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A serious problem has come to my attention as I’ve invested more in my ongoing education to become a better communicator and marketer of 20 years in the digital age.

Looking across the industries I focus on—I see a vast majority of new companies failing to adapt their brand message to today’s overloaded, distracted “Instagram scrolling” consumer. And it’s costing their company money.

Marketing has never been more difficult—especially for start-up brands. Reaching customers and getting them to pay attention to you takes more than just a great product, customer service, warranty, imagery, clever headlines, and catchy value props. In today’s distracted world, you need to be more clear.

In this post, I want to share three StoryBrand website imperatives from a StoryBrand Guide‘s perspective you need to know if you’re a startup or growth-stage company when marketing in the age of distraction.

1. People are distracted more than ever

Every day people are bombarded with more and more information. In addition to the numerous ads on billboards, print, and TV—we’re also exposed to texts (781 billion text messages are sent every month in the United States as of June 2017), messages, emails, pop-ups, and push notifications. All this adds up to information overload.

“Cute and clever” messaging on most websites and print ads fail to give the customer what they need to understand about how your product will help them in a clear and straightforward way.

Your customers (and yourself) also have a much harder time paying attention today.

See these statistics:

  • The average attention span has fallen from 20 seconds to 8 seconds (Source: Wyzol)
  • The average time on your website is less than 10-15 seconds
  • The average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email: 30

Confusion and distraction lead to all sorts of problems.

  • Customers don’t understand what you offer
  • Your sales team can’t differentiate your products in the marketplace
  • The why of your work is foggy and leaves teams wondering how they fit into the goal of your organization

And to make matters worse:

  • Your message is spoken a thousand different ways
  • You’re not creating demand and brand awareness in the marketplace
  • Customers are buying from your competitors

(Source: StoryBrand)

Getting your message right and making it super simple is what’s needed to combat and win with today’s distracted consumer.

If you’re interested in knowing how to clarify your message, check out these resources:

2. People don’t read websites anymore, they scan them

It’s now a known fact that you have less than 10 seconds to grab a potential prospect’s attention when they land on your website, see your ad, read your packaging or read your email. That’s a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

  • A user will only read 28% of your text on your website before leaving!

There are alot of brands who assume new visitors will understand what they sell. You must make it super clear what your product or service specifically does.


  • The Best Plumbers in Nashville
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  • Workshops to Help You Clarify Your Message 
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These may not sound super sexy—but they work in the age of distraction. They make it clear to your customer what you do and saves them from having to burn a lot of brain calories.

Your website, brochures, tradeshow booths, packaging, emails, and advertising should include a clear headline that simply states the problem your product solves along with a clear call to action.


3. A more explicit message will help you beat the competition—even if they have a better product than you



When other companies load down their marketing materials with gobs of text and make themselves the hero of their brand and not the customer—you can begin to see that clarity is a strategy that works to cut through today’s noise and clutter and make your marketing more effective.

“The clearer you are the more profitable you will be.”

So what are some reasons your customers are tuning you out? I’ve pulled a few stats that might shed some light:

  • 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand if their activity is dominated by self-promotion. Branding and marketing aren’t just about tooting your own horn. You need to provide valuable, engaging information and insights to build trust. Make your social media efforts about the customer and their needs or challenges, not just about how great you are. (Source: Zimmer Communications)
  • Consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23% on average. Repetition and consistency are two cornerstones of any successful branding efforts. By presenting your brand consistently, over time, consumers will internalize your brand values and be more likely to purchase. (Source: Zimmer Communications)
  • By having a clear message on your website, you can reduce your bounce rate by 20-30%.
    In our own tests, we’ve seen some significant changes for the better just by a more explicit framework.

In conclusion, standing out in today’s crowded marketplace is getting more difficult if you continue to follow messaging strategies of the early ’00s. Today’s distracted consumer will move down your sales funnel faster if you can communicate more clearly.

Leave the “cute and clever” to your competitors.

StoryBrand Marketing Report

Most businesses don’t have a marketing plan they feel confident in.

We’ve seen it happen to many businesses. You don’t know how to fix your marketing to grow your revenue, so you end up trying idea after idea, hoping something works. In the end, you waste a ton of time and money, all with nothing to show for it.

The StoryBrand Marketing Report gives you a ready-to-go tailored marketing plan that works. Your custom report will guide you through the areas of your marketing that are weak and give you a detailed plan on how to fix it, using the StoryBrand framework that has worked for hundreds of thousands of businesses.

Josh Claflin

As a trusted branding and marketing professional for over 25 years, I’ve seen first hand the struggles and avoidable mistakes entrepreneurs, startups and business owners make, which is why ClearStory coaches you on proven brand and marketing frameworks that will help you achieve clarity, build your brand and drive growth.

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