Sunday, February 17, 2008

LAS - New computer "disorder" from Microtrends author Penn?

By Alan Eggleston, Writer, Editor, Bookseller

Did you know that you may be a member of an untapped new microtrend group? If you spend hours on your computer reading or doing research or playing on Facebook, you could suffer from LAS -- Long Attention Span!

This is according to Mark Penn, lead author of the book Microtrends. He's also a political consultant for Senator Hillary Clinton and was the marketing consultant who identified the microtrend group called Soccer Moms critical to re-electing President Bill Clinton in 1996.

I watched with fascination this morning as Mark Penn discussed Microtrends at his book signing at a New York City bookstore on Booktv (CSPAN2). Among the microtrends he mentions were "impressionable elites" and the increasing abundance of "lefties," meaning "southpaws" or people who are left-hand dominant. Penn also said that we are all familiar with the microtrend of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder or those who suffer from short attention spans), but that with each microtrend there is usually a corresponding microtrend and that for ADD there is LAS -- Long Attention Span.

A group of people for whom LAS may be an effect are people who spend hours on their computers. Is that you -- and me?

His point was that science and medicine and marketing are addressing ADD, but they haven't yet acknowledged LAS. The group who do, says Penn, are often 10 years or so behind. Take the car market. Most people who buy cars today are women, a trend about 10 to 15 years old. Yet car dealerships are focused on the male shopper. So look for marketers to start selling you for your LAS addictions like computer time, books, and television time in about 10 to 15 years.

You can read more about Microtrends and Mark Penn and co-author E. Kinney Zalesne on their Web site. The book has gotten mixed reviews, but the trends are fascinating to read.

No comments: