Actual Human Attention – the North Star to Ad Effectiveness
“Totally electrifying” – that’s how advertising effectiveness “godfather” Peter Field refers to her work on consumer attention to advertising. We’ve presented you with highlights of her research before. Now, we couldn’t be more excited to follow Professor Karen Nelson-Field’s new column Attention Revolution dedicated to sharing useful attention insights that move us all towards a positive attention economy.
In her words, clutter and noise are causing significant inattention in our industry and it’s costing advertisers money. Check out our selection of key takeaways from Prof. Nelson-Fields’s latest research essential to marketers:
- Dollars per impression vs. effectiveness per impression. The advertising ecosystem is fragmented, as there is a large gap between the above two. According to Prof. Nelson-Field, our trading currency relies on impression data being an accurate measure of what a human actually sees, but this is far from reality. Relativity across platforms (meaning what a human sees differs between platforms) should be taken into consideration.
- The platform matters. Brand growth hinges on advertising being seen, therefore the shift from impressions to attention is particularly important. If you are overspending on low attention media platforms and underspending on high attention media platforms while your competitors are doing the exact opposite, your brand will not grow. Or worse, it will more likely decline.
- The “viewability to attention gap”: Attention-adjusted net reach. Not all reach is equal and the current proxies that are out there don’t cut it. Advertisers buy against a thousand sets of eyeballs – the so-called reach number. But, actually what we do know is that potentially half of them will not get to see it. So, it should be adjusted down based on this data, then populated back into the systems to recalculate your GRPs and your tops and OTS from there. Prof. Nelson-Field advises starting at the net reach level with an attention-adjusted net rate, then integrating CPMs and adjusting your mix and your budgeting from there.
- Mental availability as a competitive metric. As brands compete for consumer mindshare and memory, advertising plays a critical role in growing mental availability. Low mental availability is typically when a person is aware of a brand but knows nothing about it. Conversely, high mental availability is achieved when a person has both high awareness and knowledge of a brand. The result is an increased likelihood of that brand coming to mind more often during buying occasions.
- Budget size, media channel choice and creative strength: the driving forces of mental availability. New data confirms that attention drives mental availability – both positively and negatively calling for the use of attention metrics to adjust SOV/SOM analysis.
As Prof. Nelson-Field put it, today, the industry is well aware of the negative flow-on effects of clickbait-style engagement metrics that made attribution promises they couldn’t keep. Moreover, advertisers and brands have been devalued by the diminishing attention consumers pay to degraded content.
Novelty Media, via SmartAd, puts the above findings into practice, offering unprecedented engagement and click through average of over 5%! At our SmartAd media channel, the display of ads utilizes lots of brain attention, due to the way and the instance it is delivered. The element of ‘surprise’, driven by the unexpected viewing trigger, magnifies impact. Keep following our Marketing Bites to stay on top of the latest marketing trends, including our exciting contribution to the attention economy.