Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Attention Efficient – How to Achieve an Ecology of Attention

By Caroline Hugonenc, SVP, Research and Insights at Teads

These days, better standards are expected of the digital advertising industry. Just as manufacturers have had to adjust their businesses to become more sustainable, ad tech has had to remove itself from third-party cookies, or face obsoletion. But in the same way that bringing in green policies can build brand loyalty and eliminate waste, the cookieless era presents similar opportunities for cultivating the digital ecosystem.

Cookies were unsustainable

It is time to acknowledge that, with programmatic buying, we gradually lost track of the user behind the screen. We also lost sight of the dependency between the ad and the content it is placed within. The end of the third-party cookie has not only forced us to reconsider the context of user targeting, but also how we measure the effectiveness of campaigns. What’s more, the other benefit of this review process has been that attention has risen as the new metric of worth.

Attention, a new paradigm for advertising

Attention, being a user-centric measurement, brings a new perspective to our ecosystem. It allows us to both assess the quality of media exposure as well as the creative’s ability to attract the consumer. As a result, it is a far better indicator of effectiveness. In fact, according to Lumen Research, attention is three to seven times better at predicting the impact of a campaign than viewability.

Attract attention respectfully and responsibly

The drivers of attention go in the direction of greater respect for the user’s experience. For example, adverts that are unskippable, long or misleading will generate less attention and impact than those which are well-integrated into the content the user is interacting with.

Additionally, our Trinity project with Havas has shown that, in terms of user engagement and attention, news sites are by far the best performing category. For example, a video ad on a news site delivers three times more attention than the same format presented on a social network. Moreover, by investing in ad inventory attached to verified news sources, your ad will not only have much more impact, but you will also be supporting quality journalism.

Limit wastage

Ensuring that your targeting and frequency are optimised is critical to limiting the wastage of attention. Additionally, it helps to avoid carbon emissions related to ineffective impressions. Being attention conscious will make you an eco-friendlier marketer as a result.

Changing marketing practices towards an ecology of attention takes some effort, but ad tech platforms are here to help brands navigate the journey, whether that be via measurement or A/B testing. Every step is important as we move towards a more sustainable approach to advertising, and while we have a long path ahead, we can see the result of these positive changes instantaneously on campaign effectiveness.

*Teads is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, owner of NDA

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