With attention metrics being hailed as the antidote to superficial marketing metrics, Aaron Macarthur (lead image), CEO of Convo Ink writes attention risks going the way of clickety clacks, unless content gets the attention it deserves…
When attention became a prominent factor in the digital landscape a few years ago, I was thrilled for our industry. We had grown weary of pursuing meaningless metrics and engaging in constant debates about clicks. However, now that we’ve spent a decade complaining about superficial metrics and the significance of clickety clacks, it begs the question: Has attention truly fulfilled its potential, or have we squandered a valuable chance to propel our industry forward?
In industry discussions about digital and programmatic advertising, I’ve always been perplexed by the insufficient focus we’ve placed on the human experience as the primary catalyst for campaign success. With the rising prevalence of ad blockers, as well as ad avoidance and ad blindness, it is evident that audiences are paying less attention than ever before to the content we have been creating as an industry.
The transition towards attention metrics holds the potential to reverse this trend for both brands and audiences alike.
When you consider it, the formula for attention is rather straightforward. I can easily immerse myself in a couple of hours of my favourite soccer team (Newcastle United) on my mobile device with minimal distractions. However, if you show me the King’s Coronation, my attention immediately wavers. It’s the same device, same screen, and same format, yet the outcome is different. Ultimately, it is an individual’s connection with content, influenced by its quality, context, and relevance, that directly affects their attention.
In 2022, Convo Ink delivered more than 25 million content pieces and gathered approximately 300 million data points on content and attention performance. When it comes to clients seeking to capture attention for their campaigns, we can observe a definite correlation and impact between the quality of content and the context in which it is presented, reflected in attention scores. It’s important to note that this observation is made within the broader framework of utilising audience and contextual targeting strategies for the campaign.
Building upon this, we discovered that the highest level of success in the realm of attention is achieved when clients leverage creative tools to understand and optimise content performance in real time. When a brand manages to stay attuned to context and culture, it consistently generates a positive impact on their attention scores.
Although I may not be expected to admit it, I frequently find myself amazed by the profound influence that this uncomplicated attention formula can wield over campaigns. Last summer, we had a first-hand experience of the outcomes when tailoring bushfire safety messages specifically on the hottest days of the year. On those scorching days, delivering pertinent information about bushfire safety resulted in some of the highest client attention scores we witnessed in 2022.
With the increasing focus of businesses on building brands through programmatic channels, I believe that the future of attention lies in the integration of DSPs (Demand-Side Platforms) with tools that facilitate a real-time understanding of attention and content customisation.
The true value of attention measurement extends beyond understanding the current resonance of content with audiences; it lies in utilising it as a foundation for continuous improvement. This dynamic approach offers additional advantages as we navigate the cookie-less future, where audience targeting becomes more restricted. By employing such creative tools, the industry can seamlessly implement event-based targeting on a large scale, incorporating cultural relevance – a crucial factor in campaign success.
Through technology, partners can achieve this in a matter of minutes, offering a straightforward solution to what has become a complex challenge.
As I read the numerous articles on attention, it can be disheartening to witness its potential transformation into just another fleeting trend, rather than a genuine metric aimed at enhancing the quality of work for audiences. If we genuinely desire to enhance attention, the journey begins with comprehending the calibre of our content.