The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads | Tim Wu

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2018: Book #6

This evening I finished book #6 for 2018…

“The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads” by Tim Wu.

Interesting. Intriguing.

Quick bits that I learned:

  • The history of snake oil. There really was a guy who sold snake oil. He failed, but went on to do advertising. *Insert joke here.
  • FDR and Hitler both used radio. Thankfully, FDR was effective. Sadly, so was Hitler.
  • The “I Love Lucy” TV show garnered a massive 70 share when it debuted. It kept that share for a full quarter!  It’s never been matched.
  • As recently as 2016, the Internet is still confusing advertisers and buyers.

What I learned that helps me as a leader:

  • I was reminded that Christian radio is in the attention merchant business. We want to create an experience that makes the listener come back and listen over and over.  We must increase the opportunity to have those experiences.
  • The customer is not an idiot. She is your wife.” He spends a good bit of ink on that. It isn’t about the programmer or the artist. It’s about her. What does she want to hear? What does she want to feel? Ask your wife. You’ll be ahead of the competition.
  • The internet is still maturing. As a matter of fact, it’s a staggering toddler, if anything!  We’re all struggling to use it to capture her attention. She’s still learning what she likes about it. She’s worried if it’s safe. Keep testing things. Keep experimenting with the web. Mature with it.
  • Use every available platform to capture her attention. Don’t ignore any possible opportunity to encourage her and make her a raving fan.

Wu’s book is a good read. I recommend it to anyone in Christian radio…heck, to anyone in media!

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book #6 is done…46 more to go.

Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.
#52in2018

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