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Top Ten Takeouts: Attention as a Service

19 Dec 2019 13:41 | Anonymous

Every day we learn more about how our data is being used. From the small-scale, like re-targeting you with an ad for the shoes still sitting in your abandoned cart, to the large-scale-very-fabric-of-our-society like Cambridge Analytica. We’re starting to understand that data is worth something, that it’s built billion-dollar companies, put people in office, and given life to ideas.

We don’t own our data any more though. It’s been centralised and managed by third parties in return for the use of their products and services. Has it been a fair trade though? Attention as a service explores how we might regain autonomy of our data, while also empowering advertisers to target more relevant, trackable, and accountable content.

We explored:

  • What “attention as a service” is and what is might look like
  • How this model could impact both the advertising and tech industries
  • The role of regulation and ethics

With panelists:

The Takeouts

  1. ‘Attention as a service’ is a model where the individual makes their data, time and attention available to an advertiser in exchange for something of monetary value.
  2. The model challenges the way advertisers and brands work by placing data and highly-targeted engagement at the heart of ad campaigns. This requires a shift in how campaigns are executed and reviewed, and at a higher level, about the skillsets required by advertising businesses.
  3. The advertising industry is still focused on frequency, rather than relevance and impact.
  4. Brands are obsessed with vanity metrics. This is starting to change as measurement techniques improve and marketing teams educate themselves about KPIs that deliver actionable insights.
  5. The ad and media industry must make a huge pivot in how it behaves, however consumers pushing against it isn’t enough. Brands buying ads and the media industry need to shift their expectations and values.
  6. The attention model potentially undermines the business models of tech giants like Google and Facebook as it creates data transparency and hands greater control to the individual, thus undermining how big tech does business.
  7. Regulation is too slow to keep pace with the changes that have been and are occurring.
  8. The recent Digital Platforms Inquiry in Australia recommended an enforceable code of practice be developed by the OAIC, in consultation with industry stakeholders, to enable proactive and targeted regulation of digital platforms’ data practices.
  9. As consumers we are only just awakening to the value of our data.
  10. You can affect change by developing your own code of ethics, challenging the algorithm and continuing to have conversations about the value of personal data.


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