Attention Needs Standardization for Its Next Great Leap
In a lengthy advertising career, Gian LaVecchia, Managing Director, Americas at DoubleVerify, has seen the industry go through many changes. But he’s very bullish about the industry’s future, thanks to the rise of attention measurement. He discussed how the depreciation of third-party cookies sets up attention for its big moment, why now is the time to reconnect creative and media measurement, and the importance of creating industry standards around attention.
Why is attention so important?
I don't think attention is new at this point in time. It's a concept that's been around since the dawn of advertising. You're seeing heightened interest and focus on it in 2023 and beyond because of the continuing regulations happening in our space, obviously with GDPR and, a couple of years later, CCPA.
We've seen tight regulations emerge in the digital ecosystem that has created some challenges for marketers that, combined with the looming deprecation of third-party cookies, have created an environment where marketers realize they need to identify privacy-safe signals that can still help dimensionalize the overall performance of creative and media.
That's why marketers are so excited about the future of attention. It's designed to help you understand the overall resonance of that creative experience and know that the dollars you're putting in market are moving the needle for you as a business and driving outcomes for the bottom line as well.
|It's designed to help you understand the overall resonance of that creative experience and know that the dollars you're putting in market are moving the needle for you as a business and driving outcomes for the bottom line.|
You talked about various regulations being a reason why it's being discussed more. Also, there are a lot of industry events that talk about moving attention from the research lab to practical applications. Is it also that the technologies are catching up to demonstrate that is it something that advertisers need to have in their arsenal in live campaigns in 2023?
Absolutely. There's still a reliance on and an addiction to third-party cookies. I think Google's decision to continue to delay the deprecation of cookies has created a little bit of a pause. But I think you're seeing the marketing community step forward in a way I've never seen before.
Recognizing that they will ultimately be the drivers of momentum here and committing to wrapping their heads around the role that attention can play in their medium. It's an intersection of science and insights. And those two things can help improve media distribution, the measurement of that media and the overall impact and resonance of those experiences.
So you talk a lot about creative and the media environments in which advertising runs. Should they be viewed in tandem or separately? What is the interplay between creative attention and media attention?
Great question. So for a little bit of background, I had spent much of the early part of my career in agency environments, working with brands to really bring together the worlds of media and creative, which, for whatever reason, began to separate in the late aughts. I believe attention is a macro signal affecting media and creative strategy. Imagine a world where you can start to isolate the relative impact of a media strategy through the site and placement within that particular page, ad size, video player size, etc. What happens if you take those insights and then you overlay creative insights?
|I believe attention is a macro signal affecting media and creative strategy. Imagine a world where you can start to isolate the relative impact of a media strategy through the site and placement within that particular page, ad size, video player size, etc.|
You can start to understand and decide on the optimal design of that creative experience. Is a call to action, imagery, background, color, etc., driving the greatest resonance? Media and creative were designed to work together, and attention is one of those unique signals that brings them together in a way that can illuminate massive, powerful, and compelling insights for marketers.
Great! Anything else you want to add?
There are many things I'm excited about as I look towards the year ahead, but I'm probably most bullish on the attention space. This is an area that I have personally been invested in since 2012, and it is fascinating to see the development and the level of sophistication that is emerging from a technology perspective.
Now, we just need to start making some real traction against the drivers that will ultimately get us to where we need to be, which is establishing industry standards. One of the challenges is that there's no standard way to define attention. It means different things to different people.
What we've been doing a DoubleVerify is aiming to crystallize the highest quality media inventory out there through the lens of brand safety, viewability, fraud mitigation, and ensuring those ads are in geo; starting with that as your baseline, you start to overlay these attention signals again. You're getting a powerful and profound look at what's driving the ultimate KPI of success. That attention is emerging as one of those compelling signals that markers are finally starting to embrace it.