The Digital Generation: How to Capture a Shortening Attention Span

PR Account Manager
digital generation

The rise of the internet has rapidly changed how much information consumers receive, far more than we ever imagined. In the year 2000, the average human attention span was 12 seconds. It is now just eight seconds, even shorter than the nine seconds of a goldfish! The "digital generation", which refers to those who have never known a time without the internet (also known as Generation Z) will now skip online ads three seconds faster than the previous generation. It's clear that marketers are therefore pressured towards a strategy re-think.

Alas, hope is not lost! You can still gain the digital consumer’s loyalty, you just need the right approach. So, how can brands and retailers stand out amongst the digital traffic? We'll tell you. Here are our top tips to capturing the attention of your target audience. 


Consumers are presented with so many different messages from brands every day, a campaign needs an authenticity to stand out. An authentic brand is when a consumer believes it will enhance their daily life by being much more than just a brand. It’s an emotional connection, as the loyal ASOS addicts out there will know. Digital marketers must then consider that users are screening who enters their digital platforms and will only “like” and “follow” brands that represent their authentic ideals.

Digital consumers don't want "sell, sell, sell" or to feel marketing pressure, they want to feel like collaborators with a brand. Gen Z love for their voice to be heard and for their opinions to influence a brand's product or service. Audiences crave a genuine feel from brands and it's something all ages and audiences are beginning to push for more and more.


An experience is now just as much a commodity as any product or service. Many businesses have shifted from using branded products (think Supreme, Gucci, Chanel) to using experiences to communicate their social status.

Hence the spike in holiday snaps on your social media feeds in recent years. Presenting shopping as leisure rather than a necessity initiates a strong hedonic response. When we have a great experience with a brand it creates a much stronger emotional attachment to it. This is one of the reasons physical stores still hold importance for shoppers. After all, who doesn't love a good shopping splurge?

Discounts, free and fast delivery

For Gen Z, high importance is placed on speedy and convenient delivery options. Being able to buy online simply and quickly has become non-negotiable. Growing up in the digital age has led to them expecting immediate results, with free delivery and free return options becoming an expectation, not a luxury. This digital world has also heightened discount culture.

Consequently, it is crucial for retailers to use discounts and financial offers to attract and retain consumer's attention. With the market is becoming increasingly saturated with promotional offers, marketers must be adaptive and creative to stand out from the crowd. Digital is here to stay and is evolving in line with consumer mindset, so marketers will continue to be kept well on their toes.

To learn more about Digital PR, please get in touch with one of our PR experts on 08453 31 30 31 or email