Best Practices

Fast Five: Q&A with Tracy Staniland of Asigra on Marketing in the Attention Economy

Recently, we curated The Attention Economy – The Impact of Attention Scarcity on Modern Marketing. In this eBook, we asked 12 modern marketers to share their best practices for winning the battle for their buyers’ attention. To broaden the discussion and keep the conversation going, we’re reaching out to other marketing and sales leaders with five quick questions on marketing effectively in the Attention Economy.

1. The Attention Economy was first coined in 2001 by Thomas Davenport and John Beck to describe the scarcity of attention and how to measure it, understand it and use it. Fifteen years later, do marketers understand the true nature of their buyer’s attention today?

Although not an exact science, we know attention spans are short. Extremely short. People don’t read, they scan. You have to create a quick, informative and memorable experience to engage them and keep them engaged.

However, with new technology advancements and tools available in the market, and the analytics available through these tools, we are able to observe behaviors, monitor what content assets are consumed, the time taken to review content assets and also, through A/B testing, we are able to test the effects of visual cues, long form and short form content. We, as Marketers, need to take the time – and be allowed to take the time – to analyze buyer behavior and engagement in order to take a much more pragmatic approach to content development to ensure that the right content is meeting the buyer at the right time.

2. B2B buyers today are busier and more distracted than ever before. What do marketers tend to get wrong in their rush to capture their buyer’s limited attention?

A lot of marketers (at times, we are guilty of this too!) produce hordes of content, but it doesn’t always contain educational and relevant information that can help the buyer make an informed decision. In fact, too much lackluster content can be distracting to the buyer. Buyers today are extremely sophisticated and time-starved, so they are seeking concise, informative content that can be found easily and addresses their immediate questions. Marketers also prevent buyers from consuming the content that they desire with too many gated forms. Putting gated forms in front of case studies, for example, is not smart marketing. Why wouldn’t you let buyers read how your services/technology have helped their peers or other organizations achieve their business goals?

3. The Internet and mobile have dramatically changed how buyers consume content. How are marketers adapting their strategies to align with how we research and buy today?

As marketers, I think we are realizing that we need to do a better job of accommodating how people really buy today. When they’re doing their research, buyers consume a lot of content in concentrated bursts or sessions. Making multiple pieces of quality content relating to a specific topic available at once helps busy buyers see all pertinent content in one serving. Quality snackable content is important as buyers are overwhelmed with the amount of information available to them online. It’s also important to deliver content in a variety of forms – video, infographics, case studies, short and long form blog posts, customer quotes, product peer reviews, ROI calculators and solution sheets – to provide buyers with the option to choose their preference based on where they are within their buying journey. Above all else, quality content that is informative and educational to the buyer is a must. Buyers don’t want to be sold to – they want to learn.

4. Marketers have vastly more technology options than ever before. Looking at the marketing tech stack, what’s one solution that stands out in helping marketers sustain buyer attention?

Well, in our MarTech stack, I would have to say Marketo enables us to establish a strong connection with the buyer through our lead nurturing streams and integrations with other software solutions. Our integration between Marketo and LookBookHQ has really helped us curate content relating to specific topics and/or themes into one consolidated content experience that enables us to tell a cohesive story. This integrated solution is helping us understand the behavior of our buyers and identify which type of content assets are more helpful in the buyers’ journey. This allows us to prioritize and focus our efforts on content that converts.

5. How do you combat attention scarcity in your own life?

I keep up to date on the latest news and trends with Google Alerts and LinkedIn Updates. I keep organized with lists – I love my lists! And I try to stay grounded and live in the moment by visiting my yoga mat a couple of times a week to turn off the laptop, cellphone, re-energize, and re-focus.

Tracy’s work space filled with her favorite items “Coffee, Spiceworks T-Rex, My Big Bang Theory Sheldon bobble head and my THINK Customer watering can – muses and inspiration for creativity.”  Tracy’s work space: “Coffee, Spiceworks T-Rex, My Big Bang Theory Sheldon bobble head and my THINK Customer watering can – muses and inspiration for creativity.”