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Discussion on Attention Scarcity

Permission vs attention — how do those things work together? Sometimes a brand have my attention but I don’t want to give you permission. Contextual — if my mind’s on food, I’m not interested in hearing about a car. And some feel they are already assaulted enough, that they want to protect their privacy. John Hagel says the gap is in creating value for the customer out of all the information companies gather from customers. Companies should think in terms of value exchanges…..how can you exchange trust for value over time?

Permission vs attention — how do those things work together? Sometimes a brand have my attention but I don’t want to give you permission.

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Contextual — if my mind’s on food, I’m not interested in hearing about a car. And some feel they are already assaulted enough, that they want to protect their privacy.

John Hagel says the gap is in creating value for the customer out of all the information companies gather from customers. Companies should think in terms of value exchanges…..how can you exchange trust for value over time?

How can a company become a trusted advisor? According to John Hagel, the answer is helpfulness. Offer to be helpful, move beyond intention. Genuinely offer to help people use your product, and offer to help them navigate the context, find what and who wlese could be helpful to them. A comment — “the answer to ‘how’ is ‘yes’ “….we all know how to get someone’s attention, it’s not rocket science, but someone at the company needs to take a risk and do something different.

An example brought up was the book Ambient Findability by Peter Morville — increasingly, findability is a key dimension of competition….online media is great, but how do they find you…how do you become findable in all of the contexts where people aren’t really looking for you but it’s relevant to them to find you there?

So, how to attract attention in ways that are meaningful? Go to places where people are having conversations and try to help — but only in a way that adds value, so you can be trusted.

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But what are the limits to setting an atmosphere of trust? There was disagreement over whether it’s acceptable to a company to include negative customer comments about your brand on your own site. Is that a stupid thing to do or does it make people trust you more?

Is customer service part of marketing — there was disagreement on this. Sruprised me, because a lot of helpfulness is about good customer experience. This is the need for attention the customers have. If marketing could help, why withhold that attention?

Attention economics — what does it mean when the customer is trying to get the vendor’s attention? What about emergencies? What happens when they get shunted into a low-cost channel, the gap when the customer is investing a huge amount in the relationship and the vendor has cut costs by automating all customerservice? Causes a huge dissonance. Some vendors are now thinking about how to manage the economics of this.

Difference between a transaction-based view of economics vs a relationship-based view of economics — if you prioritize service around profitability, you might lose. For the highest-value customers, increasing service should at least be considered.

It should be a co-created value exchange, not all driven by the vendor.

How to give the 20% of the customers (80/20 rule) who give you the most business a better return for their attention? But John Hagel cautions against looking at these numbers in the aggregate — an aggregate rise can mask the fact that you are gettiing more attention from your least-attractive customers and less attention from your most-attractive customers.

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One question that came up — How different is this all of this from big-M Marketing, which was always about proving the benefits of your products to a relevant target market? Have the new tools and techniques blinded marketers to what they were supposed to be doing all along? Or was it the experience of the decades when you could still get good results from marketing by beating people over the heads that we are lost sight of what we were really supposed to be doing?