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Picture: 123RF/solerf
Picture: 123RF/solerf

It’s said that goldfish have an attention span of just eight seconds – and that humans are not that far behind. In an age that has become fast-moving and always connected, the distractions of a ringing phone, a pinging app, Insta this and TikTok that have affected our ability to remain focused.

As consumers get bombarded with competing demands for their time and attention, the challenge for marketers is getting their brands to be top of mind with consumers. At the same time, brands are struggling to meet consumers’ needs for convenience, value, sustainability and innovation. So, just how do they grab attention in a very competitive landscape – and hold on to it?

Increasingly, it appears, brands that invest in data, insights, people and marketing are the ones that stand out. Not only do they need to become more innovative and succinct in their approach, but they also need to create content that is ultra-creative and engaging for social media platforms.

A recent Future of Media online event discussion, moderated by Siya Sangweni, put the spotlight on how to generate a return on investment in an age where consumers are time-starved with ever-shortening attention spans.

Noah Khan, TBWA and DAN regional president of digital and innovation for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said innovation is the antidote to incrementalism. Digital has opened up a bigger space for exploration and creativity, providing brands with an opportunity to build new experiences which bring their consumers closer to them. Social media, he added, allows brands to build a real connection with their audience. “The ultimate aim is to get your audience to become your brand advocate.”

Brands, he said, are defined by the experiences they create. For a brand to truly connect with its audience, these experiences need to be felt at multiple levels. His advice to creatives is not to limit their creativity to the platform but to take as long as required to tell the story.

Creativity and innovation are inextricably linked and neither can exist without the other, said Asbo Ofori-Amanfo, senior account manager at RAPT Creative Agency. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that guarantees that content will trend on social media, because people are not as predictable as we like to think. Brands need to have a certain level of consciousness and create content that is authentic and relatable.

Ofori-Amanfo, an award-winning account manager at the 2020 and 2021 Loerie Awards, said the best work is produced when agencies partner with their clients rather than merely service them. Her advice to advertising professionals wanting to have their work recognised is to research prospective agencies before joining them and ensure they have an awards budget and enter awards.

The Future of Media would not be possible without our sponsors: TymeBank, The MediaShop, TBWA\SA, The FM Redzone, Arena Holdings and Arena Events.

Watch the full discussion here: 

The next online event, The True Meaning of Purpose, will be on April 28 at 10am. For more information or to register, click here.

The big take-out: Innovation is the antidote to incrementalism.


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