AISC x Smudge Career X Program
Our modern economy revolves around the human attention span, and for many businesses, the trick is in identifying and capturing it. Up until recent times, our access to information was reasonably limited. But, as consumers embrace the digital world, power dynamics are shifting. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips, and knowledge is something quickly gained.
What Is The Attention Economy?
The term attention economy was coined by renowned psychologist and economist Herbert A. Simon.
“In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”
In short, this means that attention spans are limited, and looks into how companies target this to make their sales. While multitasking is possible, paying equal amounts of time and quality of attention to two or more things at once is not. Sure, you can scroll through your phone while watching an important match. But if you receive a compelling text message, you would perhaps miss out on a match-deciding goal.
Raising The Stakes For Brands
The fields of advertising and marketing are a means of disseminating information people need to allocate their resources appropriately. Think, for example of video content — which is on the upswing. By placing ads during crucial portions of a video — they grab our focus instantly
Show Me The Money
Big brands make big bucks through advertising. By tracking your viewing history, likes, dislikes, and so on — ads are delivered to you — tailormade. And that’s where things have gotten tricky. Our short attention span means that we love looking at new, exciting and unpredictable things. So the more predictable they get, the less effective they are.
In this process of adapting, brands have been throwing in money blindfolded into multi-channels, trying to win a fight that they never will.
Navigating The Attention Economy
We often tend to ignore the different stimuli users need to pay attention to regularly. With so many options to choose from, we desire more prominent and flashier designs. And then there’s this new phenomenon called “the attention ceiling.” Meaning, even if you create five unique designs, it’s entirely possible that only one of those become major hits. But there are things you can do to circumvent this.