Regardless of whether or not you believe the latest data that says today’s buyer has an 8-second attention span, the fundamental takeaway still exists: We must capture the attention of potential customers quickly if we want them to remember us.

We live in a world that’s noisier than ever. We’re bombarded with thousands of messages in a given day. Customers have the ability to search for businesses in our industry while they’re driving down the interstate at 80 miles per hour. These are important things to remember as marketers.

So, how do we go about capturing a potential customer’s attention in the limited time we have?

How to Capture a Potential Customer’s Attention in 8 Seconds

Whether you’re creating an advertising campaign or an elevator pitch, here are a few important principles when it comes to captivating the attention of our audience in a way they remember your brand:

  1. Create a simple story. Because marketers are storytellers, it can be tempting to create this grand narrative of how your brand can help potential customers. However, the simpler you can make your brand narrative, the better. To achieve simplicity in your story, begin by asking “why,” and keep asking why until you identify the one thing—the essence—of why you matter.
  2. Cause a paradigm shift in their thinking. The best stories get us to think or change the way we see the world. Finding a way to capture your audience’s attention by prompting them with an internal question or reflection is a great way to create a sticking point.
  3. Solve a complicated issue. Find a way to quickly solve a problem with which your customers are wrestling. When you can position your brand as a guide who helps them identify their challenges and solve their problems, you go a long way in earning their trust and attention.

Earning the attention of potential customers isn’t easy. If you’ve struggled to gain any traction with your efforts in the past, consider how you might be able to integrate some of these ideas into your next campaign or a new elevator pitch.