ad:tech prides itself on being the synergistic intersection of advertising and technology. I had the privilege to attend this year’s convention in New York and immersed myself in education sessions, networking opportunities and the latest news in the advertising industry. Here’s a little bit of what I heard:

Consumer fragmentation

Geoff Ramsey, CIO of eMarketer, spoke on the increasing amount of time consumers spend with media—upwards of 12 hours a day. In general, consumers are moving away from traditional media (i.e., TV and print) and toward digital media. What is evolving as time goes on is how this digital media is experienced.

The average digital user is consuming digital media through four to six devices on which behaviors and data is spread out with no way to track and consolidate actions. Along with the challenges of an increasing number of consumers using ad blockers, our view into true consumer behavior is hazy.

Attention spans are waning

Of users surveyed by eMarketer, 68 percent said they can only recall five ads within a week’s time span.

Studies show that the average attention span of a human has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2015. There are more challenges than ever to reach growing amounts of consumers who are simply ceasing to pay attention.

Mobile usage is more than a trend.

It’s an addiction. Millennial users report that they would rather forgo brushing their teeth and using deodorant than leaving their mobile phone at home. Eighty-five percent of TV viewers in an eMarketer survey reported that they were also using a mobile device at the same time. Although apps are the main reason for smartphone use (as opposed to search, email, etc.), only 9 percent of mobile users engage with a newly downloaded app after two weeks of getting that app. Despite this, brands and companies keep making apps and releasing them with high hopes of adoption.

Magnetic content

Content has been the buzzword for years, and many speakers at ad:tech asserted the need for a different kind of relevant content for our consumers. The kind that earns attention and gives brands traction in the lives of consumers. Creating content of that caliber is not easy. Instead of trying to find a needle in the haystack, bring a magnet and draw out the needles. Magnetic content will create interest and engagement. Some examples:

The theme for this year’s ad:tech was “Shift, Experience and Reimagine.” Assuming this would be focused on technological shifts in the industry, it was interesting to learn that that true task at hand is earning and keeping the attention of the consumer. It’s as limited as ever, and more brands are vying for it every single day. There may be obstacles ahead in the formulation of attribution models and freeing data to be shared openly amongst partners, but there is shining optimism around brands that are creating the magnetic content that earns attention and keeps consumers.

Let’s push the boundaries a little bit and consider: What are you doing to help create magnetic content for your clients?