We have entered an age where our attention is constantly occupied by all kinds of new spaces.
We are no longer limited to television, radio, outdoor signage and other traditional spaces where content, specifically ads, have been intruding upon our lives.
Technology, specifically mobile technology, has taken us even deeper into our attention caves.
Our focus now lives comfortably in deep cavernous spaces, in new and undiscovered places.
Smart phones, eBooks, tablet computers, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter streams. Tagged photos, online radio streams, text messages, Wifi signals, location check-ins and local deals have cannibalized our attention away from the old television commercials, ancient billboards, sagging signage, morbid magazine ads and so on.
It is the age of digital distraction and these distractions are both complex and constantly changing.
To capture audience attention we now have to start communicating in places that are very different than the past. Places that we haven't yet discovered or even fully understand.
Communicating in these new spaces requires new kinds of techniques and a new kind of language, a more stealth and subtle way of storytelling. It requires us to not only tell our stories but to disrupt and inject them directly into real life situations. As virtual as they may seem.
It has been ages since I have used a traditional phone, my cell phone is my main line of communication.
I recently used a land line, upon picking it up I heard a dial tone, a white noise that lets us know that there is a signal and that we can start dialing. It immediately occurred to me that this tone is a completely wasted opportunity. Why didn't the carriers stick a message in there?
A similar thing happened when I was walking down the street, completely immersed in my iPhone, suddenly alert messages started popping up informing me of nearby hot spot locations.
These signals were coming from apartments, businesses, office building and even personal roving hot spots. Except all I was seeing was either a silly name or some jumbled letter & number combination.
Why not communicate through these micro channels that are ubiquitous to all and have our undivided attention?
This led me to sit down and to think about all of the new "places" that exist today, it now excites me to find and try to come up with creative ways to communicate through those tiny spaces.
I am extremely lucky to live in NYC, it is a great opportunity to explore some of the new, less conventional or less obvious, places that people are spending the majority of their time in and to find creative ways to enter into those spaces and communicate a message in the new and unique language that the spaces require.
So next time your out for a stroll take the time to look around and notice all of the amazing opportunities that technology offers us as marketers. Think about new ways to communicate with a population that is now living in these spaces, try and find creative ways to augment and enhance these spaces and try to retrofit your ideas to live in these new and interesting environments.