The Trinity of Attention: Context, Emotional Response & Distinction
Mercedes Riofrio, global research manager at Seedtag, spoke with Attention Leaders about how attention helps advertisers dig deeper into how users behave, why it’s important to view media and attention together, and the three most important elements of attention.
Why is attention important?
Well, before we dig into attention and the intricacies of attention, we should first talk about media KPIs and the normal media metrics that we have been using for so long - like viewability and the view through rate.
...attention gives us the quality layer overall of not only the potential for an ad to be seen, but how many real eyes you're getting on your advertising.
They’re important because they give us an initial measurement of how a campaign is performing. But then attention gives us the quality layer overall of not only the potential for an ad to be seen, but how many real eyes you're getting on your advertising. So that's where attention measurement comes into play - to dig deeper into how users actually behave in a certain domain, and how it affects the brand performance in the company.
While the traditional metrics are still needed and are still an essential part of the success formula, attention adds these extra layers of quality metrics I think of attention as a quality check because it shifts the focus from counting opportunities for your brand to the ones that hit the mark.
And as attention measurement evolves, it's not just about how many people look at an ad, but what they do afterwards that really matters. It's basically about peeling back the layers to see the real impact of the ad beyond the eyeballs on it, and going from how many people saw it to how many people actually cared, and what did they do afterwards?
Should media and creative attention be viewed together or separately?
I think about them the same way that I think about the traditional media KPIs and attention metrics. That they always have to be working together and in symphony for a good success formula. I think the current state of attention measurement emphasizes the crucial role that attention plays on the effectiveness of creative in the media. But over the past couple of years, we have conducted studies where we have seen that creative efforts don't perform that well if they are placed in a domain that doesn't get enough attention, or that is too cluttered.
...creativity is a success multiplier, but in particular, when it comes to attention metrics, I think that creativity should be always looked at in conjunction with where an ad is placed.
We have long known that in advertising creativity is a success multiplier, but in particular, when it comes to attention metrics, I think that creativity should be always looked at in conjunction with where an ad is placed because that's where the goal lies. Creativity in combination with a successful domain that doesn't have a lot of clutter and not a lot of competition for the eyeballs.
What is your advice for companies that are just starting out or are worried that they aren't as far ahead on attention metrics as their competitors?
It really revolves around three key elements. And these key elements being the context, so relevance really matters; emotional response because it's all about what they do after they are impacted, that matters as well; and distinction.
With all the advertising clutter and everything that is vying for our attention daily, you really want to stand out and break through the clutter. Firstly, I think it's crucial to recognize that attention is not just about reaching the right person at the right time, but also about being in the right place.
So, the quality of the media where you're serving your ads really matters. And I think for too long, we have really been focused on doing cookie-based targeting. We have seen that from measuring with different attention partners for the last couple of years, and seeing how this translates into brand results and improve brand outcomes for our clients and agencies that integrate immediately media seamlessly into a quality environment creates a substantial positive halo effect.
...improve brand outcomes for our clients and agencies that integrate media seamlessly into a quality environment creates a substantial positive halo effect.
I think these emphasize the importance of measuring attention and including it as part of our media mix and what you consider when planning your campaigns. And, moreover, I would encourage leaders to view attention as a dynamic metric that bridges the gap between short- and long-term performance.
In today's landscape distinction between brand building and brand performance is diminishing. Attention gets us to one a step closer to understanding how effectively we're breaking through the clutter. And if you focus more on advanced techniques like combining attention with facial coding techniques or with brand uplift and connecting those insights altogether, you can see how these metrics act as a catalyst that seamlessly connect all these realms in advertising.
The more information we've got, the better decisions we can make in media. So, I definitely encourage leaders to include attention metrics within their media planning.