How can attention be measured? | Articles

Attention is a booming concept within the advertising industry. This article explains more about what exactly "attention" means.

There are two major ways to measure attention: camera-based attention and advanced viewability.

1. Camera-based attention

Camera-based attention is based on studies with panels of consumers where their eye movements are measured, facial expressions are observed....

An advantage of this is that consumers' effective eye movements are measured, so you don't need approximations. This also allows you to better understand consumers' subconscious behaviors. In addition, this can also lead to interesting learnings regarding creative.

The big disadvantage of this, is that this data is not available in real-time and the data that is available is also more difficult to translate into media metrics. Finally, the method or panel size may differ from provider to provider, making it more difficult to compare. To start generalizing or quantifying this data to, say, "attentive" CPM, one must work with assumptions that again leave room for interpretation.

Examples of providers include Lumen, Amplified Intelligence, Playground XYZ....
Some players such as Teads or GumGum will actively use these partners from 2023 for campaigns that will run through their platform. For example, GumGum is partnering with Playground XYZ, which will allow us to not only measure attention for campaigns that would run through GumGum, but also optimize the campaigns accordingly.
Meta is also experimenting with this technology. The VR glasses deployed to enter the Metaverse will likely also be used to track users' eye movements, and that will undoubtedly make its impact on ads as well.

2. Advanced viewability

Given that camera-based attention data is not obtainable in real time and can also be costly studies, people are also trying to approach attention with media metrics.

These proxies can be very variable: player size, time on screen, audibility, video view rate... These too can be translated into "attentive CPM" in this way.
The advantage of this, is that many of these metrics are already automatically available in the advertising platforms and can therefore also be easily compared across platforms.
The obvious disadvantage of this is that there is still a lot of room for interpretation for how much attention has effectively taken place. Chasing pure view time as the primary measure of ad effectiveness is definitely not advisable. Therefore, use these approximate metrics in combination with other metrics and with a necessary critical eye.

Publishers and sales houses are coming up with their own approaches for this. For example, the "Estimated ad recall" exists on Meta, which extrapolates through studies by Meta on the relationship of interaction on ads and recall of certain ads, estimating whether a user would remember your ad. Another example is Ads & Data Brand Studio, which created the KPI "Quality read" for native campaigns. Advertisers who choose the "Quality Read" pay only per reader who reads the story for at least 15 seconds and has read 100% of the page, or leaves the site again via a click on the call-to-action button.

Which way of attention measurement is the best way?

Each has its pros and cons, but there is no one best way to measure attention. Above all, a marketer must be aware of these advantages and disadvantages and also value the KPI in this way.

publication auteur Janne Beke
Janne Beke

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