The 8 Second Era: Connect with Distracted Consumers

White Paper

As the world has become more global, consumers are faced with information at every turn, on every device and with every click and they will only give you eight seconds of attention at most. Driven by consumer demands, marketers must optimize customer interactions and deliver contextually relevant content that is driven by data insights and shaped to take experiences to the next level. Download this whitepaper and learn how to utilise the 8 second attention span of the average consumer.

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Welcome to the 8-Second Era

Consumer expectations of what constitutes a brilliant brand experience continue to change as their preferences shift towards digital channels. But more than ever, consumers are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of content and offers available on every channel.

The window of precious opportunity for marketers to know, reach, convert and engage their consumers has subsequently shrunk.

A recent study found that the attention span of the average consumer has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds today. How will brands successfully modernize and transform their marketing practices to keep pace with consumers’ demands?

Breaking down your ‘8-seconds’

Within the 8 seconds of a consumer’s attention span, marketers must successfully deliver relevance, true value and an easy path for further engagement.


The very first thing a customer or prospect will see when they interact with your brand is the language you’ve chosen to deliver your content in. If it’s not in your customer’s language, the other eight seconds won’t matter and chances are they would’ve already abandoned their journey with your brand. Getting language right in a globalized world is the most critical phase of capturing and engaging a customer.


Next, consumers will choose the channel they want to use to engage with your brand. It’s important that you enable and optimize multichannel interactions because many consumer journeys are non-linear. Your audience’s behavior is erratic and they’ll start and stop their journey across numerous channels including mobile phones, tablets, and computers for no apparent reason. The experience must be consistent and content must be optimized at the point and time your customers choose to connect with your brand.


From a marketer’s perspective, the way to ensure your content is most relevant to a recipient is by analyzing your customer data and making sure critical data repositories are connected. With such little time to capture and engage a consumer, all your content must be optimized for each individual’s preferences, profile and context (i.e. what’s happening right now). That comes from fast, accurate insights into individual behaviors.


Once your data reveals that a particular message will be relevant to the interaction, marketers must take relevancy one step further and personalize the content to create an individual experience. Personalization will help you cut through the noise of the world where so many “spray and pray” offers that are not created for the individual consumer abound. It also shows that you value your consumers and that you’ve taken the time to consider the data they’ve given you to improve relevance for them. True personalization requires seamless integration of data and the ability for marketers to easily leverage insights that arise out of the data repository across all channels.


At this stage, you’ve likely got the consumer engaged with your brand. A consumer is now looking for a reason to extend their interaction with your brand beyond the first 5 seconds. Have you made it clear what you want them to do next? Is it easy for them or are you making them re-enter information you already know? If you make it clear and simple to continue the interaction, most consumers will happily continue to engage with your brand.


After acknowledging that an offer is relevant and personalized, your audience will then ask, “why should I do something now and not later, if at all!” What the consumer is really looking for is a reason to keep engaging via some incentive. While the incentive must be in line with the stage the consumer is at in the buying or support process, there are many forms of incentives. Exclusivity, loyalty programs, time-sensitive price promotions and offer bundling are just some of the popular examples. Key to note is that consumers overwhelmingly prefer brands that offer incentives and they are therefore willing to exchange their personal information in response to the right incentive.


Each interaction with a consumer is an opportunity to improve your reputation as a customer-focused company. Unfortunately, many interactions are designed to maximize short-term profit often at the expense of the brand and as a result, long-term profitability is threatened. Before you can fully capture a consumer’s attention and engage further, consider your current reputation in the market – does it lend itself to further engagement or abandonment? Do you need to address brand reputation issues first?


Finally, if a marketer has successfully optimized the interaction for the consumer, they’ll be hungry to learn more about the product or company. At this point, a consumer is in full knowledge gathering mode and a marketer can leverage all channels and the right content to accelerate the customer journey from unknown visitor to advocate.

A new way to think about digital marketing

In this fast-paced digital era, how will you deliver compelling experiences at scale? The answer is by using data insights to drive content decisions and amplify that content using a context engine. Without sufficient insights into your customers’ context, you’ll quickly find that no matter how good your content or data may be, the overall experience will be poor.

There is a new mandate from consumers: experience is more important than price. Properly designing and optimizing customer journeys based on the 8-second rule will allow marketers to take advantage of this new market opportunity and positively impact the bottom line.

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