Pay attention

As we’re aware, the volume of things to attract our attention is ever increasing. This is true for almost everybody on the globe.

We’ve created a “throw away” world. Nothing material is meant to stand the test of time. From the clothes we wear, the containers of the food we eat, technology, you can add to the list ad nauseum.

Human beings now have an attention span shorter than that of goldfish.*


Goldfish – 9 seconds

Humans – 8 seconds


How do we adapt market research studies to the ever decreasing attention span of human’s and achieve the objectives we need?

  Here are some ideas –

  • Know exactly what objectives are desired before conducting any research – 90% preparation, 10% perspiration applies here.
  • Ask succinct questions with the goal of achieving those objectives – questions stated clear and concise.
  • Limit the length of survey’s to no more than 15 minutes for online, 8-10 minutes for mobile, and 20-25 minutes for face-to-face/phone survey’s.
  • Yes, entertain the audience.
  • A picture is worth 1,000 words**

In conclusion, be prepared and react accordingly. We may soon have an attention span shorter than that of a blade of grass, if a blade of grass even has an attentions span and we must adapt.

*National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

**Fred R. Barnard,  Printers’ Ink, 10 March 1927