Skip to main content

As a leader in the marketing world, Gary’s typically a “first mover” when it comes to the platforms he’s on, marketing strategies he implements, and even the words he uses. Terms like “micro content” and “underpriced attention” might seem daunting at first, but we’re here to help you understand what they mean in the context of your business or career. 

Today, we’re diving deep on another GaryVee term: day trading attention. What does that mean? Well, keep reading and you’ll find out!

The Definition Of “Day Trading Attention

In order to understand what day trading attention is, and how to do it well, we looked at a conversation between Gary and Jason of 11:FS

Jason: One of the metaphors I hear you use is “day trading attention.” Day trading is by definition, always watching, always playing, always looking for that next opportunity. It seems like a very powerful metaphor for always watching and always looking to that edge.

Gary: That’s exactly right. When it comes to day trading attention, I spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out [new and emerging technologies]. Now, we have people going to football matches, going to Coachella, and taking the train because they want to take a picture and put it on Instagram. We are literally doing things to make a point, to paint a public picture. Therefore, I think as a marketer. If people are now going to do more things and have more experiences, isn’t promoting your company at the Rugby World Cup or at Coachella, or at a vineyard in Tuscany, a better idea now than it was four years ago? The answer is yes. Whether it’s digital or whether it’s traditional, when I day trade attention, I don’t focus on the newest app. Instead, I focus on what the hell people are doing.

How Can I Get Started? 

Gary: People have to pay attention. Many people are reading this on their cell phone– it’s important to understand that. It means commercials are overpriced. These are the things I think about when day trading attention, these are the trends I pay attention to. Whether I pay attention to trends like kombucha, or yoga, or sneakers, or Russ the rapper–it’s just culture trading.

My hyper growth of my micro internet fame didn’t happen by accident, I didn’t stumble into it. I  am obsessed with consumer attention. The reason I worry about a lot of digital marketers is because they’re very quantitative and they’re focused on transactional behavior. What I mean by transactional behavior is like landing page optimization, click attribution, top funnel behavior; quant conversion. That’s great if you care about the outcome in six months or in a year.  If you care about six years or a decade that is [is not the only thing to focus on]. 

Pay attention and act.


Is This Concept New?

Gary: My friends, it’s all about your eyes and ears. It’s about where the customers’ attention is. I don’t care about Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram or any of [those platforms]. Things come along in our world: radio, television, the internet. Things come along and they’re for the people. Then marketers, much like myself, notice that people’s attention is there. If you, as a marketer, content creator, whatever, are not there–where the attention is–, if you’re not day trading that attention, if you’re not playing properly within that realm, you’re going to lose.

When people were listening to the radio, marketers realized, people are paying attention to the radio. They thought, hey why don’t I stop what they’re listening to and sell them this beer? They’re baseball fans, let me sell them this beer by telling them we make the best beer ever. Interrupt their game and take their attention. That process, my friends, has gone on for ever and ever. 

You can go back to the prehistoric age and see it. There’s a cave, you use it ’cause you don’t wanna get eaten by a dinosaur. If some dude wants to sell you a new club, he might draw some shit in your cave in order to sell it to you. So while your attention was there, in your cave, staying away from the dinosaurs, you think maybe I need a new club? 

There is always an opportunity to take advantage of the new spaces that create attention. 

Wherever there are people paying attention to something, marketers like myself want to take it and trade it. You know it’s gonna happen

That’s all for now! If you liked this article, or want to learn more about day trading attention, let us know on Twitter

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.