Advertising in the Age of Distraction

Maybe you’re like me. I love my cell phone. I get hundreds of emails every day; many I open on my phone. My music is in there. Pictures of my family. I watch videos and listen to podcasts. I have so many apps I’ve forgotten what some of them do. I get several texts a day, and rumor has it that you can actually use it as a phone as well.

Since I also have this cell phone/computer in my purse, if I want to know something and I’m on the go, I can get it in 5 seconds by launching my browser. If the website is optimized for mobile, I can even see it!

If you’re like me, to fully complete a task, you have to disconnect from the constant stream of email, blog posts, news and videos in social media, and finish the task at hand. I always take time to focus on the magazines and newsletters that help me with in my job, though. Because I’m loyal to those brands, I also follow them on social media, and subscribe to their emails. Because I trust them, I retain more from those emails, websites and magazines than I do from other sources.

Social media and email can be deceptive to marketers because they give instant gratification. Sometimes it ‘feels’ that things are happening just because someone responds. Even if they just respond with something silly or for you to take them off your list. So if those are your primary advertising strategies, they come at quite a cost.

Earlier this year I read a study from Boomerang which showed that the average email user gets 147 messages each day. 80% are deleted in under 3 seconds. We then spend 90 minutes per day on 12 of those messages. See cool Mashable infographic on this study here.

Statistically, single ‘blast’ emails are going to be in the 80% that are deleted in under 3 seconds. How many more leads would you get if your brand was actually seen by riding along with the message that DID get through? Not to mention the credibility of the affiliation of your brand with a trusted brand.

The bottom line is that brand loyalty is more important than ever, because there is more distraction in the digital space than ever before. A case could be made that it’s time to go back to the basics and do something entirely different to stand out. Like direct mail & print advertising. What a radical concept. What do you think?