3 Ways Marketers Can Meet Today's New Standards for Engaging Consumers

Google's president of the Americas on winning in the attention economy

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Every January, I head to CES to meet with the world’s leading marketers. We discuss the year ahead and ask ourselves: What’s next? What’s the future?

Margo Georgiadis

Well, the future is already here. Mobile has created an “if I want it now, I can get it now” world. As assistive experiences make our lives easier and better, people will expect nothing less than an effortless relationship with our brands and businesses.

As marketers, this gives us an unprecedented opportunity to grow our brands and drive business results. But we’re also facing new and complex challenges.

In my conversations at CES, marketers asked me things like how they should respond to consumers’ expectations for immediacy in their lives; how they can control their brand stories in a fragmented, complicated media landscape; how to deal with the enormity of data coming at them; and how they can help their organizations adapt and keep it simple.

My advice for marketers is to focus on meeting three new standards for engaging consumers, which I discussed on the CES Storyteller stage with AT&T’s chief brand officer Fiona Carter and Josh Goldstine, president of worldwide marketing at Universal Pictures.

The following are the standards our companies are all investing in and that we believe apply to any brand:

1. Be there in the moment
In a world where consumers are rapidly moving online, we need to be obsessed with winning all those micromoments before they ever step foot in our stores, dealerships or branches. Mobile has turned consumers into incredibly purposeful shoppers, and they are spending an enormous amount of time searching, watching videos, looking at countless images and reading reviews. The winning brands are there in these moments and provide relevant, useful and entertaining content—not just ads.

2. Reimagine storytelling
On mobile, our audiences are extremely selective and opt out of content they don’t want to see. This requires us to evolve the way we tell our brand stories. To keep audiences engaged, we need to break free of conventional thinking and commit to a wider variety of creative formats and lengths. On YouTube, for example, the best results happen when you earn attention in the first six seconds or tap into the power of creators and their passionate fans.

3. Pivot to business outcomes
Given the explosion of touch points we’re all dealing with, leading marketers have realized that traditional media metrics are no longer effective. Instead, they are shifting to a focus on business outcomes. This means going beyond legacy (lower funnel) measures like cost-per-acquisition and giving priority to KPIs that reflect the full impact of mobile on consumer decision journeys. Doing so enables you to attract far larger and more qualified audiences than ever before.

By committing to these standards, we can capitalize on the tremendous opportunity to delight people throughout their daily lives—and position our brands for success in the future.

Margo Georgiadis is the president of Americas at Google. She leads the company’s commercial operations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, providing digital solutions to Google’s large and small clients.