Attention Economics: A New Way of Measuring Personal Preferences

Feb 22 · 4 min read

Is there a bigger trap than the internet?

Open your browser, check your mail, click on a website and it’s nearly impossible not to be hooked. One site leads to another.

We face a barrage of online content. Every organization of even passing interest today is publishing material about themselves and on topics relevant to what they do. They want you to want their products or at least to cast themselves in an appealing light.

The number of options is likely only to multiply as these organizations identify new topical niches and sub-niches to connect with consumers. There are car rental agencies that have built sites to rival the best travel publications, insurers with as many home improvement tips as Home Depot and management consultancies that at times may be indistinguishable from non-profits.

This trend reflects the growing power of marketing software to match content to individual interests. And its uncanny accuracy seems unfair, skewed to benefit the company responsible for the content instead of the consumer.

But what if we could shift the balance to reward the latter and increase the upside for brands? In this system, marketers would use information about consumer preferences to deliver targeted messages, and consumers would receive remuneration for their interactions with content — even if they don’t like something.

This system would offer advantages to both sides on multiple levels. Consumers would earn currency they could spend as they chose. They would also be free of the content clutter that has been a sore point for them. Companies would learn in real time what ads are effective or not. But more deeply, the approach would signal respect for individuals time. It would treat them almost as part of a brand’s extended team, placing value not only on their time but opinions. That is a dynamic that is likely to strengthen brand-consumer bonds.

Is this the next, logical step for marketers? In recent years, as marketing technology and a counter (ad blocking) movement to combat its effects have grown, marketing observers have been pondering how to preserve the benefits from marketing technology while addressing consumers’ cries for relief. If individuals can now be compensated for their attention, the questions becomes how to value focus? Commoditization of a process must ideally account for all sides of a transaction.

Some people might argue that cost per impressions and similar data tracking an audience’s online activities offers a starting point for determining an ad’s effectiveness. But these are superficial measures that do not have the consumers’ interests in mind. They also do not settle the question of a going rate for someone’s attention, nor do they disrupt the status quo.

As the blogger Noah Lekas suggests in a 2017 Medium post, placing a numerical value on attention is a challenging task that asks us to calculate actions that do not naturally lend themselves to calculation.

“The worth of your attention is an active definition,” Lekas wrote. “We are deciding how to spend our finite time and where to use our limited attention at every moment of our day. Through every interaction we are being courted, and accosted with a projection of how we should be spending our time and attention.”

Blockchain technology may solve this conundrum by creating an ecosystem that is inherently protective of an individual’s information. Such ecosystems allow consumers to become active participants in an ongoing dialogue that benefits them and the brands looking for meaningful engagement. In the absence of a centralized authority to oversee transactions, blockchain-based systems also allow for more streamlined, efficient process of compensation.

It is these features that serve as cornerstones for AMARK to set monetary values — paid in cryptocurrency — for individuals’ attention. Via AMARK’s blockchain-based system, marketers can collect the information they need but without accessing — and potentially compromising — personal data. AMARK represents a new era in advertising, recasting the connection between marketers and their audiences.

Encrypted wallet keys provide users with access to the digital currency they accumulate. The AMARK attention economics ecosystem formalizes what has been plainly apparent; namely, that attention is a finite resource to be cultivated and appreciated. This is particularly important at the local level, where a business’s ability to collect valuable information can address market nuances that are not readily apparent to systems processing massive amounts of data, and that turn outreach into sales.

AMARK’s ability to generate meaningful data on an ongoing basis gives users a clearer picture of consumer preferences. This core feature allows organizations to value attention with unparalleled precision. The end effect is more efficient marketing that builds stronger relationships between brands and the public.

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AMARK is an attention-based marketing ecosystem that employs blockchain & cryptocurrency to maintain privacy.