Attention is the New Marketing Currency

Privacy is dead, and social media hold smoking gun- CNN Oct 28th 2009

I thought I would share this article, as it follows Coffee Marketing’s thinking, although it is more focused on privacy, which is an area we have opinion but not the expertise to warrant comment.

attention online

Attention please!

Privacy best practice and law will always exist and change.  Increasingly people will be  motivated to trade off their personal information for free services and benefits.  This has been going on a while now and I don’t think this point is new.

What is new is that marketing currency is now attention.  Previously advertising and marketing currency was “eyeballs”, reach and impressions.  Yet, ass people are so sick of advertising display formats, these measures are becoming less valuable, as people are paying less attention to them if not verbally reject them.

Brands today must create, engage in and add to a conversation relating to their industry.  This is what we are doing in our social marketing campaigns.  Ensuring that your brand is visible within the social networks, explaining what your business does accurately (moving away from the traditional marketing, jargon filled fluff e.g. “Creating synergy between our partners to help leverage financial assets” is an absolute no no!) and being useful enough for people to listen to captures attention.

How do you start creating visibility?

We must start to create a personality that is representative of the brand and live it… that is if we are not the brand ourselves.  Brand marketing agencies have been doing this kind of work behind the scenes to inform their marketing communication: tone of voice, positioning etc. Today brand management is much more consumer facing and important as a company must live and breathe this personality. It is down not just to the audience to understand and tap into the brand, but also for the marketers to communicate it effectively in far less structured environments.  In short they ideally need to have that personality for it to work.

Today people trust other people more than companies and brands.  As a result any social marketing effort should focus on building relationships and trust within the network that is built.  This will only work if the right people are brought into the network and when we can show that there is value in people using our product/ service.

How do you build trust on Social Networks?

is done by talking to people about the issues that are faced e.g. the problem that your company solves and by talking through what the benefits might be, why other people do it. Yet also about the barriers and the potential drawbacks or things to consider. There are a whole other host of issues that can be brought up and are of interest to potential customers.

Elements of web attention model

Elements of web attention model

Let’s call this making friends with people. Obvious perhaps, yes, but this is crucial to point out, as the value of social networks is not in massive numbers, but quality relationships and contacts.  This is one reason why Facebook is not the first choice; companies must find a social network relevant to their industry if possible.  It is easy to search around social networks and request a connection with as many people as possible, but this only works against the premise of social marketing.  The good thing for us is that most people have not figured this out yet.  In particular agencies it seems or inexperienced, freelance marketers claim to have done a good job by building a network of over 1000 people, but what value does this bring to businesses really?  Little at best.

What about mass marketing?

The old advertising model was all about ‘reaching’ millions of people.  This was only the case as one-to-one communication systems like social networks did not exist.  Now that they do, it is time for companies to embrace this new ideology if they are to generate quality leads, loyal customers and people who go out and shout about what a great business and group of people you really are.

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