Why your model should focus on earning attention

Why your model should focus on earning attention

Over the years our agency has evolved to embrace the trends in digital and exploit the creative potential of each new era. At Tommy, our model focuses purely on earning your attention. No matter where you are across the content eco-system, we focus on the most scarce resource of all: time.

And how we get some of it.

How many times have you started a new book, a new audiobook, a new podcast, a new show, only to abandon it because the next great book, audiobook, podcast, show just dropped? How many box sets would pick up on episode five if you hit ‘resume’? Our attention is being stretched thin. We can’t look at all of the things, all of the time.

While this is not a new phenomenon, it is something we are increasingly comfortable with. It has become the new norm and we’re, well, kinda ok with it. What’s more, we’re raising the next generation whose attention is infinitely more fickle than our own. And we’re ok with that too.

Gone are the days of watching live programmed content over a fixed number of channels. Gone is the reliance on others to decide what content we absorb and when. And with that, gone is the idea of a captive audience, with whom we, as marketeers, might try to engage.

In their place comes choice. Choice of content and choice of time. The ability to consume what you want, when you want it has never been greater. Yet with that near unlimited choice comes the need to curate. Sacrifices must be made. Content that doesn’t pull its weight will fall by the wayside. Content that doesn’t offer value back to the viewer will naturally be passed over in favour of those that resonate and empathise. It’s survival of the fittest. We can no longer control what people see.


How do we offer value? How do we quantify value? We are all consumers, we are all creators: from the YouTuber who simultaneously delivers comedy, gaming, current affairs, social awareness and a strong sense of positive activism to your teenage child, to the hive mind that is the whole class performing together individually on Tik Tok; from the family group WhatsApp that enables three generations to communicate on the same level, to your Instagram feed allowing your parents to see their grandchildren more than just on the holidays.

Value is what we choose it to be, because that choice is ours now. We don’t have to wait for the ads to finish, we skip them. If someone is not adding value to our life, we unfollow. We curate our perfect daily feed of content and if something doesn’t make the cut, it gets cut. Survival of the fittest.

So somehow, we have to find a place in that feed. We have to find what value means and it changes every time. Somewhere in that always-on assault on the senses, we need to be relevant and memorable in people’s lives.

We’re firm believers that you must earn, rather than grab attention. You earn it by delivering value when people look. If you earn it once, you’ll get it again. Have we done enough? Have we earned the right to have those few precious seconds?

Do we deserve your attention? It’s what we ask ourselves every day.

Ask yourself the same question, and be brutally honest. If the answer is no, then let’s stop, rethink, and start again.