Our attention is nowhere and everywhere at once and companies are fighting to get a glimpse of this new piece of gold. Jeroen Jonker Roelants, Head of Product Marktplaats (eBay), gives an eye-witness report on MIE.nl right from the ‘Attention War’ battlefield.
“You are where your attention is”. Our attention is nowhere and everywhere at once. The human brain is like a goldfish if it comes to attention. Ads, smartphones, apps, social media, the internet. We are captive to an endless parade of distractions.
The attention war is born
Benjamin Day in Ney York in 1830 figured it out first. Sell a newspaper for almost nothing and make many with ads. Give the people something for (almost) free, get their attention and sell this attention to advertisers. The attention economy really took a swing with propaganda. At the beginning of World War I England noticed that they need persuasive methods to get a bigger army to match the size of Germany. They put just one message on their propaganda and got a lot of attention. The Germans were amazed that the British could recruit so many men willingly. One German in particular, Adolf Hitler. He was determined to do better. First get their attention and then give the information you want them to know. The attention war is born. The companies nowadays are fighting for your attention. It’s next level now. With for example algorithms and personalization.
Keynote speaker at MIE 2019
Today we receive as much information in one day as a person in 1901 did in an entire lifetime. So many choices yet so little time to make them. Time has become our most scarce possession. And companies and brands are fighting a continuous war to conquer your attention. Jeroen Jonker Roelants, Head of Product at Marktplaats (eBay), gives an eye-witness report right from the ‘Attention War’ battlefield. He shares his vision on how companies, such as his or yours, can do things differently. Claiming less instead of more of everyone’s precious time.