By Ajayi Joel
It is the purpose of firms – sell things to as many people as possible. Yes, I’m aware that a lot of companies face the challenge of locating customers, getting them to listen, and be converted as paying customers. This process involves three phases within the nexus of inbound marketing strategy. Let us get started; here are the steps to consider:
Now, it may seem complicated but I’ll try to make it simple. Attention – it is actually very easy to get attention. Yes, it is easy to go to the market and sit at the center of the road screaming to get everyone to look at you. Yet, getting attention is hard if we’re talking in the real context of attention when monies have to be exchanged for a product or service, in Nigeria.
Here’s what I mean: ride a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon to Silicon Valley. Nobody is going to notice you because there’s nothing spectacular about having a G-Wagon in Silicon Valley. It’s not strange. So nobody will notice you, except if it’s on fire though.
So, is getting attention really easy or hard, and why is attention the first part? If you want to talk about attention in its real context, you should be talking about what the attention is for.
Now, let’s go back to the market and meet the man sitting at the center of the road. He has gained attention. Fine, everyone is looking at him. But what was the attention for?
Was it to show people that he has new clothes he’s selling, or that he needs money, or that he’s contesting for his village association treasurer, or just showing that he’s alive? If it’s to show that he’s alive, then he’s stupid. That’s because the news that he’s alive doesn’t change a thing to anybody; doesn’t give anybody any thoughts to hold onto.
It’s more like a mad man in action. Simply, the attention was stupid, and that’s why it’s going to be short-lived. People will forget and overlook within seconds.
Well, he could also use it to show that he’s alive and yet not be stupid! But that’s if he has the intention of returning some other time. More like to get attention for attention sake for the first time with the plans to return, and not be a total stranger to those set of people.
Nevertheless, there’s still a purpose to that than just screaming. So here’s the point: getting customer attention is not easy if you don’t know what it entails. It’s only easy if you don’t have a plan. But if you have a plan, then it becomes difficult.
Now let me simplify it. If there’s a purpose for getting the attention, then you need to begin to consider many other things. The consideration of other things is what makes it hard. It’s no longer about the getting of the attention alone, but what the attention will do. That’s what makes it hard
If I want to sell clothes, and I go to the market to begin to ring bells, what if those passing by are saving to buy chicken for Christmas, or to buy shoes instead or simply government has not paid them for months. Perhaps, I wanted to sell for 1,000 naira but someone was already on ground selling for 200 naira. What if everyone was looking at a politician who is doing rally? Or they are waiting for another politician to share 5,000 naira.
Can you see that it’s becoming difficult because you’re already having a plan for the attention you want to get? In getting attention, you need to have a purpose. The purpose will determine the plan.
Getting attention is easy if you have no plan for the attention. However, if there’s a reason for getting the attention, then there’s a whole lot to worry about, a whole lot to work on and all.
Picking the example above, it gets difficult if you want to go to the market to sit at the center of the road to get attention either because you want them to know that you’re alive and that you’d be returning or because you have a product to sell.
There are so many things to consider: what if there are five other people in the market on the road currently? And what if that same day was a day where the government has promised to arrest people who create scenes in the market? What if there was a fight in the market while you’re ringing your bell?
Remember this analogy applies to anything you want to do. I am just using the man in the market as a case study. If you get the idea well, you can sell home heating appliance in the Sahara and also supply forest mowers to the residents. Now, you are thinking! But it will be hard if only attention is where you stop.
I’m sure you’re quite aware that you cannot throw products at people; you cannot throw ideas at people. You cannot push contents at people if you don’t have their attention. You cannot bid for a project if you don’t have their attention. So, I’d give three different steps in getting attention:
- What is your Purpose for Getting the Attention?
- Who are the people you want to get their attention?
- How do you get their attention?
These three steps are all linked together. However, I’ll begin with the first.
What is your purpose for getting attention?
Before you think of running to the market square or opening that social media account or running to the radio or television station to make the noise, what is your purpose for the attention? People dress nice probably because they want someone else to notice them or because they want to go apply for a job, or they do not want to be mistaken for a pauper or to impress others.
You can choose to get the attention for attention sake. More like for recognition sake. It’s not a bad idea. Some brands do that. They do not have a product yet. However, they sponsor an advert just to create awareness that they are existing or that they are planning something.
It can be to create awareness or sell a product or to disrupt a trend, or go showcase a skill. Whichever one, the main thing to have in mind before you make a move is to note the reason for planning to get attention. Once it’s known then, you can move to the next step.
Who are the people you want to get their attention?
Now, it becomes more difficult and requires more strategy when you get to this point. Why? Your purpose cannot be for the world. Otherwise, you will not scale.
Here’s the point: if you want to get attention just because you want to be recognized so that you will return some other time and not be a stranger, it has to be to a set of people who your purpose is targeted at.
So you must have a set of people you want to get their attention. Is it the doctors or lawyers or aliens or unborn babies? Or you want to get their attention of mutants and the government – whichever one; you need to have it in plan after you have defined your purpose.
Your purpose is what will determine this. Here’s an example: My reason for getting attention is because I want people to know I can write. Definitely, aliens from Mars cannot be the sets of people I plan to reach.
The next step to take after writing down the purpose of your idea is the reason behind why you want to get attention. The fact remains that humans are the ones you want to get their attention and not drumsticks.
So your purpose will definitely be to get the attention of humans either directly or indirectly and the category will definitely differ based on your purpose.
As straightforward as it looks, you shouldn’t make the mistake of going to farmers or going to firefighters to get attention of doctors. That would be lame.
I believe you must have nodded your head with what I just said, the truth remains that people still fall into this mess; this ignorance. You need to know who your purpose for getting attention is directed at.
If it’s sportswear, if you’re writing contents, if you’re an architect, you need to know who exactly your contents are for. You need to make research. What you have in mind might not exactly be what you will discover. Simple, to get the right attention, you need to know those who you want to catch their attention. Are they a perfect match for your purpose? If there’s no correlation, then you need to keep the searching.
Continue reading here to finish the piece