Friday, October 23, 2015


Getting Through the Clutter - The Rise of Glance Marketing

First of all, this photo is REAL. I swear, I didn't Photoshop it. I took this picture of someone's actual iPhone after being horrified to see how many unread messages and emails he had. I was literally speechless. 
While this is (hopefully) an extreme case, it does bring to light the sheer volume of  requests for attention now pouring into our phones, which by the way is the first place we usually see marketing messages these days.

We try and keep up with all this inbound. It's common to see people waiting in line, in an elevator, at a restaurant, watching TV, or frankly anytime there is a spare moment, quickly scrolling through emails, texts, posts, tweets, photos, shares, all trying to keep up with the onslaught. So how do we get our marketing messages through this kind of clutter, in this kind of environment?

Welcome to the rise of "Glance Marketing". A few years ago, researchers calculated we had someone's attention for 3-5 seconds  before they decided to either delete or continue reading our marketing messages. Today I would say we only have about a half a second. Today people are only glancing at our beloved marketing messages. You know, the ones we've spent hours creating.

Remember, in a mobile world you're competing for attention along side someone's family and close friends. So when it comes to creating mobile marketing content, what stops people from the usual glance>delete cycle? Here are some tips:

  1. Start with a picture. A really good picture. Use one right up front to get attention. It can be funny, heartfelt, cool, interesting, playful, whatever fits your brand. But make it relevant to the CTA (call to action). Whatever you do, don't use those boring, bland generic stock images we see all the time. (Woman smiling wearing a headset, row of business people staring off into the distance, you know what I mean).
  2. At this point the reader is thinking, "OK, interesting picture, you got my attention, but so what?"  Next, you better answer the question, "What's in it for Me?"  or ...delete. This is where you resist the temptation to go on and on about how great your product or service is and simply articulate how it will help the reader. And it needs to be expressed in one sentence. Just one.
  3. Next up, the CTA. That easy-to-find button that gives the reader access to something really useful.
That's it. Picture first, then "What's in it for me?" (described in one sentence) then the CTA button that gives the reader access to something really useful. That's it -  that's glance marketing.

Try it as a test and see how it performs for you. Be sure to make the design responsive (or at least adaptive). What I find interesting is I tend to actually focus more time on these types of glance emails than ones that have much more content. The lack of content actually makes me stop and appreciate the simplicity, allowing me to focus on the CTA.
Currently, most of the marketing content I get on my mobile is definitely not glance-optimized. But the reality is that's usually all marketers get - just a glance.

Steve Kellogg is a Digital Marketing Leader, Strategist and Technologist. He is currently Sr. Director of Global Marketing Strategies, Technologies and Partnerships at Astadia, Inc.

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