Shortening attention spans and 10 marketing implications

Posted on: January 21, 2024


People’s attention span rates are a key consideration for anyone planning a marketing campaign. Year on year the stats are showing that attention spans are shrinking! And 2023 was no exception.

Why does attention span matter?

With 24/7 content flooding our devices the human attention span is falling. Complaints of information overload are the norm.  The issue isn’t just that we as humans are losing the capability to concentrate. It’s simply that we are so bombarded with choices that to consume as much information as we do people have to be selective.

Recent studies show that people are becoming far more discerning and selective in the marketing and media they engage with.

This is certainly having an impact on marketing and its effectiveness.

The latest research shows that currently humans have an attention span of just 8 seconds.  What’s more interesting, it’s not just affecting how people use the internet and social media, it is affecting how long they spend reading a magazine, book etc and how much information they retain.

The average person spends 6h 41 minutes online every day consuming vast amounts of content. Research suggests that nearly 2 and a half hours of this is on Social Media.  It’s no surprise then that, when it comes to marketing it’s getting harder and harder to, first of all, be seen – but more importantly then engaged with.

So here are our Top 10 tips for how to combat shorter attention spans and still stand out.

10 marketing implications of shorter attention spans

1. Think quality and tailoring. The more relevant and appealing a campaign’s content is to a person, the more they’ll notice it.

2. When it comes to words – less is definitely more. People can’t absorb bulky paragraphs of text any more and need points put across succinctly and quickly.

3. It doesn’t pay to be cryptic – No one has time to work out what you’re getting at; nor do they have the patience. Get straight to the point and be clear about what you want people to do, or take away from your communication.

4. Think in terms of media headlines – They still get noticed by the way they’re crafted, their use of language and their word count. Also share stories these draw people in rather than just sharing information like a lesson.

5. Images are everything – An image is now definitely, definitely worth a 1000 words and will help to get your message across if you choose a good one. Authenticity is in – people are tired of stock images, the day of using professional shots is long gone.

6. Video is even better – but only if it’s short and engaging.  It enables you to share behind the scenes clips as well as more corporate messages.

7. Don’t expect the traditional push marketing strategy to work – The trick now is to politely keep on people’s radars until they have a need for you. This isn’t about bombarding them, but instead gently reminding them from time to time you’re there and adding value in some way, so you remain in their subconscious.

8. Encourage customer endorsements and social proof about your business offering wherever you can. When people do have a need for your products and services, this will be a factor which they reference. It will help to persuade them (if you appear to be well regarded) to contact you.

9Listen out – Ensure you’re being alerted to online mentions about your business and product/service offering, so you can respond straight away and help to convert interest into business opportunities. Showing that you’re listening and being responsive will impress people. Consider using software like Mention

10. Diarise follow-ups to e-shots and online communications or social updates. Use your analytics to monitor who has clicked on the links you’ve shared in, say, e-newsletters and make sure you follow up interest whilst it is warm.  Don’t expect people to automatically get in touch with you. They won’t.


If you need help with grabbing your audience’s attention and raising awareness of your business please feel free to contact us.

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