Beyond incredible creative work, the success of any marketing campaign depends on how well marketers understand their audience and create content that speaks to them. This can be quite a challenge to begin with, but it becomes even more complicated as the result of myths about consumer behavior that circulate within the industry. Marketers can’t afford to stake their work on convincing fables, so take a look at myths about consumer behavior that you should put to rest in the new year.

Attention Spans are Shrinking

There’s an infinite amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Americans’ attention spans are in a state of atrophy. While media options have exploded in the past few years—which gives the impression that we’re less focused—the fact of the matter is that Americans are just as attentive as we’ve ever been. Data from Google and Ipsos indicates that 81% of video sessions hold viewers’ attention (with 41% reporting that videos captured “all of my attention” and another 40% reporting that videos captured “most of my attention”).

However, there is a kernel of truth to this myth: Viewers haven’t become less attentive, but they have become less patient with content that doesn’t engage them. A viewer may have endured a commercial or dull video when TV was the only media outlet available, for example, but now that they have an entire universe of content options at their fingertips, they’ll be more inclined to tune out or simply skip it. Marketers can thus rest assured that attention spans remain intact, but they need to offer audiences top-notch, engaging content if they want to make it on viewers’ radar.

Viewers Instinctively Ignore Ads

Digital platforms make it possible for viewers to completely ignore ads. But, since ads are a form of content, an ad containing excellent creative may simply be too engrossing for viewers to walk away. Viewers are also more likely to tune in when ads are relevant and feature people like them; in fact, according to Ipsos, this may increase attentiveness threefold. New tools and technologies make this easier than ever since artificial intelligence can instantly analyze data about consumers and serve them the most relevant ads or content.