Attention! 4 Things to think about in your brief and other musings from eMarketer's London event

I had the pleasure of attending eMarketer’s Attention London event a few weeks ago.  Admittedly, it was the best content end to end I’ve seen in a convention in ages.  The learnings were high, the insights applicable and the arrival/future of VR is imminent. Though we had the pleasure of hearing current market trends from eMarketer, we also heard from Facebook and GE, but one of the most fascinating discussions was on the Neuroscience of marketing.  Below is the method suggested, which we agree, may be the process to go through when developing your creative brief.


At the beginning of your project, diagnose the pain.  Basically, what’s the insight?  How is your audience struggling currently without your product or service?  What is the human experience that we all know; waiting in queue for coffee, checking the board for the next Tube, or the unpredictability of the weather? Identify this pain first and not only on how much you would like to push your product. 

One pain we discuss is how to find your customers.  Here’s the reality - your customers most likely are on mobile and they are watching video.  YouTube/eMarketer reported in February that the average YouTube mobile watch time is 40 minutes!  Your pain doesn’t have to be how to reach your customers, it should be focused on your core product.  Video can play a vital role in reducing the way in which you can reach your customers, and look, they are watching on Mobile on YouTube!


The next step is to differentiate.  What are your competitors doing? How will  your messaging get through if you are emulating the market? How can you adjust your brief to make things seem new and unique, just like the product you’re using?  Facebook presented on the future of live stream and video, a day before they announced that anyone can upload a panoramic photo to their stream and the social network will turn it into a 360 picture.  Here’s one we took today in lovely Piccadilly Circus!  This is one way to be first on the market: utilising a new offering that customers are keen to play with.  This is only one idea on how to differentiate yourselves from your competitor.  Video has the ability to emote, shock, surprise, please and consider - while over 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s still the first place that consumers and companies are looking  to make decisions on their purchase path.  How can we help make your videos stand out while addressing the pain of your audience?


The third brief process is to demonstrate the gain. As it turns out, your brain hates to lose.  The idea that a loss has taken place makes it stubborn and unhappy.  The brand challenge is to demonstrate how your product has addressed the pain, in a differentiated way, to have your consumer (applicable in the b2b space as well) win.  GE spoke about their project last week named #droneweek, where over one week they livestreamed 15 minutes of behind the scenes video, via drone, straight from various strategic locations across Brazil ahead of the Olympics.  By allowing their customer to view this epic footage at extraordinary heights, they felt they were seeing something unique and special (which they were).  It’s not always necessary to show drone footage (though our Master Distiller may disagree) to show the gain of your campaign/product and this was a hyper special endeavour.  However, it demonstrates how far you can go in your creative process, and how excited you can get your audience to be, by showing that differentiated proposal in an exciting way.  


Lastly, take all of the knowledge above and try to appeal to your customer’s reptilian brain. Now this is a much larger conversation than can be addressed here, but here are the basics as I understand it.  There are 3 parts of the brain, the ‘oldest’ part, is known as the reptilian brain.  This is the part of your brain that is always on as well as responsible for your basic instinct for survival.  This part of your customer’s brain (and yours) is inherently self-centered.  It will pay attention when it applies to them, and if you have already demonstrated a pain and gain that is applicable to this customer’s brain, you’re far along.

It likes visual stimuli and visual contrast makes it engage.  Here we reach the potential of VR.  Creating a stimulating experience that allows your reptilian brain to step into a specific experience engages the brain and thought to fully immerse into your product’s capability/messaging.  Again, to appeal to this part of the brain you may not always need 360 VR experiences (and again, our Master Distiller may disagree) but it does allow for a unique opportunity to share your experience.  

Thank you to eMarketer for the great content and for reinforcing what we here at The Distillery London always believe; know your user  - their pain, their needs, and what puts them at the centre of your messaging. Know your product - why is it different, why do people care, how do people gain from what you do and then put them together in your brief.  From there, creativity takes over to make/produce the magic moment your consumer engages and connects with your content.

If you would like to talk more about applying these practices to your content strategy, give us a buzz @