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March, 2020 ManageMent

Managing Scarcity of Attention in Product Marketing

By Jeff Elliott C

onsumers are bombarded from all angles by a deluge of infor- mation about new products

and services. Frustrated by the sheer amount of product marketing and disappointed by unsubstantiated claims, many potential customers have tuned out and become unreach- able.

This obstacle is crippling the ef-

forts of businesses to grow and ex- pand. “Scarcity of attention is the defining business challenge of our time,” says Jamie Mustard, a mes- saging, design and communications expert for industrial companies. “To- day, it is the attention of others that is the most valuable commodity in the digital age.”

“The attention of others is

the most valuable commodity in the digital age.”

The solution for standing out

and being remembered is radically simple, even if it seems a bit counter- intuitive. To thrive in business today

“Many businesses come up with

a great idea for a product or service, but just can’t seem to get any trac- tion from a marketing perspective,” says Mustard. “So, owners and top execs are often left wondering why they aren’t garnering the attention they think they deserve and why sales are low.”

it is imperative to grab the attention of the prospect in an instant, with a message that addresses a direct and immediate need. This is explained by Mustard in his recent book Iconist, the Art and Science of Standing Out.

Bold and Simple The message must be utterly

and brutally simple, yet big and bold enough to hit the prospect between the eyes and lodge in their mind in- stantly. “You have an instant to grab a prospect’s attention or you will likely lose them forever,” says Mus- tard.

Unfortunately, many compa-

nies lose the battle, because their message is overly complex, unfo- cused or delivered with little or no repetition. “The inclination is to promote

all 25 features of a product or serv- ice,” says Mustard. “It often goes against the grain to strip down the message to the one bold statement that should be the lead of every inter- action with potential customers.” To stand out, capture attention

and imprint it in the mind, the mes- sage must also include oversized, bold images or phrases that can be understood immediately. Finally, the message must also address an emo- tional concern or pain point. The next step is to repeat the

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message relentlessly like a drum, a never-ending mantra, at every con- tact point with the customer. Only then, will the message cut through the scarcity of attention and become an identifiable, even defining mes- sage for the company. There is a snowball effect when you deliver a clear, bold message re-

peatedly. The challenge, however, is defining success as it relates to rep- etition. True repetition is a matter of volume. It is not five messages de- livered, but rather 50 or, better yet, 500.

One of the barriers to generat-

ing repetition is the fact that most companies are hesitant to invest in marketing at all, or only for a few months. Where most companies go

wrong is that they give up after sign- ing with a marketing service that does not guarantee actual results. A well-executed, performance-

based campaign should be able to generate 50 to 100 feature articles about a company in a year. As for the content, the messages

should avoid unsubstantiated claims and instead include objective, third-

There is a snowball

effect when a clear, bold message is delivered repeatedly. Not once or twice, but 50 or 500 times.

party endorsements, while focusing on the benefit to the user, rather than the product specifications. It is only this type of “real” content that causes a buying decision. “Without a chorus effect and a

clear, credible message, no one will believe it,” adds Mustard. “Unless the authorities in the industry are saying the exact same thing at the exact same time, it will not cut through in a world overloaded with too much messaging.” Web: r

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