What next in Engagment?

The goal of engagement is nothing new but, given our shrinking attention spans, achieving it has never been more difficult.

I'll admit it: I'm addicted.

But I'm not the only one. I'm one of 37 per cent of adults and, actually, I'm down with the kids because 60 per cent of teens feel the same way. I am addicted to my phone. Not the phone itself (an iPhone whose telephony performance is patchy and wilful), but the always-on connectivity it brings.

Yes, I am a fully paid-up member of the distraction culture in which so many of us now reside. University lecturers are told that students used to be able to listen to something with proper, focused attention for half an hour. Now, classes get only seven minutes in before their thoughts turn elsewhere.

So it's actually distraction that we're addicted to. And what does that mean for brands and their advertisers?

It means "relaxing control and tightening up your reactions". Sounds like a pregnancy masterclass, but is, in fact, advice from the Institute of Digital and Direct Marketing on how to roll with social media et al, but stay nimble. It means realising that - counter-intuitively - e-mail might be the best way to reach young people, after all. WRM has the stats and the argument.

It means: "Don't Tweet all over my Facebook." The mantra of getting the message right for the medium has never been more important. MBA knows all about keeping it personal.

It means: "Ongoing narrative more than a campaign." As Weapon7 reveals, I am addicted to distraction, but very much on my terms, living my own story.

Admittedly, I've merely flitted through points of view of the essayists in this book - and stolen all my theories from their articles - but I'm aware that I'll have your focus for a very limited time (seven minutes would be pushing it). So I'm off.

I'd much prefer that you direct your attention to the ideas and insights on the following pages, where you'll find much more inspiration for how to get through to people just like us.

Suzanne Bidlake, consultant editor, Campaign

See what our essay writers and roundtable guests had to say about engagement below.


Engagement: The seven-minute challenge

Engagement: The seven-minute challenge

Brands now need to change their messages every seven minutes to keep consumers engaged in a new media age. This is the key challenge, Stuart Derrick says.

 
 
Back to basics

Back to basics

  • Media

Magazine publishers teach us a few things about engagement: know your customers inside out, provide what they want and embrace change.

 
 
Make it personal

Make it personal

  • Media

There is a difference between 'being personal' and 'overt recognition' - the first is better, and especially when the message suits the medium.

 
 
Catching up with consumers

Catching up with consumers

  • Media

Only a truly open and collaborative creative process can result in good engagement communications.

 
 
E-mail can still be a blast

E-mail can still be a blast

  • Media

E-mail is as relevant as ever, but not enough marketers are utilising it to engage young people.

 
 
 

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