In an environment of 24/7 social media and news, capturing the elusive attention of our target audiences is increasingly challenging for organizations.
Attention has become a scarce commodity. According to Dr. Geoff MacDonald, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, “Attention is one of the most valuable resources in existence for social animals.”
Just like we need food and water, we all need attention. But at the same time, “We live in an attention economy, and our attention is limited,” says marketing professor Milica Mormann of SMU Cox School of Business.
Bombarded as we are by a constant flow of messages competing for our attention, the fundamentals for communicating effectively are even more important now. Like the AIDA model. Developed way back in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis, this is a sequential process through which a salesperson leads a potential customer to achieve a sale.
A – attracting the Attention of our important audiences
I – triggering their Interest
D – stimulating their Desire
A – prompting their Action
After more than 120 years, the AIDA model is even more relevant today. Organizations can use this process to develop communications that rise above the vast, constant flow of information to engage your audiences with your brand, your messages, your products and services.
The first part of the AIDA model – attracting attention – is typically the toughest. So here’s a tip: pay attention to get attention.
You can do this by connecting with your important audiences – your prospects, customers or other stakeholders – in the same way you would start to build a lasting relationship. Ask them questions about their needs, their wants, their hopes, their challenges.
Now you’re ready to capture the attention of your audiences by ensuring your communications are:
- compelling – establish a meaningful connection that shows you understand them
- trustworthy – deliver information that is authentic and accurate
- valuable – provide information or solutions that are helpful for your audience
- special – offer something that is different than what others offer.
When you demonstrate to people that you understand and value them, securing their interest, desire and action will be easier, and more successful.
Paying attention gains attention!