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Goldfish Effect: The 8 Second Challenge

Goldfish Effect: The 8 Second Challenge

9 seconds.

That’s the average attention span of a goldfish.

A modern-day consumer’s attention span is now less than that.

As it turns out, a new 2015 Microsoft Corp. study revealed our deteriorating attention span is now an all time low of 8 seconds. This is one second less than the average goldfish. That’s right! A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds – 1 second more than you and I.

This in theory means that we actually have a better shot of interacting with a goldfish than visitors of the human kind.

cat with goldfish

Looks like the saying “attention span of a goldfish” just became a compliment.

Of all the movies about animal species attempting to overtake humanity, not one considered the goldfish. Goldfish are plotting a world takeover, beating us with their superior attention spans.

As a result, your business has 8 seconds to reel in a customer.

That’s 8 seconds of complete concentration and processing power before their brain moves onto the next task. Unless you’re in the business of making fish food, your audience isn’t made up of cute little goldfish.

Today, attention has become a scarce commodity for businesses, especially among Millennials. When people have such short attention spans, grabbing their attention is a challenge. There are many other fish in the sea, such as a constant stream of ads and conversations taking place in the form of emojis. It’s too easy for your message to get swept out to sea.

This “goldfish effect” affects all business decisions being made today and those yet to be made. So, how can you reel in consumers?

Relax, marketing to the “goldfish” attention spanners out there  is relatively easy!

Time to go Fishing!

Here are three tips to bait your hook with and lure in an engaged audience:

  1. Tell a story

    Nothing grabs a viewer’s attention more than seeing something out of the ordinary. Make the “hook” in your story unique and people will pay attention. Create ads that induce an emotion.

  2. Be clever

    When you write content for a website or flyer you want to grab people’s attention quickly. You want to arouse curiosity and keep them engaged in those first few seconds. This is where you really let that creativity bubble to the top and come up with something that engages your audience gets them to your call-to-action quickly. Which brings us to…

  3. Keep it short

    Seriously short. The less the viewer is familiar with your brand, the shorter their attention span will be. Will your product or service help them? Speak to that. If you can’t answer that very simple question quickly…they’re gone. (Tip: Animated GIFs can capture attention, without the viewer thinking it takes up too much time.)

It’s alright if a few consumers slips from your hook and swim away. It’s natural. Not every consumer is going to be interested in what you are trying to say or offer. However, visitors that are interested will be kept engaged and entertained until they decide to stay in your pond.

You may now congratulate yourself for concentrating long enough to make it through this article. ☺


Twingenuity Graphics Web & Graphic Design Blog

Hey, we're Brittany and Ashley the co-owners of Twingenuity Graphics, a small design studio. We opened our virtual doors in 2015 to businesses across the globe, providing creative direction for each unique brand. Our business is rooted in family, faith, friendship and meaningful experiences. We help you find that special something about your business and then celebrate it. It's why we do, what we do!



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