To create a better and more sustainable future, there is a need to develop a “conscious attention economy” that encourages positive behaviors.
The advertising industry is at a crossroads in terms of how brands, agencies and publishers address healthy online and physical spaces, writes Kristofer Doerfler, director of innovation at CMI Media Group, in an article for WARC. Every day, we are learning about the monumental impact media has on the environment and human behavior, and oftentimes, the impact isn’t pretty.
Filter bubbles that limit critical thinking, the rise of media outlets that promote misinformation or hateful content, people’s addiction to likes and shares, and surveillance marketing are all problems of the internet. The implications for marketers have been well documented on WARC (see the WARC Guide to Conscious Media Investment and the WARC report on Data Ethics).
Why it matters
To keep information free, fair and in support of well-being for both people and planet, the industry needs to course-correct to create a more sustainable world, one that helps citizens and communities to flourish. This includes expanding KPIs to understand the difference between driving positive vs. negative attention.
The Conscious Attention Economy Principles were developed by a working group sponsored by Future Capital in collaboration with the United Nations and a diverse community of stakeholders.
Brands, agencies and publishers need to develop regenerative media strategies and practices aligned to scientifically proven standards.
Media and advertising companies should make positive changes with a holistic approach factoring data privacy, DEI efforts, environmentalism, avoiding psychological manipulation, and combatting misinformation together rather than in silos.
Media and advertising companies need to invest in, and support education and action, around The Conscious Attention Economy Principles (which can be downloaded here).
The big idea
Brands need to incorporate a wider range of metrics such as emissions per impression, quality of experience score, DEI support and other impact-driven KPIs that better capture the long-term effects a campaign will have on consumer trust.