Monday, August 8, 2011

Marketing Perfect Storm - The Impact Of Consumer A.D.D., Time Poverty. And Clutter

No Time, Short Attention Span, And Clutter Build Case For Brand-Building

By David Miranda

Three major phenomena have converged today in a perfect storm that challenge marketers to find the best strategies for success.

First, time poverty. Time is today's most precious commodity for consumers and 24 hours never seems to be enough to get everything done. Never enough time. Consumers are constantly playing King Solomon in attempting to balance the demands of work and home. Juggling, shuffling, rushing, and rescheduling are more the norm than the exception in day to day life. To cope, consumers have to prioritize. Tending to those things that are most important. Back burner the things that can wait. Time-saving products and services have become necessities in our lives - the drive-thru window, express check-out, the ATM, the cell phone, and the Internet, for example.

Second, consumer A.D.D.. With time poverty comes less time to spend on watching, reading, listening, surfing, researching, eating, shopping, and communicating. Consumers browse through the newspaper; surf the Internet; channel surf the television; flip through magazines; sort through email, voice mail, and snail mail; get frustrated waiting and impatient with anything that wastes time - people, bureaucracy, incompetence.

Third, clutter. Depending on one's perspective, consumers are either the beneficiaries or victims of abundance - hyper-choice of products and services and hyper-solicitations for those products and services from everywhere - television, radio, print, the Internet, outdoor, direct mail, coupons, flyers, brochures, and sales people to name a few.

What are marketers to do?

Invest in branding. Here are some reasons why and suggestions for dealing with the perfect storm:

  1. To combat time poverty; clearly distinguish your brand from others. Brands save people time. They shouldn't have to guess what they're buying and why. Brands are short hand for the senses.
  2. To combat A.D.D; keep the marketing message simple. People don't have time to listen or read lengthy copy whether it be on TV, the radio, print ads, brochures, direct mail, social networks, or Internet sites. Don't say in 3o seconds what you can say in 15. Just because you bought a half-page ad, doesn't mean you have to fill it with copy. Twitterize your brand messaging.
  3. To combat clutter; seek media opportunities where your brand is not just a part of the noise integrated with a strong public relations plan. Don't be an "marketing litterbug" where your marketing is strewn across the marketplace in hopes of someone noticing it.

In summary, in developing your marketing plan, it is important that you deal with the impact of the perfect storm or your brand's "ship won't come in".