Image of book

Adrian Ott's 2010 award winning book, The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy, is not just for marketers. The 24-Hour Customer speaks to a much broader set of our modern interactions. It's a book for all of us as we think about the work we do all day, and if you have marketing responsibilities, you get a bonus!

"Time is more important than money." Attention is a negative-sum game. These are two of the perspectives I came away with, and again, with the realization that these ideas apply to more than just products, services, or programs, but our general interactions as well.

When you're working with teammates, how do you think about their propensity to spend time and attention? Like a marketer, we need to consider the time/value trade-offs our colleagues are making. Yes, sometimes they are paid to do work with us, but better if we can make that easier to do. And more and more, people aren't formally paid to be part of a team, but do so for more complex reasons. Understanding time and attention will help you better understand the relationships you have with these colleagues.

Ott's New Rules:

  • Capture opportunities that emerge from multitasking and distraction
  • Differentiate on customer time priorities
  • View customer as situational: e.g., behavior time preferences and triggers
  • Grow by shifting time boundaries
  • Focus on customer time to evaluate, set up, and consumer a product
  • Create advantage through customer inertia and time-relevant value

Ott's description of the value of triggers was especially useful for me. In collaboration, for example, we need triggers to help people design their work, triggers for participation in work with us given a complex multitasking environment, and triggers for planning next steps. In my own book, The Plugged-in Manager, I offer "stop-look-listen" as the first practice to follow. This is a similar triggering approach, but can be improved upon by considerations of where the people are in terms of their time and attention.

Read The 24-Hour Customer if you are interested in how your customers interact with your products and brand. However, even if this isn't your focus, read the book for the insights it gives for broader human interactions, and learn a some marketing as a bonus.