94% of Adults Don’t Have Leisure Time

May 16, 2013 | Branding Strategies

We have a lot of ways of saying, “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” Time has become a precious commodity.

According to a recent study, 94% of American adults said a primary use of their free time is recuperating from work. This is a weighty finding—especially for marketers trying to proactively engage their markets.

As Adam Morgan explains, “There has been a profound shift in our society, from a work/leisure society (i.e., one that self-consciously divides itself between two basic types of activity, work or leisure) to one that divides itself between three: work/recuperation/leisure society.”

Redefine marketing priorities

TV is a release. It doesn’t require effort or commitments. People get home from work, and let the TV waves wash over them. It’s their decompression time.

Clay Shirky writes in Cognitive Surplus, “Since the 1950’s, any country with rising GDP has invariably seen a reordering of human affairs; in the whole developed world, the three most common activities are now work, sleep, and watching TV.”

Now put your marketing hat on. When the bulk of your clients’ free time is applied to their recuperation, it has a profound impact on how you should market and engage them. Time is a key consideration.

Get to the point. That’s the issue.

People are prioritizing their time more and more.

You can see the results from the struggles professional associations are facing. Business people are attending fewer association and networking events, and they’re avoiding the golf days and gala dinners.

And the same can be said in the digital realm. People are experiencing social media and content fatigue. Maintaining the subscribers of an email newsletter is an ongoing challenge. Users are ruthlessly culling the content that reaches their inboxes.

The brands that are rising to the top recognize time is precious, and are do everything they can to be simple, functional and interesting.

Make it easy for your clients

Simple, functional and interesting are lofty goals. And it’s easy to give lip service to them, but there is a clear measure: resistance.

Resistance comes up in many areas:

  • Positioning: How easy is it to categorize your business (who you are, what you do, who you serve, and why)?
  • Customer service: How easy is it for your clients to resolve problems?
  • Form and function: How easy is it for your clients to use and implement your services?
  • Buying: Does the buying process fit your clients’ expectations, and give the right amount of information and education to support their needs?

Resistance is the enemy of time.

Every time you cause your clients to pause and think, you’re taking time away from other areas of their life. And every time you waste time, you lose a piece of your brand’s potential.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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