We live in the age of abundance. From tropical fruit during winter to a choice of tools for any conceivable job, most of us have more “stuff” than we really need. One thing most of us are short of – is an attention span. Our post-industrial society suffers from collective Attention Deficit Disorder.
This problem manifests itself in Politics and Marketing above all. It is very difficult to communicate complex issues clearly in the confines of 30 seconds or 140 characters. This leads to ambiguous communications designed to elicit simple, strong and binary reactions. Agree or disagree, love it or hate it! In politics, such practices result in a highly polarized society. In marketing – it drives consumers to look elsewhere for help in making choices. In most cases, the end result is failure to act constructively.
There are two main reasons why collective ADD became such a problem – too much noise and too little trust. From traditional advertisers to content marketers, we all want to grab that elusive attention of our potential customers. We construct catchy titles that have little to do with actual messages we want to convey, and broadcast them as often as we can. By trying to be heard we create even more noise and distrust.
In evolutionary terms, an overload of “noise” inevitably leads to “better” filters. Attempts to break through the filters puts one on the “wrong” side of evolution, the side without a bright future.
Every time my entertainment is interrupted by a car commercial, I yearn for driving Tesla S. I’ve never seen it advertised anywhere and yet they sell every car they make before they make it. How do they do this? I suspect Tesla knows precisely Who wants to buy their cars and Why, before they design and build them. The distinction is Why customers want “it”, instead of What they want. People actively seek fulfillment of their desires, but build protection against unwanted interruptions.
Fortunately technology can enable both. There are means and tools to learn Why people would want products you may be able to build. All you have to do is to figure out How. If you select to continue “screaming”, your former customers have technology to “filter” you out. Click!
Disclaimer: This post was written to have every sentence not to exceed 140 characters. Think of it as a string of Tweets. :)
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