The Brief Guide That Makes Sense of the Attention Economy

Between 10 and 20 seconds.

That’s how long you have to capture your audience’s attention online. If you can’t provide something compelling and exciting, rest assured, that they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere.

If it feels as though you’re facing tougher competition, you are. It’s not just other brands you’re competing with, either! Think about how many screens you use on a daily basis, and how quickly you switch between apps.

It’s part of what experts call the attention economy, and if you’re not careful, your business could easily lose its customer base.

Keep reading to find out more about the rise of the attention economy, how it has integrated into our culture, and what you can do to stay competitive.

What Is the Attention Economy?

Man looking at billboards

The best way to understand the attention economy and how it affects a smart consumer or advertising campaign is to truly treat it as an economic system. There’s always going to be a balance between supply and demand, and there are only so many resources that can go around.

Once a person has no more attention or time to give, that’s that. You’ve lost your opportunity to gain a potential customer.

The term comes from Herbert A. Simon, a psychologist, and economist who sought to prove that the idea of multitasking was a myth. His idea was that attention is not only finite, but limits how we can interact with the world around us.

Fighting a Losing Battle

So, what does Simon’s work mean for the world of business? For starters, it means that companies have to be a lot smarter about how they market to customers.

Today’s consumer has more opportunities than ever. Most people conduct a great deal of research before committing to a purchase, checking out online reviews or reading through social media comments to see how a brand’s value aligns with their own.

Since there’s only so much attention a person can give each task, it’s up to brands to create advertising that’s fun, engaging, and most of all, inspires the customer to come back.

Make no mistake, fighting the attention economy is fighting a losing battle. As screens continue to dominate our spaces, resources will only continue to grow more scarce.

Using Technology to Your Benefit

Digital technology

It might sound like the information era spells doom for businesses, but quite the opposite is true. The goal is to use the new rules set forth by the attention economy to reach your audience.

Your ads need to be faster, snappier, and on the channels that your customers care about.

The metaverse is a fun example, as just about anything is possible. You can host a Corporate Metaverse meeting, advertise your products in video games, and give digital assets to your customers as fun freebies, just as you would in the “real” world.

Technology is beneficial to your business; it’s just up to you to embrace it and listen to what your customers want.

Your Guide to the Attention Economy

To be honest, how many times did you switch tabs or check your phone while reading this article? Don’t worry; it’s something everyone does.

It’s part of our new reality, and as business owners, it’s crucial to adapt to survive. Start thinking about how your team can take advantage of tech to reach your customers.

And if you’re interested in learning more about technology and its relation to business, check out the rest of our tech section!