Marketers need to pay attention to attention


Attention can act like grocery unit pricing and provide a missing ‘relative quality’ layer in media planning, says Professor Karen Nelson-Field, so helping advertisers to understand performance of different platforms using a common metric of value.

Why it matters

Writing for WARC, Professor Nelson-Field explains that attention metrics tell a different story from reach and frequency.

  • Attention and ad decay are related: the more Active Attention Seconds paid to an ad, the longer the brand stays in memory.
  • Two seconds of attention is not enough. You have to look at something to process it, but processing what you are looking at takes time.
  • View duration is a poor proxy for attention and can as easily capture consumer distraction as it can capture attention.

Key quote

“Noise is causing significant in-attention to advertising and it is costing marketers billions of dollars each year in wasted resources … in-attention to advertising is killing our industry.”

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