The Attention Deficit Economy

Today’s world bombards us with information. Email, voice mail, phone calls, internet ads, television ads all blast away at an unrelenting pace. Even worse, email and phones go everywhere we go.

This constant bombardment forces us to pay attention to multiple streams of information simultaneously. While some of us have mastered the art of reading the paper and listening to our spouse chat away, paying attention to everything just isn’t possible. We focus on one thing, while monitoring the environment, ready to jump to the next better opportunity or fire to put out.

It’s like a worldwide case of attention deficit disorder.

Competition for attention is becoming the basis for how our economy works. If companies want to succeed they will need to successfully compete for attention.

Business leaders must focus on getting the attention of customers and employees while battling with their own case of ADD. Those that understand how to get and keep attention will be the ones that prosper in this new attention economy.

Getting and keeping the attention of the customer means that you have a chance of getting the business, failure to get the attention will mean you lose.

With the stakes for attention this high, how do we master the art of getting and keeping attention?

First, we have to recognize that shouting just won’t work anymore. The old forms of advertising that made lots of noise and used lots of impressions to break through the clutter are not working. There is already too much noise and in self defense we tune out the noise.

But this does not mean that people want to tune out everything. They want the relevant stuff, they want the stuff they care about to get through. They want more signal and less noise. Understanding this helps us to focus on ways capturing attention.

We need to turn up the signal and turn down the noise. So what’s the signal? The answer to that question is one of the big problems with getting attention from lots of people, my signal may be your noise and vice versa.

What customers want to hear, the signal they care about, is highly personal. It depends on their situation and it depends on what they need right now.

They really don’t care what you do, how you do it, why you do it or anything about you. They care about their lives, their family, their business and they care about the problems they have.

They want to hear content that is relevant to what they are thinking about.

If you can deliver compelling content focused on their specific needs, you will get their attention and they will listen.

1 Comment »

  1. Digital Podcast : Advertainment - I hope more companies get the idea Said,

    July 6, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

    […] In this new Attention Deficit Economy, advertisers need to learn how to give us content we want to watch, not stuff we’re forced to watch. Good for you Labatt:)  Online Video [0:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download […]

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