Mitesh Kothari, Right Brain at White Rivers Media shares his thoughts on modern advertising techniques helping garner attention of the right audience.
In this edition of “isn’t it high time you took a long hard look at your understanding of modern advertising”, I’m going to take a look at how Gen Z is a new breed of consumers that cannot be enticed through traditional marketing methods.
Who are you talking to?
Today, the audience would rather watch a man gloriously spray abuses from the inside of his car than sit through a 15-second ad about the types of furniture you have to offer.
Consumers are not what you think they are. They do not care about your brand the way you do, and they never will. Consumers have never been fooled by the exaggerated promises that ads make, they know marketers are just trying to sell their products.
However, there was a time when they simply had to watch commercials in the middle of their daily soap.
That’s not the case with Gen Z.
Gen Z is exercising their power to choose. According to a Millward Brown study, 82% will skip an ad as fast as they can, 69% said they will physically do something to distract themselves for 30 to 60 seconds until the ad runs its course, and 51% will use some sort of technology to block the ad from running in the first place.
Your target audience is literally trying to stay away from you as much as possible. Marketers can no longer succeed at grabbing the consumer’s attention – you need to invite it.
So, how do you do that?
Simple, really – change what you’re talking about.
Traditional methods require you to ask yourself questions like “what’s our message” or “what story are we telling about our brand?”
This influences the way you create content and even the form it takes.
What it doesn’t do, is acknowledge the actual way people use modern platforms. Attention spans are at an all-time low. Consumers are seldom interested in the story you have to tell, or the message you want to convey; a single upwards swipe, and they’re already out of reach.
This does not imply that they are not interested in stories. Stories from the core of almost all effective communication and package all human experience. We just need to tell stories through what we do, rather than what we say.
So, ask “what role are we playing?”
“Why should their thumbs take pause?”
It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be as simple as an aesthetically-pleasing design, or a little piece of social currency that is shareable, or even something topical – but it has to add value, and quickly.
Instead of interrupting their experience on a platform they visit to take a breather, become a part of their feed. Give them something you know they would like (and share).
Also read: Survey: The State of Indian Social Media
How do you talk?
The “what role are we playing” approach answers a fair amount of questions we always ask. It gives you the freedom to explore new creative areas where you can fulfill that role in a fresh, entertaining way.
Here are three pointers that must always be paid heed to while vying for a digital audience’s attention as a brand:
Keep it simple, yet full of meaning
With a reduced attention span, you barely have a couple of seconds before the next swipe. Don’t make them wait, because they won’t. Condense your story to its bare essence and convey it in the most forthcoming way possible. If you have to explain it, it doesn’t work.
Make it shareable
For the average member of this new, younger audience, sharing is a way of telling the world about a belief, about a new approach to humor, about something they feel for the first time, etc. – it represents their still-developing personality. They will remember you if they see a part of themselves in the content that you create.
Take it forward
Once you have their attention, leverage it. Reward them with an experience that harks back to the reason they chose to hear you out in the first place. That’s the way you keep the brand promise alive in the digital space.
This article piece is authored by Mitesh Kothari, White Rivers Media