Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Maybe you should market to a goldfish.


In this age of self-taught ADHD, marketing needs to be read, absorbed and acted upon in just 8.25 seconds, or ¾'s of a second shorter attention span than that of a goldfish.

For instance if you are still reading this, it isn't because the cute headline caught you. Indeed, your brain probably only registered these words:

"Read this" and "more money."

Or so says an oft-quoted study by Microsoft. Considering that pre-social media, i.e. back in the dark ages of the 1970s and '80s it used to be 12 minutes, it's no wonder that long form marketing isn't working.

If your appeal or sales pitch (depending on whether you are a nonprofit or a for-profit) can't compel the reader to stay long enough to read your whole pitch, and most especially if it doesn't promise a reward for that reader, it's going to join the rest of the internet trash PDQ.

All that assumes that your target market is people under 40.

High-end appeals are still being read by people who are old enough to be able to read more than 140 characters.

If that's your market, then you may want to take this advice with a grain of salt.  Nonprofits in particular often eschew modern internet marketing trends because their audience tends to be older.

Why?  Because they're the ones with money. Unfortunately, many of them have picked up their kids bad social media habits, so a tweak here and there could be in order. 

It all goes back to the same basic marketing premise. Know your audience and target your message to it.

That's not to say that once you capture a reader's internet attention they won't stick around for a minute or so. But in the world of instant gratification, if they haven't clicked through to buy or give to something in that length of time, you've pretty much wasted your time.

Think about overhauling your sales approach. You really will make more money.  

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