With all the talk about segmenting customers, wouldn’t it be equally as intriguing to dive into the brand and representative personalities that create, curate, share, and publish content? News feeds and timelines are becoming more cluttered by the second, which is forcing consumer attention spans to get shorter each day. As a result, consumers are becoming more aware of the motivations of the people they follow, although they likely have yet to get as analytical as some people. (Yes, I’m referring to myself.)
Three years ago, I marked 2016 as the year that would re-define the term “Attention Deficit”, only this time it’s not a disorder, but a paradigm shift. Why 2016? Because it’s a presidential election year in which a good percentage of the American population is now relying on mobile technology as their primary source of communication: Voice, text, and data, all in one. The desktop computers on their kitchen counters are collecting dust, their land lines have been disconnected, and their DVR’s are all set to record their favorite shows (without commercials). All of the focus now is on their handheld screens, and the visual noise is getting overwhelming. 2016 is the year that will make a lot of people rethink their priorities about who they follow and engage with, and whose content is worthy of their attention. In previous years, much of the information consumed was chosen without regard for motive of the content creator/curator. From this point forward, my belief is that “attention deficient” consumers are going to begin categorizing their contacts into the following four specific segments:
- The Subliminal Self-Promoter. This person uses what Eddie Murphy called in his standup routine: “The Jedi mind trick.” It happens when someone posts about their joy and happiness for someone else’s success…that they reveal in the next sentence was made possible by their business efforts. It’s nothing more than a sales pitch covered up with frosting and sprinkles.
- The Bold Brander. These “human doings” wear their brands on their sleeves, or pockets, or across their backs—Literally. Their entire wardrobe was purchased from their company store. The e-mail containing the phrase: “People care more about who you are than want you do” apparently bypassed their inbox and went right to “junk”.
- The Compliant Content Curator. This person schedules and publishes alright: But only the stuff that appears in their corporate suggested content queue. What they fail to realize is that the only reach they are extending is that of the brand through their networks. They are NOT differentiating themselves. Instead, they are annoying the community members who used to “like” them.
- The Under The Radar Renegade. This person knows the rules of engagement. They constantly manage their personal brand and attract others based on their world views. Many times, customers ask to work with them because they DON’T do what the other three groups are doing…The only factor that affects timing is the level of noise tolerance of their potential customers. Lower tolerance = faster growth.
None of this should come as any surprise, right? What segment do you think you belong in? Put yourself in the shoes of a customer and ask: “What segment would I most like to work with?”
2016 appears to be a big year for decision-making.