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AI & The New Elevator Pitch: 7 seconds!

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Parents everywhere have long been lamenting the addiction to screens that their children have developed. They bemoan the fact that their attention spans and social skills have suffered from hours upon hours of time glued to gaming consoles or smart phones. Yet there’s another consideration impacting organizations and marketing teams globally – customers and consumers no longer are willing to watch an ad or commercial for as long as they did historically.

If you’ve heard of the term “elevator pitch” it’s the idea that you need to pitch your product or service within the time it takes to go up or down in an elevator – typically 20-30 seconds. Conveying your main theme or message within this same window of an ad was also previously best practice. Those days are behind us – consumers on social media make a decision to continue watching within the first 6-7 seconds. After this? The decline for viewing is steep, 52% stop watching after 7 seconds and then another 25-27% in the subsequent 10 seconds. So, what does this mean for digital marketing and media?

Neuroscience holds some key insights here. Let’s look at the part of the brain that controls attention – queue the frontal lobe. Your frontal lobe has evolved over time, it’s the “newest part of the brain.” It’s also the part of the brain controlling focus – over time our brains continue to form neural synapses around behaviours that are patterns. For consumers and viewers we have drastically changed our viewing pattens, not only with streaming services and the concept of “on demand,” but also via constant social conditioning and patterning with tools like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

So, what does this mean? It means that the human brain is actually being rewired as a result of interacting with technology. TECHNOLOGY is playing a key role in the next evolution of the human brain and what it will look like.

In fMRI studies (that’s the machine where you’re put into a giant magnet), researchers have been able to actually observe that the occipital lobe of children who are on screen devices is larger than children from parts of the world who don’t have access to electronic devices. This poses some fascinating questions on what anthropology will say about us in the future. How differently will our brains continue to evolve based on our behaviours with tech?

As the attention spans of viewers continue to shrink – digital marketers are faced with a challenge, how can they maximize unique views and retain the interest of consumers? User experience is pushed BEYOND just simple utility, and requires decision making, buying decisions and visual cues to be extremely succinct and intuitive.

Consumers are not only unwilling to watch ads for as long as they did, but they are also unwilling to navigate websites for e-commerce purchasing in the same way as they did in 2020. Augmented reality and AI hold some clues here to helping to create User Interfaces that align to exactly what users are looking for – indeed many digital marketers are beginning to leverage interfaces and experiences that MIMIC directly the UI/UX of tools like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat in order to leverage user familiarity with these tools.

Conclusion? If you’re giving an elevator pitch, try instead giving an “Instagram reel pitch” – get your idea across in 6-7 seconds or less!

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