Do Brands Waste Your Time?

by Jay Deragon on 06/22/2009

dont_waste_my_time_tshirt-p235784690137919992t5tr_400Yesterday my Google Alert file contained an article header which caught my attention. The article originated from Forbes.com. Upon clicking on the link the landing page had a flash advertisement for network hardware. This product offering does not interest me whatsoever.

Upon clicking through to the article I was interested in Forbes.com system wanted me to either log in if I had an account or if not create an account.    Forbes system won’t let me access the article unless I logged in. I simply left the page.  Too bad, the article may have been good enough for me to propagate on Twitter or use some of it in a post of my own. If I had chosen either of those options Forbes would have received a link back to their site and the article. My followers on Twitter may have retweeted the story.  Obviously Forbes sees value in getting peoples attention but they failed to translate my attention into an attraction and an affinity with their audience, me.  By the way, Forbes.com traffic stats shows a 20% decrease in audience over the last 12 months. They simply don’t get it.

If You Have My Interest, Don’t Steal My Time

Traditional marketers and media seem to think they are more important and smarter than their audience. You get an audience by providing value. You kill an audience by taking value away from them.

Consumers are baited and switched with messages that get their attention only then to steal their time.  Besides the experience with Forbes.com I had a similar experience with Fred Thompson, former Senator, and now a Talk Radio show host.

I was waiting to meet someone and sitting in my car listening to the Fred Thompson radio show.  He was talking about the political issues of the day and indicated that “people” need to speak out. Since I had the time I decided to call the show and ask why the Republican party isn’t engaging “people” in discussions using social media.  I called the show and upon the tenth ring a screener answered my call. The screen said “this is the Fred Thompson Show what would you like to talk about”. I explained what I wanted to discuss and then was shocked at the response.  The screener said” That’s an interesting topic but you’ll have to call back when and if it becomes a topic of discussion then hung up on me.   Excuse me, Fred Thompson just said people need to speak out and I attempted to!  BTW, your web site says “Lets Talk About It”.  Go figure.

Now lets put this into perspective.  I had some free time. I spent my time wanting to engage in a dialog with Fred Thompson about relevant issues and possible solutions.  I waited for eight rings for someone to answer your phone only then to be turned away because my topic wasn’t of interest to them.  Hey, what about your audience. Which by the way used to include me until you lost me with this experience.

The Audience Wants Respect For Their Time

The above examples represent a systemic problem with media, brands and politicians.  While their busy pushing their agenda, their message and their medium they forget that without an audience they have nothing.  Today’s audience wants to engage and are willing to as long as you don’t steal their time or insult them with your own agenda.  The audience now sets the agenda.

In both examples above they  got my attention. They then lost my attraction and affinity to their message because they stole my time.  Subsequently they lost me and possibly others  as their  audience.  Get it?

What say you?

{ 13 comments }

husnain August 8, 2009 at 2:24 am

“They have great topics like this one on http://www.energytalkradio.com and donate 30% to charity! Check them out.”

Melanie Kissell July 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

RT @Binary_Bits The Relationship Economy: http://bit.ly/hteHS

Melanie July 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Love your spirit and your spunk, Jay!

Your article is right on the money. Unfortunately, the folks you’ve just written about are going to be “out” the money!

I’m with you … I don’t need any more time sucking, frivolous inconveniences.

The examples you’ve shared are simply “self-serving” people. You’re right – they just don’t get it. :-(

binarybits June 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

The Relationship Economy: http://bit.ly/hteHS

i_dv8 June 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

Do Brands Waste Your Time? http://is.gd/1bFjg

prackin June 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Golly. Reading http://bit.ly/pro-pay and then http://bit.ly/anti-pay right next to eachother in my RSS reader sure gives me a headache.

Rob Harvey June 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Do Brands Waste Your Time?: In both examples above they got my attention. They then lost my attraction and affin.. http://bit.ly/jFoKg

smconnection June 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Do Brands Waste Your Time?: In both examples above they got my attention. They then lost my attraction and affin.. http://tinyurl.com/nm6lc6

Brian C. Citizen June 22, 2009 at 11:29 am

Daily Deragon Dose: Do Brands Waste Your Time? http://tinyurl.com/nm6lc6

Martin June 22, 2009 at 11:05 am

RT@JDeragon Do Brands Waste Your Time?: In both examples above they got my attention. They then lost .. http://bit.ly/WfZEm

Martin June 22, 2009 at 11:05 am

RT@JDeragon Do Brands Waste Your Time?: In both examples above they got my attention. They then lost .. http://bit.ly/WfZEm

Angela Suddarth June 22, 2009 at 11:05 am

rt@JDeragon Do Brands Waste Your Time?: In both examples above they got my attention. They then lost .. http://bit.ly/WfZEm

Dane Fiori June 22, 2009 at 10:29 am

I agree the with the above article, it is very interesting how someone will see a headline of an article, want to read it and then get stopped or derailed from reading it. If you catch somenone’s attention, which is the goal of advertisement and marketing, why put a stop in the way of someone reaching for it? Thats like having a newspaper headline that catches someone’s attention and then see page 6, and then you dont have page 6 in the paper!

Sparking someone’s interest is the hardest part of a sales cycle and is the direct goal for an advertisement or marketing agency, so when someone or a company puts stops there, they obviously missed the boat. Their hunger in getting more identities in their database or on their page or followers is getting in the way of gaining those needed viewers. If someone likes your article or blog then they will sign up. Dont force them to sign up and then give them the info! It is ass backwards thinking.

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