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By Leah Montebello
The Challenge of Attention report: Ebiquity brings attention economics into advertising.
What is interesting about an attention economy is how it will influence media buyers… not only will it help justify budgets within brands, but it will also start giving more meaningful metrics to emotional responses to campaigns.
Last week, Ebiquity, leaders in media investment analysis, presented their recently published research report, The Challenge of Attention.
The webinar was hosted by Martin Vinter, Managing Director, Media at Ebiquity, and included speakers from Lumen, Vodafone, Amplifi UK and The Barber Shop
Partnering with Lumen Research and TVision, the report delves into the nuances of the attention economy and ultimately how brands can use it to make their marketing analytics more actionable.
The report itself fuses Ebiquity’s cost data, Lumen’s research on attention to digital ads and TVision’s data on attention to TV to form a new metric for marketers.
This new metric can better quantify attention span and draws comparisons of attention on TV and digital media by calculating the attentive seconds per thousand impressions (aCPM), and has the potential to influence creative choices, budget allocation, platform selection and trading approaches.
The report is made up of head and eye tracking data sets. The first is TVision, who measured the attention of 5000 households, focusing largely on movements from cameras installed on TV screens. The second is from Lumen Research, who used a panel of 1000 to capture eye-tracking data from webcams. This looked at viewable ads and whether those ads were actually viewed according to eye movements of the participants.
Bringing this together in a funnel, Ebiquity takes what people could see, what is technically viewable, the attention itself, and the dwell time (how long people look actually at the ad for). These measurements are then multiplied together at the end of the funnel to quantify attention and the efficacy of adverts, ultimately producing a aCPM figure.
The metric bridges the traditionally wide gap between TV and digital and allows the two mediums to be compared. For instance, the data allows Ebiquity to predict that if you were to buy a thousand 30 second TV ad impressions, 43% of them would be viewed, but only be viewed for around 14 seconds each. Additionally, the average eyes-on dwell time for a 15 second unskippable Youtube ad is 4.9 seconds.
Ebiquity combines both of these findings with cost data to produce a more realistic model of measuring campaign effectiveness, and has already been rolled out for brands. As Vanisha Vaghela, Media Manager at Vodafone, explained during the webinar, Vodafone have also been working closely with Lumen data to help drive impact in their digital marketing campaigns.
She discusses how attention metrics provide “more bang for our buck” and optimise impact. Indeed, whilst MMM (Marketing mix modelling) and brand equity analysis may be good from a macro perspective, attention analysis can play a wider role in planning, buying and the optimisation of creative work.
A similar sentiment is echoed by Martin Radford, Director at Ebiquity, who said, “This topic [attention economy] can now help with the buying and the planning… it allows for cross platform comparison”.
Therefore whilst the conversations around attention data are not necessarily new, Ebiquity’s report helps explain the true value much more effectively.
Buy cheap, buy twice
A key takeaway from the report in terms of the different attention strategies for brands is that the cheapest cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is not always the best option. As outlined in the report, ‘while more attention is almost always a good thing for advertisers, all attention is worth something, and what it is worth depends on what you are trying to achieve’.
In essence, the allocation of budget depends on how much time you need people to engage with your ad for (some ads are punchier and the message can be understood quickly, whilst others need a more prominent dwell time). This makes knowing what you’re trying to communicate absolutely crucial.
As Katie Hartley, Product Director at Amplifi UK, explained during the panel discussion, “I see the application of attention as building up a knowledge of the benchmarking”. Attention may be difficult to price and ultimately the attention span needed for campaigns varies from project to project and brand to brand, suggesting a “spectrum of requirements”.
Therefore, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and a bespoke solution is needed for a bespoke experience. Nonetheless, what is important at this stage is that the industry is moving in that direction…
The future of attention
What is interesting about an attention economy is how it will influence media buyers. As Vaghela points out, not only will it help justify budgets within brands, but it will also start giving more meaningful metrics to emotional responses to campaigns.
Similarly, Mike Follett, Managing Director at Lumen Research, calls attention data a “buy-side technology, which allows buyers to put money in the right place”. Crucially, it can bring a level of accountability for agencies and ultimately mean that the likes of Ebiquity and Lumen are able to help brands invest their money in the right places.
The webinar was hosted by Martin Vinter and speakers included Mike Follett, Martin Radford, Vanisha Vaghela, Katie Hartley and Dino Myers-Lamptey.
You can download the report here.