The Importance of Paying Attention


The late, great comedian Robin Williams once said, “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” 

Early in his career, Robin Williams practiced as a mime in Central Park. He did so to fine-tune his audience perception skills by saying nothing and allowing the world around him to teach and guide his art. Williams was able to master this practice by saying less and observing more. In fact, throughout his career, Robin Williams would credit his ability of connecting humor to everyday life because of his “miming in the park” training.

The practice of paying attention to get more attention is often a forgotten lesson in marketing and communications. When we are asked, “what do you do at Metric Centric” we succinctly respond by saying that “we’re analysts of consumer attention.”

In other words, our objective is to study people’s attention towards brands, products, services, issues, industry topics and growing trends. With that focus in place, we can analyze those observations for sentiment, tone and disposition. The insights gained enable us to recommend messaging programs, benchmark competitors and suggest marketplace strategies that could help to mitigate risks.

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for how a business or organization could implement programs that pay attention to the needs of consumers, constituents or any audience at large. However, we believe that voice of the consumer (VoC) analysis can empower organizations to pay attention more effectively.

As we enter the second quarter of 2021, our team reflected on some recent client experiences. During Q1, the Metric Centric Team enjoyed working on new opportunities and prospects, such as:

  • informing national ski resorts about skier and snowboarder sentiment towards certain destinations based on visits and experiences this winter season.
  • working closely with the campaign team of a political candidate running for Governor in the State of Virginia.
  • assisting two energy companies to comprehend current audience perceptions towards energy transition services and renewable sources.
  • supporting a global advocacy group with their efforts to recruit solution voters interested in land and ocean conservation matters.
  • enabling an industrial coatings company to recognize how their products are perceived across medical and automotive industry sectors.

When we examined these recent engagements, one common theme arose – each client acknowledged that they needed to pay more attention to the needs and interests of their target audiences.

When planning forward with your own business and communications strategies, consider reflecting on how your organization pays close attention to the needs and preferences of direct consumers or target audiences. If you discover that your organization tends to prioritize getting attention more than paying attention – let’s connect to discuss how social listening and conversational analytic programs can help.

If you’re intrigued with the importance of paying attention, a recent TED Talk by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt may encourage you to explore the benefits further. Enjoy!