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The milli-second secret to capturing consumers’ attention

To combat ever-shortening attention spans, research by Fractal’s CerebrAI team has revolutionized the way we engage with e-commerce.

Every second counts in a world where attention spans are shorter than ever. Groundbreaking research by Fractal’s CerebrAI team has revealed that a smartphone ad takes a mere 0.92 seconds to captivate its audience. With this mind-boggling discovery in hand, Fractal embarked on an extraordinary journey to harness the untapped potential of these handheld devices and revolutionize the way we engage with e-commerce. But little did we know that this was just the beginning of an exhilarating adventure.

Welcome to the Smartphone Revolution, where marketing rules are rewritten, and possibilities abound. In the bygone era of traditional media, such as newspapers and television, people would consume information at specific points in their day. But smartphones have shattered those limitations, becoming constant companions that never leave our sides. Our study on smartphone behaviors unearthed that each day with the smartphone. We interact with these digital marvels throughout our waking hours, relying on them for purchasing decisions and guidance on what to do and when.

The average user touches their phone 4,513 times, spending over 3 hours and 36 minutes

Recognizing the unprecedented influence of smartphones, Fractal set out to uncover a more potent way to utilize these pocket-sized powerhouses. Our visionary research ventured beyond conventional marketing tactics, which typically focus on driving click-through rates for digital commerce purchases. But a purchase would only happen intermittently, once a month, perhaps once a fortnight. On the other hand, there can be several moments of consumption in a single day. Identifying and influencing those crucial moments of consumption would give a marketer several more touchpoints to influence the consumer. So, we set our sights on the stimulus provided at these crucial “digital moments that matter,” those pivotal instances when a timely stimulus could lead to immediate consumption. Whether it’s quenching your thirst with a refreshing drink when there is one sitting in the refrigerator or reminding you to brush your teeth just one more time during the day, before bed, our innovative MicroStimuli have transcended the boundaries of e-commerce, propelling us into the realm of e-consumption. These MicroStimuli, delivered at specific “digital moments that matter,” would act in mere milliseconds, triggering the appropriate, expected action.

But why stop there? Can smartphones sway purchasing decisions and inspire behaviors that enhance our health and well-being? While we know the long-term benefits of an active lifestyle, we often succumb to the allure of immediate rewards, choosing that extra hour of sleep over the morning run we had planned. Despite the vast amount of health data our trusty smart devices provide, our behaviors stubbornly refuse to budge. Similarly, individuals managing chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure frequently struggle to adhere to their prescribed medication routines, veering off track after only a few days. Determined to unlock the transformative potential of smartphones, Fractal embarked on a quest to empower these crucial decisions and support long-term health objectives. We aspired to transition from e-commerce to e-action.

Our tireless efforts led us to identify four essential elements that comprise effective e-action micro-stimuli. First, these stimuli should tap into our primal evolutionary needs, such as quenching thirst or satisfying hunger, to trigger an innate response. Second, emotions play a pivotal role in decision-making, so our micro-stimuli strive to evoke powerful emotional reactions. Third, they must be visually captivating, leveraging our brain’s preference for processing visual information swiftly. Last, to leave an indelible mark on viewers, we embrace exaggeration by peak-shifting these features, intensifying the impact of our messages.

Let us illustrate our e-action micro stimuli’s impact through a remarkable case study. Fractal’s groundbreaking railway trespassing poster for the Indian Railways Corporation perfectly exemplifies our principles. By ingeniously highlighting the instinctive fear of large, looming objects, the poster portrays a heart-stopping scene of an individual on the precipice of being struck by a train. The actor’s fear-stricken expression resonates with our innate drive for self-preservation, effectively provoking the desired response. Employing the artistic technique of peak-shifting, we elevated the impact even further. The enlargement of the actor’s eyes intensified the sense of fear. At the same time, the repetition of the image three times tapped into the intelligence of repetition in groups of 3’s, seen across global cultures and religions.

Designing the future of e-action, however, is only half the story. To truly provoke the right actions at the right time, we must master the art of effective dissemination during these pivotal moments that matter. This requires harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Picture this: smartphone users who need to take their medication at an optimal time each day. By analyzing users’ physiological, behavioral, and digital habits, our generative AI can create and disseminate tailored micro-stimuli automatically and at scale. With a feedback loop constantly gathering information on click-through rates, the technology can make necessary adjustments to achieve the desired response.

As we continue our ambitious journey, Fractal’s CerebrAI and AI machine-learning teams are working tirelessly to turn this vision into a tangible reality. Collaborating closely with our clients, we are shaping a future where micro-stimuli embrace the full potential of smartphones as always-with-you companions. As companies transition from e-commerce to e-consumption, the promising realm of e-action beckons. We unlock endless possibilities by harnessing the smartphone as a medium for e-action, transforming these devices into trusted partners on our health and wellness journey.

Welcome to a future where the power to inspire action lies within the palm of your hand.

Read through the complete paper on “Fostering Effective Communication Between Humans and Machines” now. 

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Biju Dominic

Chairman and Chief Evangelist , Fractal

As a chief evangelist of Fractal and chairman of FinalMile Consulting, Biju is playing the new game that is emerging at the intersection of human and machine intelligence. He is driven by the belief that the more we understand the inscrutable algorithm in our brains, the better the technology we develop for our machines will be.

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