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    Cutting Through the Noise: The Attention Economy (Part I)

    What could be as valuable as gold and equally rare in today’s digital economy, amidst a pandemic-stricken world? It is attention. Following up on our previous publications on the subject, we can safely say that the attention economy has undergone a huge disruption. With attention constantly depleting, the battle for properly measuring and winning it back is as harsh as ever. 

    Karen Nelson-Field, PhD, a world-renowned researcher in media science and book author, has recently revealed some key findings from her studies on the metrics of attention that we could refer to as… well, simply mind-blowing.

    Intrigued? Let us give you a sneak peek into what we highlighted as key takeaways:

    • Attention – a universal baseline for ROI: Attention inherently reflects differences across platforms, yet it seems that most marketers have the wrong notion of human attention to advertising. In reality, it is constantly switching in and out. What is important though is the clear distinction between active attention (“eyes on ad“), passive attention (“eyes on the screen but not on the ad”) and no attention. 
    • No attention = zero chance the ad will work.  No specific platform or part of the funnel could make a difference in this case. Research findings reveal that whatever part of the funnel you use, it won’t have any effect on business outcomes if no attention is paid. 
    • Active attention has the strongest relationship with sales uplift. According to the research, high, sustained, undivided attention is not typical of how humans interact with advertising – and marketers need to accept this and adapt accordingly. Active attention, i.e. all eyes on an ad, is by far the best type of attention.
    • Mere presence of branding at attention peaks increases the chance of buying. The research reveals that most ads are not branded well. Even with attention, if the brand is missing, we fill in the blanks, and attention is wasted. Having the brand front and centre is the way to make an impact at even five or six seconds of ad duration.

    As disturbing as it sounds, marketers have been underestimating the specifics of attention measurement. Keep in mind the importance of attention to regulate the media marketplace and the key takeaways from the above stellar research – and stay tuned for even more exciting highlights in Part II of our publication.