How Do You Get Customer Attention?

How Do You Get Customer Attention?

This is the concluding part of this piece.

By Ajayi Joel

Now the big question is: How do you get their attention?

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Well, I feel this is one of the most important parts in the process because it’s not as easy as it seems. I made a simple analogy to some set of students I was teaching on How to Get Attention. I picked up my pen and threw it at a group of people sitting in another part of the room. Immediately, they all looked at me.

It was simple! I got their attention. The pen signified something which I simply explained that it was called CONTENT. Few seconds later, they all focused on what they were doing. Why? It was simply because I only distracted them – I didn’t really get their attention as they could not make meaning of what the content is, and how it related to them.

There’s s huge difference between getting people’s attention and distracting them; the former is the only approach that will benefit you. Now that you are aware all you need to get attention, what should come to your mind is the kind of content and how to go about it.

When creating contents, you need to pay attention to some certain key factors:

Who is this content for? Before I break this down, I must first explain that contents could be in any form. It could be in written form, audio form, video from or even as a substance. Understanding who your target audience is key! I do not want to sound so complex but I will try to make it as simple as possible. There’s something called a consumer persona. It is a pictorial representation of your ideal audience or customer.

It is easy to develop and there are some basic details that you need to include such as a name, location, gender, occupation, values and problems.

Get a note – create a fictional character of that your customer using this consumer persona approach; here’s an example:

  • Ojo Chukwudi Hassan
  • Fisherman
  • 25 years old
  • Kano state
  • Male
  • Fishes for recognition in his community

There are other details to include, however this is enough to start with. The purpose of this persona is to help you understand your audience or customer without even having to meet them yet. In order to get the attention of this young fisherman, you begin to consider a lot of things.

Firstly, to a young fisherman who doesn’t earn up to N30,000, flipping a box of iPhone will be a dumb move and even if you walk up to him to get him to admire the product, he will soon forget as his mind will be focused on how he can fix his net or make more fish sales.

Taking an iPhone to him is a simple distraction as it doesn’t benefit you, neither will it benefit him. However, since you’re aware from research, you must have made your discovery that a fisherman of his age only cares about how his sales will be made, how his boat and net will keep working perfectly. So you can take an iPhone to him displaying a video on how he can catch more fishes or quick ways to mend a net and something related.

You have gotten his attention! However, now that you got his attention, you either need to get to the river or market. This means that you need to consider the channel through which you need to reach them. I have successfully established that getting attention needs to be from something your target audience can relate with. That way, instead of throwing a pen at those guys, I could bring out my laptop and begin to play PES. They will gather together since it’s something they relate to.

Whatever content you must throw needs to have a reason, and you must have envisioned the outcome. Let me break this down a little bit further, and this will definitely help you and your business or startup. As a business and marketing strategist, I take my time to explain the process so that if you follow it keenly, it will take you to a great result. Now, when you want to dish out contents, you need to plan out what the expected result will be. Take for example using the PES game to get the attention of undergraduates. You will definitely get it in a community of young guys. However, what do you hope to gain when they come?

Do you want to get their attention so they’d notice the Gucci shoes you wore, and then ask how much you sell them? If that’s what you want, it’s a very wrong move. They will be so busy they won’t notice your Gucci shoe. Besides if they do, they will quickly forget about it. Whatever content you must dish must be related to what you want to achieve because your customers mind cannot process different pieces of information at the same time. That is it for Attention.


This stage is the second stage you need to get to in order to get millions of customers or target audience. While it is true that we need to hurry to make profit as a business, it is also true that if you skip these stages, you will definitely achieve nothing relating to generating revenue, talk less of making profits from it.

Back to the case study: 200 students gather around you so as to both watch and play PES on your laptop; a minute later, you pause the game to tell them you sell game pads or phone charger at a cheaper price. Well, that’s totally a dumb move.

I gave a client a business strategy one time ago; here is the simple analogy I used: you want to spend 5 hours to mentor a 5 year old boy. Firstly, 5 hours? That’s ridiculous. The kid will sleep off in 30 minutes. However, there are some steps you need to take if you want to achieve such goal and the first thing to do is to know what such a kid loves – a bowl of ice-cream for instance.

Now, that is a content and it is not a bait. There is a clear difference between dishing out contents and giving out baits. The first thing that would make a 5 year old boy want to listen to you is if you have some value or contents to give. The same applies to business and skills. However, now that you have his attention, what next? Keep talking for the next 5 hours at stretch? What if the ice-cream finishes at the 45th minute? Trust me, the young boy will take his leave five minutes later.

Now, here comes the point of engagement. Engaging simply means you keep dishing out progressive contents. I want to sell a set of drugs to some people that will cure their headache. Firstly, like I mentioned from the beginning, what if they don’t have headache? What if they do but their budget is for fever instead? Since I have known and categorized these sets of people, I will begin to create the contents that will get their attention. I could create a content that headache is the first symptom of fever, how they are having headache but don’t know and the symptoms they are displaying but do not know headache is the cause. Immediately I create such content, I will not immediately suggest they come for my medicine as it might be quite difficult for them to believe me.

I need to keep them engaged with other relevant contents that will keep pushing them to the point that they believe they really need my cure and get it. Now that is what engagement is about and it requires a strategy and consistency, one content or substance or path must be linked with the next. It must be able to move them to the next stage and like that. There are several ways to keep your audience engaged. If social media is what you use, then you can make use of email newsletters just to keep them in sight of your brand, product or service. Nike brand is a very good brand to study if you want to understand engagement. Check them out on Instagram.


This stage is quite complex if I go by marketing techniques. There are simple ways and approaches to do things. In Africa, we have a certain trait to want free stuff, and can continue like that all through without getting to bother if we need something more valuable that will cost us some money. As an African professional or business person, your contents should always at different moments point to the goal of what you want to achieve; either for them to come and pay for a product or acquire a service. You should not just create contents that will create value but contents that will lead to sales or profit or your goal.

If you follow these approaches keenly, you are on your way to breaking the clutter of sales and profit. Besides, you can reach me if you need business strategy for your business or marketing strategy.

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