Marketing and Attention in the Digital Age
If a crystal ball existed that could show the next big advertising opportunity, entrepreneurs everywhere would be seeking it. But, unfortunately, such a discovery has yet to be made, and because of this we are left to our own devices to predict the next lucrative advertising platforms and methods. With the multitude of online websites, social media platforms, applications, and other digital areas popping up left and right, how can one determine which marketing method to devote their time and attention to?
In season 6, episode 26 of the Making Bank podcast, Gary Vaynerchuck speaks about his own experiences with using digital platforms for marketing, and how businesses and advertisers should follow suit. Vaynerchuk is the chairman of the media and communications holding company VaynerX and the CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency.
We can already see Vaynerchuck’s words coming true today as he described his predictions for future marketing trends in this remastered episode from 2017. Because of this, we can consider his methods for seeking digital marketing attention and platform predictions and gain insight on applying them to our own business practices.
While it is impossible to predict the future of marketing and advertising opportunities, recent trends and observations can provide helpful insight into possible developments. One way that Vaynerchuk does this is through the act that he describes as “following attention.”
Ecommerce, email marketing, GoogleAds, and social media platforms are full of potential for marketing opportunities and following attention. Vaynerchuk describes his method for following the attention gained by these and other similar digital platforms based on their trends in popularity and consumer focus.
Regardless of what you are looking to advertise or accomplish by seeking this attention, you must first obtain the attention of others. Therefore, tracking and following the path of people’s attention can help you determine where this attention will be and where you should position your marketing efforts.
Vaynerchuk touches on the price of attention and how seeking out underpriced attention can provide valuable outcomes. Digital platforms that are gaining popularity, quick to use, and easily accessible are considered “underpriced” in this sense. For example, he cites media apps like TikTok as conductive outlets for quick thoughts and ideas, which is why he utilizes them frequently as advertising platforms.
Rather than dedicating time, energy, and expense to marketing methods with no guaranteed results, digital areas with underpriced attention may be the wiser route. After all, you have to start somewhere, and focusing effort on underpriced attention may provide a high reward for very little risk.
Any experienced entrepreneur knows that advertising and marketing efforts can cause a lot of stress, especially within a new digital area. Gaining traction and attention through a new platform may not be the most straightforward task, and companies with poor marketing tactics can appear inexperienced to potential customers.
However, Vaynerchuk emphasizes the value of gaining momentum in these areas before they see a lot of popularity and traction, as the underpriced attention is there. Therefore, gaining an understanding of how to market your product or service to platforms with underpriced attention can be beneficial. After all, by the time the market has fully reached these areas of potential value, your business will be the one leading the pack.
Vaynerchuk discusses his utilization of Snapchat in 2017 as an investment in its future. While at the time, the application wasn’t seen as a popular area for advertisements and marketing, he still chose to dedicate effort to its audience, believing in its future potential. He even explains how easy it is to find information online to learn the ins and outs of the app and says that allocating just three hours to it can help entrepreneurs better understand it.
While Snapchat may not have had much traction then, Vaynerchuk still defends his dedication to it as a smart business move and encourages his listeners to do the same on more current apps such as TikTok. By seeking information on digital platforms, entrepreneurs can determine the potential future value of its underpriced attention and begin using it to get a leg up on their competitors.
Predicting Vs. Reacting
Vaynerchuck makes several predictions about future digital opportunities and advertising trends throughout his interview. However, he says he doesn’t like predicting and instead favors “reacting” to current trends as a way to lead himself to the next big thing.
To make well-informed decisions that will allow you to market in the right place and to the right individuals, you must first look at current trends. By analyzing and considering how the public’s attention has shifted within recent years, you can then react to it in a way that is likely to provide you with beneficial results.
While not all of his predictions about the social media marketing changes were correct, a significant amount of them were. Vaynerchuck demonstrated his method of following attention, as he guessed on the future of several popular platforms and their potential as advertising spaces. He even said that a new platform would inevitably gain importance and touched on his keeping an eye on some smaller apps like Musically.
If his predictions from four years ago tell us anything, it is that Vaynerchuck’s method is worth our consideration. Through his reactions to trends at the time, he drew several correct conclusions about digital platforms within the next few years, such as Facebook’s growth, Instagram’s transformation to become more marketing-forward, and the eventual rise of Tiktok (formerly Musically) as a new popular platform.
The Proof Is in the Platform
If recent experiences have taught us anything, it is that the future is never set in stone. Now four years after Vaynerchuck’s interview, the digital platforms he describes still have significant relevance, which says a lot considering the changes brought on by the events of the last few years.
While it is obvious that advertising is most likely to succeed in popular online areas where more people can see it, frequenting just these spaces alone as a focus for your marketing tactics will not help you in the long run. As platforms emerge and evolve, the public’s attention will inevitably shift between them.
Positioning yourself in a way that follows the public’s attention can help you retain the focus of the people and potential consumers. By reacting appropriately to digital marketing trends and investing time and effort into areas of underpriced attention, you will be more likely to see advertising success in your future.