Attention is fleeting. You can capture it in one moment, only to have it disappear in the next, as a new shiny object enters the attention arena. Consumers are pulled in several directions at once in today's fragmented media world, challenging marketers to get their brand's message noticed over all the commotion.
Intention, on the other hand, has depth. When consumers actively seek out content or information they need on a daily basis, they're not just going through the motions—they're intentionally pursuing passions that add meaning to their lives.
Brands are now faced with a choice: integrate into attention, or with intention? Engaging with audiences at a deeper level is the key to creating lasting connections, yet some brands are still fighting the odds to reach the distracted masses.
Not only are human attention spans shortening, but the number of brand advertisements individuals are exposed to is increasing. According to a study by Microsoft, the average person now has an attention span of only eight seconds, lower than that of a goldfish. This is a sharp decline from the average attention span of 12 seconds as recently as 2000.1
On top of that, consumers are overexposed. Americans see or hear up to 10,000 advertising messages every day, a number that's growing right alongside the rapid development of new technology and messaging channels. 2
It's easier than ever for advertisers to attract attention. Depending on where a prospect is in the purchase funnel, strategies like microtargeting and machine based buying can be very effective. And there's nothing wrong with that—these kinds of attention-competition environments can be great for random accidents of discovery.
But shallow interactions do not make for deep activations. It's easy to get in front of someone, but it's just as easy to get swiped over as the next item in the feed appears. We know this from our own experience.
At a time when everything around consumers is trying to hijack their attention, it's difficult to create experiences that stand out. Passive scrolling, similar to mindless channel flipping, offers a variety of content that is served mostly out of individual control, and tends to be unwanted.
People don't often come to these media devices with the intention to accomplish anything. When people are indifferent to their experience, it's even harder for brands to cut through the attention competition. With nearly 10K brand messages seen every day, consumer attention span is limited. Even more, 45% of users try to close digital ads as quickly as possible.3 There's simply no strong emotional attachment to any content in these environments.
As consumers put more purpose behind their activity online, brands who become an integral part of the experience drive higher results. Intentional consumption means people go online with a specific goal, often focusing on a daily human need like conducting a search or watching an on-demand video in an area of interest. This content is curated and editorial-driven instead of user-generated, adding real utility and value.
For brands, that means greater opportunity to be heard as consumers are taking their time and narrowing their focus. In a Verizon Media study conducted with more than 60K consumers and 118.5K content occasions captured across 15 countries, we found that brands have a higher brand receptivity with intention-based consumption. In fact, users are 25% more likely to remember ads when consuming content with purpose, than when browsing to kill time.4
How likely are consumers to remember ads when viewing content with intention?
Placing your advertisement in a proper environment with a fitting message is key to being noticed. In fact, 67% feel engaged by ads that are relevant to them.5 By understanding the motivations behind content consumption and what resonates best with consumers, advertisers can become more effective with their marketing strategies. Using the best storytelling voice and format helps your brand draw people in and create memorable moments.
So how do you break through? Premium content experiences such as sponsorships, branded content, and innovative ads empower brands to reach their audiences during the times they are most open to receiving brand messages.
Premium content delivered in the right environment drives results. In a study between 2015 - 2018, Verizon Media discovered brands on average drove +14% brand affinity, 10% lift in interest, and a 1.5X lift in purchases.6
At Verizon Media, we don't compete for attention. We compete for intention and can deliver a better brand experience for performance without compromise. With 30 distinct brands, including Huffpost, Yahoo Sports, and Techcrunch, our content is sought out, engaged with, and loved millions of times every day. For your brand, that means access to quality audiences ready to pay attention to your message, at scale. We build experiences driven by audience passions.
1 Microsoft Consumer Research, 2015
2 Forbes, 'Finding Brand Success In The Digital World', 2017
3 Verizon Media, Pop Research Survey 2018
4 Verizon Media, Content Moments study, 2019, n=10000
5 Verizon Media, All Eyes On Digital Video, 2017
6 Verizon Media, internal metrics, 2018