next marketing communication, whether it’s a TV spot, Facebook ad or email, ask yourself if you are marketing to or engaging with your audience.