I have been witnessing my youngest child’s behavior recently, and have to admit, I am a bit horrified. In all actuality, he is a very sweet, kind, funny and smart little boy. But I am starting to be concerned by what I have coined the “I Want It Now” syndrome. (Please note that a medical professional has not validated this for me). I based the name of this syndrome on this class scene from a cherished movie. As a child, I remember being quite horrified by Veruca Salt’s impatient and demanding nature.

 

verucasalt

The behaviors that led to my laywoman diagnosis is that my son has absolutely zero patience. He can not stand to wait for anything, and, for better or for worse, this is largely led by the technological world that we live in. Any television show or video or song that he wants to watch or listen to – he can have access to, anytime or any place. Since he was an infant, he could have entertainment literally at his fingertips. I have explained to all of my children that when I was a kid, I used to have to wait to watch my favorite TV program when it was on live – once a week. And that I would try to bribe my youngest brother with nickels to change the channel for me since we did not have a remote control. They, of course, stare at me blankly in response.

Information or entertainment is demanded instantaneously in our world today, and I must admit that teaching my son the patience that a 5 year old boy should exhibit, I have become reflective of my own “I Want It Now” tendencies. I get edgy quickly when I do not have good Wi-Fi access. And, what do I really think that I am going to miss? I can not stand to wait on hold over the phone, and standing in lines seems like such a boring waste of time to me. My purchase history on Amazon Prime backs me up on that, simply so that I do not have to walk through a big box store and interact with lines and slow transactions. All of us are becoming less inclined to spend our attention on much, with a recent Microsoft study highlighting the deteriorating attention span of humans, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds. Humans now have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.

I could wax poetic as to what this starlting statistic means to us as a species, but that will have to wait for another blog post. But what I do draw a strong correlation to with all of the above is that marketers need to provide direct, quick, and easy access to their story, be it on a website, smartphone, email, social media update, etc. A buyer does not want to know much about your company immediately. Buyers want to know immediately how you can help them, and with credible, compelling, and short statements. I strongly suggest concise and prominent messaging that is consistent throughout your marketing efforts, and stick to it. And even better, consider how to tell your story with graphics, video or animation and blend the themes of information and entertainment.

Marketing survival is now about engaging your audience, and with attention spans so short, you might want to think about what you can say quickly and impactfully on a regular schedule to get your messages across. Once your buyers are interested, then you can share with them your case studies, testimonials, background story, and product or service details.

In the meantime, I will be trying to share life lessons about patience with my son, while I surf Amazon Prime for my next purchase.