Are You Paying Attention?

The Attention Economy is the notion in which human attention is considered to be the fundamental commodity. Throughout marketing the consumer goes through a process called AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, with attention being the first process in the conversion of non-users. Due to the growth of digital advertisement and the abundance of information outpacing the individual’s capacity to digest such material, such attention in turn develops into a ‘scarce commodity.’ The impact of attention has resulted in user interface designs tailored to ‘catch’ the consumer. This is based upon the assumption that if the content takes too long the consumer will use another platform to locate the required content. 

As a result we are witness to various approaches to add value to information. We achieve this through personalisation and customisation of content.  In order to maximise and maintain consumer attention we can apply ‘Consumer Relationship Management (CRM)’. Database technology is at the heart of developing CRM (Chaffey, D. Ellis-Chadwick, F. 2012). This management includes that of a firms intranet and extranet allowing for an interface platform for consumers and/or partners. Through this database we have then have the capacity to mediate all inbound and outbound communication. Digital CRM includes:

  • Characteristic data: contact details, profile and demographical details of the consumer. As well as data collection for business-to-business operations; industry size and business characteristics.
  • Transactional data: provides appropriate data for organisations on each purchase transaction by consumers.
  • Communications data: allows for the analysis of prior consumer response to content and communication.

Using this CRM we can allow firms to apply and critique appropriate tasks for maintaining and pursuing consumer attention in ‘one-to-one’ or ‘one-to-many’ communication, through tailored content constructed by this data. But with the increasing capacity for consumers to produce content, this subsequently has resulted in the development of ‘many-to-many‘ communication (Chaffey, D. Ellis-Chadwick, F. 2012).


Chaffey, D. Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012). Digital Marketing, Pearson, viewed 01.09.17


3 thoughts on “Are You Paying Attention?

  1. I really liked the approach you took to this post. Highlighting the fact that attention is in fact a scare commodity (as it involves users to take time out of their days which could be spent doing other things) is a great way to frame the attention economy. What really interests me is your thoughts on interface design and how that interacts with the attention economy. “The impact of attention has resulted in user interface designs tailored to ‘catch’ the consumer. This is based upon the assumption that if the content takes too long the consumer will use another platform to locate the required content.” Do you think this means that all attention goes to highly stylised and filtered platforms as it allows users to think less when making decisions on what their attention goes towards? How would this fare for other websites like Reddit or 4chan, which focus less on stylisation / organisation.


  2. Oh hi there. Honestly enjoyed your blog post, you summed up the Attention Economy, especially from a marketing standpoint in a really succinct, easy to understand way with some extra resources. While there isn’t a heap of subjective stuff I can banter about in there I’ve honestly learnt a lot and I’ll try remember those terms like AIDA and CRM for future use. My suggestion would be try chuck a meme or something in there to spice it up and be a bit more attention grabbing.


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