In today’s digital age we spend a lot of our time connected to our phones, browsing the internet, and getting caught up in social media feeds. While technology is a great enabler, have you ever considered the amount of time that you spend on-line and how this may influence your attention span?

The Global Digital Yearbook for 2019 compiled by We Are Social and Hootsuite outlines that South Africa’s spend 8 hours online every day and that a third of this is time is spent on social media. You can read more here.

That’s a lot of time… imagine how else we could use +/- 3 hours of the day!

Choosing between things and selecting one over the other, requires us to make a choice. In simple terms this means that we are making a trade-off.

As I sit in-front on my computer screen writing this blog, I am grappling with how best to define the term ‘trade-off’ and debating how conscious we are of these. Do we over complicate things because we don’t give ourselves enough space to properly evaluate the options in front of us? I recently read an article questioning why we don’t make enough time for strategic thinking. While, I think the words “strategy” and “strategic”, are over used and not fully understood. The article spoke to the point that I am seeking to emphasise in this blog, that we need to be far more aware of where we expending our attention as it influences our decisions.

So, what does all of this mean when you put a marketing hat on and think about how to engage with existing/potential customers?

  • You are bidding for your audience’s attention, make sure you understand the best time of the day to interact with them.
  • Copy writing and creative—we have moved passed the phase of UX design only being relevant once a user lands on your platform or website. The whole journey is an experience, you need to capture the attention of a user and drive then to make a trade-off.
  • Unpack your audience’s attention span, how much time do you have to connect with them? 10 seconds? Or do you only have 1 second as they scroll through a social media feed?
  • Is your interaction with your audience only online in a digital environment or is there an offline engagement that completes the experience cycle?

We can all be more attentive to how we are spending our time. Trade-offs aren’t always negative and by highlighting or being aware of them I think we can make better decisions. Don’t ignore the digital environment, rather embrace it and understand the influence it has on us.

This week’s podcast selection features multiple topics and opinions as always, this is one of the reasons why I love this medium – a review of the lessons that Bill Campbell taught many of Silicon Valley’s most successful business people; a podcast that I re-listened to from 2017 about improving the way we ask questions; dealing with bureaucracy; a discussion around Facebook’s oversight board; exploring learning processes and triggers.