Do you have a minute to spare? Lucky you.

This year we lost an hour the night of March 11 while we were asleep. But if we consider that we gained an extra day on February 29, we are in the positive column. Right?

Not really. We all know that there are not enough hours in the day. That we are running out of time to meet deadlines. We are struggling more than ever to find time to achieve work-life balance. We all suffer from Time Crunch, so there’s no time to do some Crunches to stay fit. Multitasking is not a unique asset anymore, but a must and the only way to stay afloat.
Everything is so last minute: Last Minute Decisions, Last Minute Tweaks, Last Minute Comments, Last Minute Vacations. Last Minute Last Minutes. What used to be standard procedure in business in the 1950s – the 3-Martini Lunch – has evolved all the way to Desk Dining in the 2010s.

ImageRight now, time is more precious than money. And the trend only shows that it’s going to get worse, according to the movie In Time. If you haven’t, watch it (even if Justin Timberlake is the main character).
In Time has a very interesting premise on what will be the currency and struggle for power in the near future, although the actual plot and ending were clearly defined by Focus Groups conducted by Hollywood executives. Last Minute Tweaks, I guess.

But let’s come back to our own, very real tension for lack of time. Wegs, our Executive Director of Insights & Innovation introduced me to the concept of being Time Poor and the tension it generates for everyone: When you wish you had more time to do things differently at work, if you only have minutes to enjoy your family or when you just can’t hang out and do nothing, you feel you are not in control.
Let’s take a minute and think. The good news is that your favorite Brand can come in and save the day, or at the very least be a part of the solution. How?
By inserting themselves in people’s lives in a meaningful way. For example, they can offer useful and relevant content though their Apps and digital assets. Brands can help people get a sense of control over their own time.
We all know that brands need to be on Facebook and that all brands want to develop an App. It’s what these times call for. But don’t put the cart before the horse. First, decide what the Tension is in the life of the consumer and how your social and digital strategy can help with this.
It all starts by truly knowing consumers beyond demographics, and understanding what creates tension in their life.

For example, if you are a Supermarket Chain, your App should provide Store Location and Weekly Offers. But going deeper, it can also include something like a Portion Calculator for special events like a viewing party or movie night (I would love something like that). Make it easy for people to use your brand, and if you help them save some time in the process, you are in for good.

Try to offer functionality for the everyday life, as opposed to a one-time-use like games or photo gadgets, unless you are Zynga and are offering the next Cityville. We all know that those are addictive distractions, and really take a lot of your time.

Remember that in these fast-paced times, the trick is not how to do Digital Marketing, but how to use Marketing in the Digital Age. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Stop only talking about you. It’s boring.
  • Be genuinely interested in your consumers.
  • Listen to them and offer interesting solutions to their every day quest for more time.
  • Do not distract them.
    Money can’t buy love, some say. I can present some arguments to support that it does, but we’ll leave it for another blog entry.

Right now, if your brand is playing in the digital and mobile world (and all brands are, whether they like it or not), you need to provide a solution that is relevant to what you stand for, and that is also helpful to people; if you happen to assist in any way to avoid wasting a minute of their time, they will really love you.

Wegs was right (as it happens very often, btw). We are time poor. And the brands that can help solve that tension could get very rich in a short amount of time.

3 thoughts on “Do you have a minute to spare? Lucky you.

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