Sunday, October 31, 2010

There are still only 24 hours in a day - your need to fight for your customer's time and attention

By Mark Helfen

There are still only 24 hours in a day - your need to fight for your customer's time and attention in an ever more difficult environment.

As the number of products available and ways to communicate with your customer explode, your life as a marketer gets more difficult. It almost seems impossible.

At next Monday's MarketingSIG, Adrian Ott, CEO of Exponential Edge will speak about how to successfully compete for time and attention in a today's market. Her talk titled "Snack, Trigger, and Shop! How to Attract and Retain Today's 24-hour Customer," will describe some new ways of thinking about time and attention.

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION - After many years of meetings at DLA Piper (many thanks for the help) this month we will meet at a new location:

2831 Mission College Blvd Santa Clara CA 95054
In the San Francisco Conference Room
Same time - 6:30 p.m.

map here

And thanks to EMC for hosting the location (and food!)

In researching her book The 24 Hour Customer, Ott learned about "the dynamics of time and attention," and developed a framework to make this work in your favor - Time Value Innovation.

According to Ott's research, people spend only about six minutes a day on e-commerce web sites. They spend only two to three percent of their time researching, looking up and buying things, both on-line and in person combined, a figure that hasn't changed since the 60s while the number of products available, and the ways of reaching your customer has "exploded." The result is a time war - companies battling for customer's limited time and attention. Trying to occupy as much time as possible - the time you spend on Google is time your not spending on Facebook.

My initial thinking was that this was only about advertising, but when I spoke to Ott she showed that thinking about a customer's time can help with the design of all kinds of products and services, both business and consumer. She gave several examples of how time, and thinking of time, can change a product:

Time slicing - Writing a blog entry took too much time, so Twitter created shorter time slices.

Time shifting - Your favorite show is on at the wrong time, so Tivo, or Hulu lets you shift time.

Time Sharing - Zip cars allow you to share the use of a car without ownership.

So come by Monday, and hear about the eight triggers that can help redirect customer time and attention in your favor. So you can make time, as little as there is, work for you.


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant. He can be reached at:



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