I heard a reporter say “People are pretty patient…for up to 2 seconds” this morning on NPR news radio. He was reporting on a story about how YouTube was looking into its video server technology and ways they could improve load times. The study showed that as soon as video began to delay because it was buffering, attention spans dropped dramatically. After only 10 seconds of buffering, most people left the page!
I think this point can be expanded to the overall mindset of today’s highly wired, and highly mobile society. We in marketing know that if you can’t capture a person’s attention in the first few seconds, they probably won’t stick around to hear your offer.
That ‘first impression’ window continues to close, and soon it will be called the ‘instant impression’ and you won’t have much more than a second to compete for your audiences’ attention.
What does that say for your website, or sales collateral or your presentation? Why not gather a few friends, outside of your business circle and put them to the test. See how they answer these questions after visiting your website, or viewing your ad and see if you pass the test of time. For the best results, ask them to only spend a few seconds viewing the material and then answer these questions: (you could test yourself, but we are often not good judges of our own work).
1. What was your first impression?
2. Did you feel compelled to move beyond the initial message?
3. Was there something in particular that caught your eye?
4. Can you clearly recall the offer or concept being portrayed?
5. Would you consider the offer and returning?
This 5 second, 5 question test can be brutally eye-opening but if we’re to break through the clutter of millions of messages and offers bombarding the public each and every day, you need to pass the test of time!