This is going to be a quick riff on a recent post by Gary Vaynerchuk, “When Will Marketers Talk About Attention, Not Impressions?”
It’s the same message I give to my clients and newsletter readers about email marketing. Open rates can be deceiving. Many people will click on an email just before deleting it. So the email doesn’t even get read. It just gets a quick push into the Trash folder.
From the article:
We need to be talking about attention, not impressions.
The entire marketing world is obsessed with impressions. You might hear someone say “40,000 people saw this video.” But the truth is, they didn’t. They didn’t because as soon as the ad came up in video form, they clicked away to a new tab to look at something they actually wanted to see. But they count as an impression. They count as “seeing it.”
On TV, it’s the same problem. Nielsen sees how many people watch a TV show and they count those impressions against the ads that ran during the show. But as soon as commercials came up, people picked up their phones. They opened Facebook or Instagram. They aren’t engaged with the TV.
The pre-roll ad views. Commercial breaks. These are the impressions marketers are focusing on. Why?
Because the truth is this: for a consumer to get excited about something, to be compelled by something, it comes down to attention. Attention, not impressions. They need to really consume it. That is the game.
I’ll add my version: your buyer needs to want it. Drool for it. Hunger for it.
Capture Their Heart, Capture Their Mind
I know how incredibly difficult it is to reach that place with a prospective buyer or a website visitor. At that point, you’re the equivalent of a circus barker, attempting to get someone… anyone to stop walking and listen to you.
There are still too many businesses out there who are talking about themselves. They’re not paying the slightest attention to what their target market wants. They’re not noticing what their target market is paying attention to.
I’ll use Donald Trump, since he’s such a divisive figure. Love him or loathe him, he has the attention of a lot of people at the moment. He’s a perfect case study for noticing what people are passionate about and talking about it, even though it may be politically-incorrect to do so.
I find it so fascinating because usually, companies will churn out perfectly bland messaging and then expect the kind of response that crowds and the media are giving to Trump. But did those companies nail those emotional drivers that keep people up at night? Hardly.
Instead we get dopey marketing that lulls the buyer to sleep. It’s lazy marketing. The kind that is trying so hard not to offend that there’s absolutely no fire in it.
“…these are what we stay alive for.”
To quote Robin William’s character John Keating from the movie, “Dead Poets Society” (emphasis mine):
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Think about that as you craft your marketing. Put some fire into what you’re creating. Be real. Be authentic. Don’t allow the features and benefits to rule. Get into the heart of your buyers.
Only then will you capture their attention.