The race to the bottom
When anyone has the ability to announce breaking news, urgent updates, RIGHT NOW, steal attention and emergencies, then sooner or later, many will do just that.
Attention is scarce, scarcer than ever, and we’ve given everyone a machine that can steal attention, and a keyboard that can be used to steal even more.
The race for cheap, unearned attention is a race that can’t be won. As soon as someone gains the lead, someone else will lower their standards and take a shortcut to get even more. The players have already surrendered their self-esteem, so it’s simply an escalating hijack of trust. And so we have dark patterns, once-respected media outlets with shameless headlines and an entire industry based on clickbait, come-ons and trickery.
It’s pretty clear that there’s an alternative. A chance to work toward the top instead. To deliver anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who want to get them. The opportunity to create remarkable products and services for a focused audience, stuff so good that people want to talk about it.
This is marketing. To choose to race to the top and then to do it well.