Navigating through the attention economy

By Jalaja Ramanunni

Prof. Scott Galloway

Consumers are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of information from social media, news outlets and streaming services. As a result, businesses and content creators are competing for our limited attention spans, which has led to a ‘battle’ for attention. OMG MENA organised its first conference in Saudi Arabia, ‘Battle for Attention’, where speakers emphasised the importance of a thoughtful approach for success in the attention economy.

The Battle for Attention conference focused on topics such as earning, measuring and converting attention into brand and sales lift. It featured prominent speaker Prof. Scott Galloway, who headlined the event.

Attention economy refers to a concept where attention is treated as a valuable resource. The attention economy has also led to concerns about the negative impact of constant information overload and the need for individuals to be able to manage their attention effectively. Prof. Galloway urged companies to consider their responsibilities in monetising consumers’ attention, warning of the negative consequences of increased polarisation, division, and misinformation in society in his keynote. “Like with the climate, we need to take the temperature down on the internet,” he said.  Prof. Galloway added that the metaverse was the biggest tech failure of the last decade, a LinkedIn post by Donna Rice, senior marketing manager, PWC, stated. Meanwhile, Prof. Karen Nelson-Field, who is a leading expert on attention and CEO of amplified intelligence, advised marketers to build strategies around the economic consequences of inattention in their businesses and adopt a more respectful approach. She said: “Think about your creative and how much attention you might need so that you plan and buy the right platform and only the right amount of attention.”

Elda Choucair, CEO of OMG MENA, commented: “16 years ago, Omnicom Media Group MENA created the first industry conference by an agency bringing world-class and global thought leaders to the stage for our partners, clients and staff. Our mission is to inspire progress, elevate standards and future-proof strategies. This year, we’ve gone one step further by decentralising and taking this approach to Riyadh”.