November 16th, 2015   |   Scott Dahlgren

The Futures Company’s “Know-Demand Marketing” research is providing insights into some of the biggest evolutions in consumer behavior.

It was their “Currency of engagement” behavioral trend that caught my attention. Their recommendation to marketers is to view a consumer’s time and attention as currency. Throughout each day, people continually decide where to spend this limited currency and when to engage with brands.

As a person’s currency runs out, they block, skip, avoid and click to what’s next at an increasing rate. The Futures Company says it’s not that people dislike good marketing. They simply don’t have the time or attention to spend with brands, even ones they really like.

The new goal for smart marketers? Make it less costly for people to engage with your brand. It’s easy to explain but difficult to do. Being a media guy, an article without a formula just doesn’t seem right.

And this one is simple: Benefits – Costs = Value.

Marketers try to provide benefits in the form of entertainment, information and promotions. Costs come in the form of actual money but are also calculated in terms of time and attention (otherwise known as engagement). If the benefits outweigh the costs, there is value for a person to engage with your brand.

Unfortunately, most marketers believe more benefits equal more engagement, but they don’t think about how much it’s costing their audience and how they are blowing through their limited social currency.

The Futures Company recommends marketers focus on removing currency costs instead of just adding benefits. Brands that understand that it’s about quality over quantity will ultimately reap the positive associations of deeper engagement.

Smart marketers will give their target what they want and then make it easy to move on. Otherwise, prospects may not spend their future currency with your brand. One way to make it easier is through predictive modeling, which I will address in a future post.

At Preston Kelly, making it easy to connect with our clients’ brands is baked into our Iconic Idea philosophy and our communication planning approach to create results others only dream of.

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