Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Attention process

In previous posts about the attention economy and web analytics, we've set the table by describing what is, and what is not Attention. Let's now look at the Attention process itself.

The simple process shown above, taken from Davenport's book on Attention Economy, summarize wonderfully what we do, consciously, or not, hundreds of times a day. From simple activities such as finding something to eat to complex decisions such as changing job, they can all be summarized in those simple three steps.

Here, we want to look at "attention" as it relates to web analytics.


We can clearly relate to marketing, in all its pride and glory. Be it the more traditional advertising or the use of new social media such as blogs and podcasts, we don't only want to be visible, we want to be notified. Think about the marketers role as it relates to improving the level of awareness.


We want people to narrow their mind on us. Except they don't spend their precious cognitive energy and limited available time without expecting nothing in return. They do it because they are looking to satisfy "something": being entertained, reading about the latest news, buying music or a car, planning a vacation or their next career move, the possibilities are infinite. As a strategist, we want to understand the visitor goals and, as Jim Novo judiciously say, set tripwires to help them do what they want (or better said, make them do what we want!). Here, those tripwires are really good candidates to become your KPI.


Assuming we actually want to satisfy their need, the ultimate goal is to have them engage with us. That is, we want a positive outcome. As a business manager, this is what we want to measure and understand, so we can take quick decisions to achieve incremental improvements, or go back to the strategy drawing board and think about something else.

Web Analyst's role

As you might have guessed already, the web analysts role is to transform various sources of "data" into valuable "information". Here there's a clear distinction to make between the "information", such as the one presented by web analytics solutions, and the web analyst role to transform it into "knowledge" than can be understood and communicated appropriately. Then we can rely on the wisdom of the marketer, strategist and business managers to take the best possible decisions.
* Image from Bellinger, Castro, Mills.
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