Monthly Archives: April 2017

The 8 seconds test, does your brand pass?

People today have an average attention span of just 8 seconds. Fifteen years ago the average attention span was 12 seconds.  It’s no surprise people are impatient, or that we are becoming even more so every day.

But it might surprise you to learn that a gold fish has an average attention span of nine seconds. That’s right, the average person cannot focus their attention on a task longer than a gold fish.

While this statistic about attention span has been talked about—and disputed—often by content marketers and website administrators, their argument is that quality of content matters. The term “attention web” was discussed recently in an article by TIME that summarized some of the research.

The facts show that the quality of the content you deliver to your audience has a critical impact on how long a customer engages with your product, web page, blog post or advertisement.  But here’s the point about this attention span research that people seem to misunderstand. It’s not that people cannot hold their attention longer than 8 seconds, it’s that they are choosing what to focus their attention on very quickly and selectively.

This is really not new in the advertising world.

Direct marketers have long understood that the headline you include on an envelope determines in just three seconds whether or not people open it, or pitch it.

Outdoor advertising (and street road signs for that matter) has long operated under the “six second” rule. This means you have six words or less to get your message across before drivers pass bye.

Best practices for TV and radio advertising recognize that the first few seconds of any commercial are critical to capturing the audience attention and avoiding tune-out

In the media and publishing world writing simple and direct titles and headlines still drives sales for newspapers, magazines and books.

So what the 8 seconds attention span rule really means for your business and brand is this – your message, story, news, offer or promise must pass people’s scan test.

Consumers today are continuously scanning information.

Content and messages that are instantly understood to be clear, relevant and interesting will capture people’s attention. And any brand information or messaging that is confusing, complicated, stupid or boring will be quickly ignored.

Pictures, videos, headlines and subheads that help your audience quickly learn what they can expect from shopping your store or buying your brand are vital to engaging customers successfully.

Most brands, and especially retailers and e-commerce providers, already believe they are delivering a good shopper and visitor experience. But the truth is they aren’t properly applying the 8 seconds rule to their website, merchandising, packaging or marketing and customer communications.

How do you know if your brand passes the 8 seconds scan test?

Interview shoppers, and get them to share with you their quick impression of the story your brand is telling them from scanning your website, store aisles and marketing efforts overall.

In our experience, most retailers and e-commerce brands will discover quite a big gap between what they believe is being communicated to consumers and what shoppers see and experience themselves.To close the gap between communication and customer experience, here are three (3) simple strategies you can use to help your brand pass the 8-second test

1. Kill Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of clarity. When you have a lot of things and messages competing for someone’s attention people don’t know where to focus. Your home page, front entrance, signage and product packaging should all be designed to deliver a clear, direct and singular message.

2. Evoke Emotion

Research shows that emotion plays an overwhelming role in decision making. People rarely buy things based on facts and reason alone. How you make people feel – welcome, comforted, excited, happy, etc. – determines how they behae. To evoke strong positive feelings that engage shoppers you need to look closely at the nonverbal elements of your marketing and customer experience; i.e. your visuals, images, colors and sounds. People don’t read a lot in 8 seconds. And communications studies show that 93% of what people respond to is non-verbal.

3. Avoid Being Clever

Every brand seems to be looking for that clever idea that will help them stand apart from competition. The problem is that all too often these clever ideas get in the way of delivering a clear message. Examine your visuals and copy – do they get the story across to people in the most direct way possible? Get feedback from customers. Then strip down your story to its most basic, clear and meaningful form. Resist the temptation to add any creative elements that might obscure meaning.

With only 8 seconds to capture a person’s attention retail and e-commerce brands

You need to recognize that consumers are scanning the information you deliver to them online or in-store.  People will quickly and selectively choose to engage with content that is clear, emotional and direct. They will ignore, tune-out or skip past anything that is too long, too clever or too hard to understand.

 

4 Must Have Qualities Successful People Look For In An Ideal Partner

It is true: You can marry into more money in five minutes than you can make in a lifetime.  But, that can only happen if you are able to attract a wealthy and successful person in your life. Life is full of options and opportunities.  This reigns supreme in the love department, where it seems like there is endless variety, but a lot of dead ends (and there’s probably a good reason for that).

Believe it or not, success plays a huge role in how attractive you are and how attractive someone will be to you — especially when it comes to highly successful people.  Although it is great to identify exactly the type of partner you wish to have, nothing will come true if you don’t become the type of person who would attract that kind of partner. It is especially true when you’re looking for a success-driven partner.

Below is a short list of things that people find attractive as an entrepreneur and in general.

1. Having Your Life Together

Struggling to keep the electricity on because you play more than you work is a sign of immaturity. Skipping a bill because you’d rather play that new video game is irresponsible and a red flag.  The same goes for work: Missing days because you did too many hard drugs or just didn’t feel like it is no excuse, and ultimately, it’s not going to get you anywhere in life.  As an entrepreneur with multiple projects going on that all need close and continuous attention, you cannot afford distractions.

Your chances of dating the next Mark Zuckerburg or Donald Trump are slim if you have too much drama in your life. When successful people look to date, they look to find someone who doesn’t have additional baggage that will hold them back in life.

2. Ambition for Greater Things

The most important quality in a man or woman is ambition. In fact, it’s so important that without it, you’re probably not going to get very far.  Successful people want to see the same ambitious qualities in another person. Why? Because ambition means getting ahead.  Without the drive to be something better or improve your situation, you’ll end up stuck in the same spot for the remainder of life. Successful people find this as a major turn-off and will avoid people without ambition.

A common trait among highly successful people is their goals and aspirations always come first in life. You’re less likely to have petty arguments in a relationship if both parties have big goals and dreams they can work toward. The reason for that is because large goals are going to focus your time and energy on achieving them, rather than finding time to complain and argue.

3. Respect for Money

The person you marry must respect money, and more importantly must encourage you to take advantage of every single opportunity there is in the market place.  Instead of complaining about working too hard, they offer to work an hour or two longer.

The truth is, if you don’t respect money, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever stay in a long relationship with someone who has money, much less have money for yourself.  Wasting money on payday loans and frivolous purchases is a deal breaker. It shows you have no idea how to handle money from meeting a deadline to budgeting.  If you can’t budget for yourself, how are you going to budget for you and someone else? In short, you won’t.

4. Taking Risks

A caveat of life is the sheer risk you take simply by living it. Just walking on the sidewalk could be dangerous at times; you could get mugged, hit by a car or assaulted. Still, there are times you should always take risks.

Taking a calculated risk and attempting to better yourself is a good, attractive quality. It shows confidence and the will to try and better yourself. Sitting at home on a couch with a bag of nacho chips shows quite the opposite.  If you don’t take risks, you’ll never advance anywhere in life.

Those are four qualities successful people are likely to find attractive. Why? Because they took the same advice themselves to get where they are. Even if they had a huge helping hand starting out, they still had to maintain and keep driving forward.

Without these skills and mindsets, you’re likely to find yourself snagging leftovers and people who have made themselves victims. The question, at the moment, would be, do you want to be with someone like you?  If you say no for any reason that relates to the fact that you’re not where you want to be in life, it’s a good time to start thinking about altering your attributes.

Courage

Confidence is attractive, no doubt about it. Someone who knows how to do something well and owns that ability.  Remember that quiet confidence should not to be confused with outright arrogance, which is based in insecurity.  When someone feels the need to boast, they actually lack confidence and subconsciously need to fill that gap in themselves with others’ validation.

However, there’s another related quality that I find even more appealing, courage.

We are all afraid of something. Some of us are afraid of many things, and some fear almost everything.  Courage inspires because we are all afraid.  Courage is daring greatly through vulnerability.  Everyone is on their own journey and the fears they feel are real and valid to them, as are the fears we hang on to and the ones we’ve overcome.

Most people with confidence in something didn’t start with the accompanying skill. Whether it’s learning to try new things or making big-business decisions based on numbers and statistics and logistics and supposed-sure-thing strategies. Either way, it takes guts to go for it; to put ourselves out there subject to “failure.”

Having the courage to try leads to confidence, because it doesn’t matter if we get good at the thing we tried, it’s the trying that matters.

Sadly we live in a “what will they think of me” society.  How many likes did our Facebook status get? How many retweets? Are we being judged for how advanced/basic our yoga practice is? How acclaimed are our kid in school? The list goes on.

Courage doesn’t equal irresponsibility. Sometimes, the greatest courage a person faces is committing to taking responsibility for something greater than themselves, like family and children. Overcoming fears doesn’t mean doing anything overtly dangerous or simply stupid.

Commit to trusting your path, whether you “fail” or “succeed”.  Life really does begin outside our comfort zones.  What’s the worst that could happen? Whatever it is, it’s worth it. (Refer back to being safe and responsible), but as the saying goes: where there is a will there is a way.

Failure isn’t in not succeeding. Failure is in not trying.