opinion

Just How Distracted Are Your Customers?

Joe D

It doesn’t matter what you are selling these days, your customers are distracted.

Not only are they multi-tasking like never before, but many have developed a brand new behavior known within the online marketing environment as “multi-screening” -- while exploring your website, products or advertisements. Think about it – many people have their televisions, computers and mobile devices all going at once – distracted not just by your competitors for their attention, but also by the program on the television, texting and messaging from friends on their mobiles -- and of course the whole Las Vegas strip of advertising attacks on their computers. All this multi-tasking and multi-screening is having a definite effect on the behaviors and viewing habits of your core customer base and it is something you will need to learn to combat for continued relevance and success.

According to a study released by eMarketer.com, as many as 68% of all Internet users in the United States -- approximately 158.1 million users -- will be watching video content online in a 30-day period in 2011. That figure is expected to grow by 2015 to as many as 76% of all Internet users in the US -- or 195.5 million users. In response to this expected growth, advertisers are expecting to increase their investment in online video advertising from $1.97 billion to as much as $5.71 billion – clearly this is a huge market that warrants – no demands! -- your interest and consideration!

Out of the three screens that most Americans are watching at all times, the television still outweighs the computer and the mobile for focus and attention, however due to the rapid speed and ease of use associated with computers and mobiles, more and more of that attention is being taken away from their TVs.  In fact, this is mainly due to the movement of television programming away from the “big screen” to the smaller screens via Internet-based programming trends. It is expected that by the end of 2011, 69.4 million Americans will be watching television programs at least once a month via an Internet connection, with as many as 100 million adults in America watching online by 2015.

This is a difficult area to navigate as behaviors, technology and video content offerings are still evolving within the vertical markets. However, savvy Web developers will pay attention to this new trend and will begin working on ways to keep their visitors’ attention on the small computer or the mobile screen, allowing them to effectively compete with what is available on the larger television screen.

This trend does not just apply to video-based content, but to all types of content. More than ever before the Web developer’s job is to keep the customer’s focus on the website and content offerings to prevent them from being distracted by anything that might impede a sale. It’s time to improve your skills in this area, get to know your customer’s needs, and be prepared to “wow” the customer in a whole new way!

And while I've focused on the site navigation, content, and product placement areas here in terms of engaging and retaining customer focus and attention, don't forget to regularly review your check-out or join process and billing option presentation just as intently, because the last area in which you want the customer to become distracted is during the payment process once their purchase decision has been made. For advice and guidance on maintaining customer focus as your customer navigates your site as well as considered strategy and expertise in easy payment process flow, don't hesitate to write me at marketing at webbilling dot com. 

Now get busy with your development staff and lead the way on customer engagement for increasing revenue. Lead the Pack!

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