Creative Attention Even More Important in a Post-ATT World
VidMob Founder and CEO Alex Collmer is a strong advocate for the importance of creative attention measurement. He discussed how a post-ATT world only enhances creative measurement, why the ad world has missed out by focusing primarily on media attention, and how agencies can reap big benefits if they get on the bandwagon quickly.
Why is attention so important?
I mean, I think any of us who live and operate and see other people living and operating in the world. It's fairly clear to say that everyone is bombarded with signals from 12 different directions at any point in time. So whether you're watching TV and at the same time on your phone or browsing through something while also doing something else, figuring out how to quantify whether something is getting the attention it needs is incredibly important for markers.
In a lot of ways, attention is the new viewability. And if you're not adequately capturing it, you're probably overspending or spending ineffectively.
|Attention is the new viewability. And if you're not adequately capturing it, you're probably overspending or spending ineffectively.|
Attention has become a huge topic at industry events in the media. Why, specifically, is it at the top of everyone's list of things to address?
Part of it is a shift in viewing habits. To some extent, attention is kind of easier to monitor in a digital social environment. There are pretty direct metrics that aren't necessarily attention oriented to get you to the finish line there.
But as we move toward CTV and some of the emerging formats with more scale, the signal gets a little blurrier and being able to adequately measure attention becomes increasingly important.
Obviously, there's media attention – which measures the platforms that creative runs on - and then there’s creative attention. Whether the ad itself, in a vacuum, is created to capture people's attention. Do you feel it's important to look at those together or separately?
Our viewpoint is that the whole industry has been almost exclusively focused on media metrics. And yeah, that's great. But I think it's partially because those are easier to quantify. At the same time, you have folks like Google out there saying that creative is responsible for 50%-70% of results. That creative is the dominant driver of results.
And so the fact that, as an industry, we've essentially ignored it is borderline insane. And so, we're getting to a point where we can be able to sort of quantify and measure not just creative attention but creative effectiveness and start to understand not whether A is better than B, but why? Why is A better than B? What are the creative decisions that I've made that are actually leading to a better result?
|we're getting to a point where we can be able to sort of quantify and measure not just creative attention but creative effectiveness|
How are agencies and, ultimately, clients responded to the idea that creative measurement is possible and valuable?
It's been a bit of a process in our experience. We spent several years just essentially arguing that creative mattered. And I think if you look back three or four years ago, there was this sense, especially in the performance marketing world, that it really didn't matter what creative you made, the algorithm was gonna find the audience. So, the feeling went, you could just throw anything out there, and it'll work.
For quote-unquote sophisticated marketers, like the leading game makers, it was just whoever could throw the most garbage out there the fastest and let the algorithm sort through that.
That world's definitely over post-ATT. Yesterday, I saw that Playtika has suspended all user acquisition until they feel like they've gotten a better signal, and so like there, there's no clearer signal there that era is over. Now, when we talk to clients, there's no debate that creative is important. They recognize that.
Yeah, it's essentially a seesaw, and as you lose the ability to drive effectiveness through media, it kind of that creative must work harder to make up for that.
Terry Kawaja, during his wonderful talk at the 4As a few weeks ago, shared this slide where he started with a zoomed-in iceberg to show the industry's focus. It's been totally focused on what was above the surface, and that was kind of media efficiency. And they zoomed out, and you see the 95% of the iceberg under the water is all creative effectiveness. We work deeply with L'Oreal and the NFL, and a number of large marketers, and they're all in on creative effectiveness.
|the creative world is essentially an untapped market where you can drive 100%-200%+ increases in KPIs|
I think the agencies are slower to move there. They have established processes, and most of their investment has been in media efficiency and that world.
But yeah, they're kind of getting pulled there because brands are not ambiguous in the fact that they see that there's little left to be had on the media side. By picking over it as an industry for a decade, maybe you can get an extra point or two in results. But the creative world is essentially an untapped market where you can drive 100%-200%+ increases in KPIs because it's such a Blue Sky territory.
What's the advice for companies looking to get up to speed on attention measurement?
The first thing I would say is that this is an area of opportunity and, frankly, new revenue streams for agencies. The initial response [from agencies] is always: this is going to be competitive... [it will] compete with our existing way of business, and I don't think that's the case.
We're already starting to drive partnerships with agencies both sort of lean in and where their people are learning how to use software like ours to be able to do that sort of creative assessment to measure and report on creative effectiveness and go back to brands with the insights they need to drive more effective creative. And they're seeing their clients are willing to pay for that because it drives such outsized, measurable results.
If you look at baseline creative performance over the last year and then make new creative based on these insights, and that performs 80% better on a $100 million spend, you've created $80 million out of nowhere, and that's value that's measurable, and justifies a fee.
This process can be learned relatively easily. And the same way they've built incredible practices on top of Adobe Creative, cloud software, or other software, this is the next area of opportunity. The ones who lean in the most are going to build practices around this new service area.