Optimising for attention: what media and marketing need to focus on in 2011


Here’s a prediction for you (why not, it is New Year’s day).

In 2011, media and marketing will move beyond optimising for platforms and start optimising for attention.

Following a thread of thinking prompted by Sam Michel’s comment earlier on today, I came back to the thing about our repeated mistake of focusing on platforms instead of the things that matter (outcomes, patterns, trends, consequences, behaviours).

Search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, display ads, PR, creative, content, all of these things are too often presented in oppoisition to one another, when really all distract from the central task in hand, winning in the great attention markets of the web.

The only disciplines I wouldn’t include in those would be things would be user experience and community management, both of which, when practised with awareness of networks rather than fixating on a single website or platform, are growing in importance in the digital mix. It amazed me that toward the end of 2010 we were still talking about the relative merits of PR and SEO, as if effective communications

Let’s not waste too much time on playground tactics (no rabbit in a hat tricks) in 2011. Begin and end your thinking about success online with attention: serving it, winning it, earning it.

And with that, here’s some 12 year old hip hop to kick off the New Year. Keep it, er, real…

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