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Eric Elliott

The Name of the Game is…Attention

Nov 02,2018 / marketing strategy

One of the most famous words in the military is, when a Sergeant says, “Attention.” I’ll tell you why attention is so important in this blog post.

Attention’s important, and I’ll tell you why. Without having attention, you don’t have the ability to be able to tell people exactly who you are, or tell people what you do, if you don’t have attention. Whenever a Sergeant, or an Officer in the military says, “Attention,” he immediately gets the attention from the troops on him. He’s got their undivided attention. Think about that in advertising.

If you’re thinking about any of your advertising, you are advertising, because you are paying for time and you’re paying for attention. And I always talk about creative being a variable. So if you have someone’s time and attention, what are you going to do with it? If you give them awful creative, whenever you have their attention, you will lose them. You will lose the ability to be able to tell them exactly who you are, and what you do. Attention is so important.

I hear TV stations, radio stations all across the country, they talk about how great a show is, or how much ratings it is, but I’m thinking about that one thing, it doesn’t tell me exactly how much attention I’m getting, when that show goes to break. How much the people lose interest in that show. Just take, for example, the show Lost, which is a huge show, when Lost went to a commercial break, that’s my time to do whatever. I am not hanging around for commercials. It doesn’t have my attention.

Now, this is weird coming from someone who’s in the agency business, and all I do is advertise for attention all day, but when it goes to commercial, you don’t have my attention. The only time that people are looking forward to commercials is during the Super Bowl. That’s when we want to give you our attention, to be able to look at your commercial, so we can talk about them the next day. That’s the one day that I can think of a year, where people are talking on the very next day at work, “Did you see this commercial? Did you see that commercial? Because why? We had attention.

For advertisers, business owners anywhere, if you’re thinking about where to advertise, or what do you advertise, what medium do you go to? You have to think about what medium is grabbing attention right now. If it’s radio, TV, newspaper, billboard, direct mail, you name it, digital, traditional, social, offline, it doesn’t matter what it is. What is getting the attention, and when you do go to a medium that has the attention, give them great creative. Give them creative that is going to be the difference maker. Give them creative that’s going to stand out. That’s going to let them know exactly who you are, and what you do, because when you advertise you’re advertising for attention. It has to be for your benefit, not the benefit of your agency or anyone else, and or whatever medium they want to put you on to get commission, it’s about where the attention is.

Whatever your product is, you line it up with whatever medium is going to give you the attention that you desire. I cannot stress how important attention is. If you think attention’s not important, then I want you to go ahead and advertise on probably one of the worst programs, or advertise in a time period when no one is paying attention, and see exactly how much of a response you get.

Now, I’m not telling you that you have to always be on the number one network, or the number one station, or a rated TV station, because number one doesn’t always get you number one results. There is no study that I’ve seen that says, if you’re on a station or a media company with the highest ratings, you’re going to have the highest sales revenue. You want to go to where the attention is. People are committed to programs, they are not committed to stations.

So the next time you want to give your attention to something, you think about it, and when you spend your ad dollars anywhere, I want you to think about what has attention.

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