The Intention Economy
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (1884)
The Cluetrain Manifesto, and is blogging from O'Reilly's eTech conference in San Diego this week.
Once again, I have a mole on the ground -- and this just as I myself get ready to launch headlong into a weekend of feeding my brain at SXSW Interactive in Austin (I spoke on a panel at SXSW way back in 2000 -- just before the bubble burst but while there was still plenty o' dot com fun to be had...and was so impressed with Austin that I decided to up and move here!)
Anyhow, from the wilds of eTech 2006, Searls writes his own invigorating post about what he calls the "intention economy," which I thought bore referring to here because of its implications.
While many have recently suggested that we're rapidly entering into an "attention economy," one where more and more purveyors -- media, blogs, podcasts, marketers, etc. -- are striving for less and less attention, Searls suggests its much more about "intention."
His premise is simple, but profound: We must begin to view economies, and markets, from the inside out. That is to say, from the single buyer toward the surrounding world of sellers. And we must start constructing technical solutions to the buyer's problem of getting what he or she wants from markets, rather than the seller's problem of getting buyers' attention.
As a marketer, if you follow what Google, Sina, and others have done with search marketing and advertising, you realize the power of this model which flips a more traditional approach on its head. The primary intent of the marketer in this intention-centric world increasingly becomes to intercept the buyer at the moment that he or she has the intent to survey the cyberlandscape for information about a product or service. This, rather than casting out a wide, non-
In other words, have your customer acquisition dollars work smarter, not harder.
It is the power of the Internet -- and the "return trip" that interactive engagement enables (as opposed to the unidirectional one-to-many approach of traditional marketing and advertising) -- that makes this approach possible.