utility vs attention what do marketers measure

Attention vs Utility. Which Metrics To Monitor?

This question raises problems for marketers and product managers. Which metrics do we track in the attention economy? Everything is a competitor when were talking about your customers’ attention.

In a 24 hour period, a person can only apply their attention to so many things.

“Today’s tech platforms are caught in a race to the bottom of the brain stem to extract human attention. It’s a race we’re all losing.”

Center for Humane Tech

There are many reasons to spend less time with technology. It is supposed to be a tool. A fork is a tool and it doesn’t send you a notification letting you know its time to eat (yet).

People are increasingly aware that they spend too much time using these new tools and there is growing depression and anxiety due to this addiction.

Here are some examples proving there is a market to fight against the overuse of these tools.

  • There is a phone that you pay a premium for just to minimize your screen time.
  • Ironically, there are apps sold to keep you off your phone. This shows that customers paying outright is a valid way to track the success of an app.
  • There are subscription services like UnrollMe which cleans out your inbox and unsubscribes you from unwanted emails.
  • The launch of a browser like Brave shows there is a growing number of people who want to be more considerate of their attention. Brave pays people through their cryptocurrency token, BAT (Basic Attention Coin) and hopes you will use that to pay creators. Their hope is that this replaces display ads.

Knowing that product managers and marketers now have to work within this new era, what do we do to measure and track the value of our product communication efforts?

I have found that grabbing for attention too much in an attempt to engage with customers sometimes results in worse performance across many typical digital metrics. Email opens and clicks, bounces, pageviews, all can be decreased if you overdo your marketing. Alternatively, if you decrease communication, customer interest also falls.

So how can a marketer figure out what kind of communication is appropriate to reach their potential customer? It goes back to the utility. There is a certain amount of attention required for any product to be appreciated and figuring out how much attention is a challenge. Then the second challenge is communicating that value.

We need to think about custom metrics for any given product. Since each product is different, there are creative ways to measure them.

Here are some general suggestions

  1. Measure the length of your most profitable consumer journey
  2. Measure the adoption rate of features by customers
  3. Measure the time it takes doing the same tasks in your process vs their old process
  4. Measure how easily and quickly a user can overcome the learning curve
  5. A/B test experiences for the best time saving
  6. Gauge reaction to new messaging in various forms
  7. Perform different tests such as feature releases in relation to your business metrics such as MRR, ARR, and CLV
  8. Find creative ways to receive feedback in a quantitative and qualitative way

In conclusion, there are many creative ways to straddle how to measure utility and attention. It is more art than science. In the future, there will only be a decrease in your customers’ attention and time as more and more tools are created. How will you address it?

BrandGrow is a marketing strategy and technology company. We help people with their product marketing and how to figure out the best way to communicate with your customers. Get in touch with us today to become your company’s marketing superstar.