Stop Loss: The Power of Attention Messaging (Part 5)


The core idea of Attention Messaging is simple. Pay for attention. Pay existing customers for their attention, rather than pay many times more to the tech giants for the same attention.

To get attention, marketers need two starting points: a customer’s digital identity, and push messages. The first touch with a customer must be used to ask the customer for an email address or a mobile number. Even for brands who sell via marketplaces, an effort must be done to offer something which persuades a customer to share the basic information necessary to create a direct relationship. In fact, every product sold where the brand is not inviting the customer to engage directly with the brand is a missed opportunity.

Push messages are critical for getting the customer back to the brand’s own property (website or app). Even if brands sell their products through intermediaries, a mobile-friendly website is a must in today’s digital-first world. Creating their own subscription lists of mobile numbers and email addresses (ideally both) helps brands drive repeat business – and perhaps more profitable direct business, since marketplaces will naturally squeeze out as much profit as they can from brands dependent on them.

Unless one is a monopoly like CoWIN or has instant brand recall the way Amazon and Flipkart have, brands need push messages to get customers back to their digital properties for transactions. A mobile number enables an SMS, push notification, or WhatsApp to be sent, while an email address allows for an email to be delivered to the inbox. This is where the challenge comes in. Most customers ignore the bulk of the incoming messages. This is the “attention recession” problem.

What marketers have been missing is an easy way to reward inbox attention. This is the problem Netcore solves with its attention currency, Mu. This is what smart marketers need to adopt to counter attention recession, delight their customers and convert the 1-off transactions to a continuing relationship with greater engagement and higher repeat revenues.

Mu lets brands pay their customers for attention – in a fun way. Just as many brands reward customers with points for transactions, Mu lets brands incentivise customers for specific actions at the top of the funnel. With attention, there is no action; without action, there is no transaction. These actions could include opening a message, clicking through to a website or app, providing preferences for greater personalisation, referring friends and family, and providing feedback. Mu is a micro-currency for small actions that together can have a big impact on the brand-customer relationship by encouraging existing customers to cut through the clutter and break the cycle of attention recession. Incentives always work – no one knows this better than smart marketers. Mu is a way to move the incentives up in the funnel in a world awash with message overload. Persistent attention in the inbox is the prize for building a habit of opening and not ignoring messages – the way we always open messages from friends.

This problem has never been solved because inbox control has been fragmented. Netcore solves the problem at two levels: Mu, the attention currency, and a new inbox (“micronbox”) for Mu messages (“microns”). For too long, customers have had to divide their attention in their inboxes between personal and brand messages. Micronbox is the answer for both brands and attentive customers – a single place to find all the brand messages, with small rewards in each message to ensure they are never ignored.

The Microns-Mu-Micronbox triad is the way smart marketers can break the spending spiral of new acquisition by making attention the centre of marketing – as it once was.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.