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5 tips for measuring consumer attention in advertising

30-second summary:

  • With review and consumer attention in mind, you can examine performance indicators that reflect how your ads are driving real business results
  • Use regional and industry benchmarks to see how successful your campaigns are, and measure success over time against your own benchmarks
  • Track every impression across a variety of channels and use a range of metrics to determine how users interact with your ads
  • How you report on success and progress depends on which side of the business you are on
  • A key part of effective measurement is choosing the metrics that matter to your marketing and business goals
  • There are a few attention metrics that are at the core of any measurement strategy. Once you understand these core attention metrics, you will be better equipped to measure advanced metrics.

It has been said that the attention span of consumers is decreasing, but the reality is incredibly difficult to prove this statement with any legitimacy. A widely cited Microsoft study from 2015 found that goldfish had longer attention spans than humans, but this was later disproved.

What we do know is that there are more devices, channels, platforms, publishers, and content than ever before.

While the attention span may not decrease, they are certainly in great demand. This means that it becomes even more important for marketers to understand which formats and channels drive their brands’ success.

In the world of digital advertising, there is a huge focus on verification metrics like visibility and brand safety. However, if you look beyond the review into consumer attention, you can examine performance indicators that reflect how your ads are affecting actual business results.

Understanding whether people are paying attention to ads, how they are interacting with them, and what action they are taking, if any, is the best way to achieve repeated online success.

The question is, when you measure consumer attention, where do you start? The following five steps can take your ad measurement strategy to the next level by going beyond reviewing and measuring attention signals.

1) Measure against benchmarks

Use regional and industry benchmarks to see how successful your campaigns are, and measure success over time against your own benchmarks.

This gives you a full understanding of advertising performance and allows you to track its progress over time. This translates into a nuanced understanding of your campaigns and the best areas for higher investment.

2) Don’t rely on a single metric to determine success

In the real world, a combination of metrics is required to truly measure consumer attention as it provides a holistic view of performance.

Track every impression from every channel you have available and use a variety of metrics to determine how users interact with your ads.

3) Find the metrics that matter to you

A key part of effective measurement is choosing the metrics that matter to your marketing and business goals. These will change depending on the business and specific campaigns you’re running. Therefore, it is important to understand all of the metrics and performance signals that are available to you.

4) Use measurement outputs to tell compelling stories to clients and clients

How you report on success and progress depends on which side of the business you are on.

Attention metrics for publishers can help you demonstrate the value of your media inventory and the quality of your audience.

Agency marketers can build customer trust by delivering more granular campaign results with deep insights into how people are engaging with ads, which ads are performing best, and why.

In the meantime, brand-side marketers will understand how the campaigns your agency or internal teams run are detailed.

5) Understand key attention metrics – and how to apply them across formats

While you need to find the metrics that matter to you, there are a few attention metrics that are at the core of any measurement strategy. Once you understand these core attention metrics, you will be better equipped to measure advanced metrics.

  • Dwell time for active pages: This metric tracks the average time spent on content on the Foreground tab of the web browser – the most reputable way of measuring time spent on content. Active page dwell time is used for desktop displays, mobile devices, and branded content.
  • In-view time: This is a basic attention metric that measures the average time users spend on an ad once 50 percent of the pixels have been visible for at least one uninterrupted second. It is mainly used on mobile and desktop displays.
  • % Video played in-view: For video, we need to assess the quality of the video ad exposures, including a mix of picture, sound, and motion signals. This metric is one of the more powerful indicators of attention paid to video ads. It measures the percentage of videos users watched while viewing the ad.

And these are just a few of the attention metrics available to marketers.

Want to get an even deeper understanding of all of the attention metrics available to measure, get industry benchmarks, and learn how to apply them in a variety of formats – including mobile, ad, and branded content? Download our step-by-step guide to “Measuring Customer Awareness”.

In the busy world of media, consumer attention is a priority. Between the proliferation of devices, the abundance of channels, and the tidal wave of content, it is difficult for marketers to reach real people, get their attention, and more importantly, keep them.

Janelle De Rivera is Director of Product Management for Moat Analytics at Oracle Data Cloud. Moat makes branding more effective by allowing advertisers and publishers to measure and optimize media based on visibility and awareness, brand safety, invalid traffic, and quality. Prior to Moat, Janelle held product positions at Movable Ink, Cheetah Digital and Experian. Her product experience has focused on developing and deploying solutions that companies can use to drive their marketing initiatives.

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