It’s been said that consumer attention spans are shrinking, but the reality is, it’s incredibly hard to prove this statement with any legitimacy. An often-cited 2015 Microsoft study suggested that goldfish had longer attention spans than humans, but it was later disproven.
What we do know is that there are more devices, channels, platforms, publishers, and content than ever before.
So although attention spans may not be decreasing, they’re certainly in high demand. This means that it becomes even more critical for marketers to understand which formats and channels are driving success for their brands.
In the world of digital advertising, there’s a lot of focus on verification metrics such as viewability and brand safety. But by looking beyond verification and into consumer attention, you can explore performance indicators that reflect how your ads are driving real business outcomes.
Understanding whether people pay attention to ads, how they engage with them, and what, if any, action they take, is the best way to develop repeated success online.
The question is, where do you start when measuring consumer attention? Here are five steps that will take your ad-measurement strategy to the next level by going beyond verification and measuring attention signals.
Use regional and industry benchmarks to determine how successful your campaigns are, and then measure success over time using your own benchmarks.
This will ensure you gain a true understanding of advertising performance while also helping you track progress over time—leading to a sophisticated understanding of your campaigns and the best areas for increased investment.
In reality, a combination of metrics is required to truly measure consumer attention, as this provides a holistic view of performance.
Capture every impression across every channel that you have available to you, and use a wide array of metrics to determine how people are engaging with your ads.
A key part of effective measurement is choosing the metrics that matter to your marketing and business objectives. These will change based on the business you’re in and the specific campaigns you’re running, so it’s important to understand all the metrics and performance signals available to you.
How you report success and progress matters, and it changes based on which side of the business you sit on.
For publishers, attention metrics will allow you to demonstrate the value of your media inventory and the quality of your audience.
Agency marketers can instill confidence in clients by delivering more detailed campaign results with deep insights that reveal how people engaged with ads, what ads performed best, and why.
Meanwhile, brand-side marketers will understand how the campaigns your agency or internal teams are running perform with more granularity.
While you need to find the metrics that matter to you, there are a few attention metrics that will form the core of every measurement strategy. Once you understand these core attention metrics, you’ll be better equipped to measure more advanced metrics.
And these are only a few of the attention metrics available to marketers.
In the busy world of media, consumer attention runs at a premium. Between the proliferation of devices, the abundance of channels, and the tidal wave of content, marketers are hard-pressed to reach real people, get their attention, and, more important, keep it.
Janelle De Rivera is the Director of Product Management for Moat Analytics at Oracle Data Cloud. Moat makes brand advertising more effective by enabling advertisers and publishers to measure and optimize media against viewability and attention, brand safety, invalid traffic, and quality. Prior to Moat, Janelle held product positions at Movable Ink, Cheetah Digital, and Experian. Her product experience has focused on building and launching solutions that help businesses drive their marketing initiatives.
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