Digital Marketing For Millennials: Attention Must Be Earned, Not Bought.

Written by Linzi Hunter: Head of design.
· 4 minute read

The super short attention span of the modern human is having a profound impact on us digital marketers.

We’re having to churn out ideas that are more captivating, more authentic, and more relevant… and no, that’s not bad thing at all.

Why? Simply because we enjoy the challenge.

digital marketing strategy

We know that you, our audience, have begun to adapt to a multi-channelling phenomenon and that we have roughly 7 seconds to capture your attention. We also know that in these 7 crucial seconds, you will ultimately decide whether to buy into a brand or whether to check out completely.

It’s been 7 seconds. Don’t stop now, it’s getting good.

Millennials are the first generation to grow up immersed in an interactive, digital world. But, we are all guilty of using mobile and social technologies to immediately access data, ideas and inspiration.

With so much content at our disposal of course we’re going to be choosy about what we give our attention to. 

How are we defying the attention span odds at Run2?

Well we’re not going to give away all of our secrets obviously, but we will give you our best advice on how you and your brand can cut through the noise and capture your audience’s attention.


Attention must be earned, not bought.

I have a younger brother, typical lad – loves football, video games and YouTube. Drives me mad sitting there in front of a screen for all of the hours of the day. I often find myself repeating ‘are you listening?’, ‘did you hear me?’, ‘are you paying attention at all?’.

And on one occasion the cheeky little chap said to me:

“I do pay attention… I just choose who and what gets my attention”

But, this made me realise, he is paying attention (not to me) but to whatever is on the screen in front of him. I found myself asking; What is it that is able to capture his attention for so long? And why is it so captivating and engaging?


First of all, he’s interested in it.

He’s interested, his friends are interested, they talk about it and it’s relevant.

You’re going to need to find the people that are interested in what you do and what you believe in and get them talking about it.

This all boils down to finding your target audience, our marketing tactics may be changing but we are still dealing with people, our number one rule is to know your target audience.

This way you can powerfully target your message to individuals or groups and gain their attention instantly.

Here at Run2 we know first-hand that personalised marketing and tailored promotion increases engagement and sales activity. If you can create a personalised experience every time, you’re half way there.

Remember this?

Coca Cola share a coke personalisation branding

Perfect example of personalisation.


It requires engagement and is interactive.

The ability to interact with mobile devices through a self-guided 3D product tour (spin, zoom, look around and explore product features/functions) has been proven to increase product knowledge retention by up to 75%. Can you create this experience for your brand? You’ll be on to a winner.

And video games, well they require engagement… looking away for a second can pretty much be a life or death decision, in an immersive sense of course. I know that if my brother has a controller or mobile phone in his hand, I’ve got no chance of getting a response from him!

If you can explore gamification of your brand, you’re in with a good chance of capturing your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more.

Gamification can appeal to all ages if executed properly, we’ve got brands like M&S, Starbucks and our favourite Magnum (Pleasure Hunt) exploring how gamification can work for them and they are seeing real success.

Just be sure to keep it in line with your brand goals, keep your target audience in mind and hone in on what motivates them.


It’s relevant and on trend.

If you’re not following the #populartrends or posting interesting content, you’re not going to capture anyone’s attention. There’s a strong correlation between audience engagement and social media and it is important to have a presence on most social media platforms, but more importantly the ones that your target audience can relate to.

It is vital to the success of a brand to interact with their audience through social media. Utilising this form of communication is an opportunity to put a human face to a brand, and to connect in a more direct way with people. 

It can be hard to stand out from the pack on social media, but it is certainly possible. We loved Expedia’s ‘South American Getaway’ contest on Instagram. This campaign offered a chance to win a trip to South America, and it also earned them a high engagement score (999) on Unmetric’s platform.

Contests will generally drive high engagement on social channels, and here, providing the audience with a chance to win a trip by commenting, contributed to this brands successful campaign.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 16.14.26


It’s quite clear that it’s not just us that loved it, pictures of exotic travel destinations do well because they stir up our innate sense of adventure and excitement of exploring new places around the world. And this finally leads us on to…


It appeals to the senses.

It’s really essential for your brand to create an emotional response or draw a connection to an experience. Creating an emotional connection to a brand will not only lure customers in initially, but it will also keep them coming back for more.

Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but sensory marketing is nothing new and is already happening right under our noses (ahem) – has that signature Hollister or Lush smell ever drawn you into the store? I know I’m guilty.

The sensory dimension must involve vision, touch, audio, smell and taste to create that engagement to keep your audience feeling involved in what is being offered. Research shows that the more emotionally engaged someone is when they experience something, the more likely they are to remember it. This can have powerful implications for brands.

It is more important than ever to engage your audience quickly and interactively in ways that weren’t previously possible.

If you or your brand could use some help with the implementation of an effective digital marketing strategy, you know where we are!