The more the merrier for metrics

The more the merrier for metrics

Using attention as a universal standard would create targets that are more easily gameable and deliver worse media experiences.

Our industry has come to appreciate that attention metrics are vital to the successful planning and execution of campaigns for our clients, especially as traditional user-targeting methods are waning pending the deprecation and limitation of digital identifiers. For too long, the media and advertising ecosystem has faced a reliance on binary metrics that fail to take into account consumers’ experiences with media and brands’ real objectives.

It’s true we need a collaborative and coordinated approach to attention, especially in understanding what the various different metrics tell us.

However, I’m not convinced the standardisation and a universal definition or consensus on one singular metric is the right approach.

Rather, perhaps having a variety of tested and verified methodologies that aim to tell us about the quality of a media experience and its potential to drive results for brands, providing us with an ecosystem of many metrics, will be more beneficial for our industry and our clients.

Time for a reset

One universal standard, as we’ve previously seen, creates targets. And targets, such as click-through rates and viewability, are endlessly.

This also removes any competitive advantages some advertisers might receive from layering on (and paying for) additional measurements that provide greater insight into the value of their media investments.

Standardisation not only raises concerns from the media and advertising industry but from publishers as well.

Many publishers have thrived in a world where advertisers have optimized to meaningless metrics and websites have sold huge volumes of impressions for “reach,” but have often delivered awful experiences for audiences.

It’s time for a reset that puts audience experiences higher on the agenda and rewards those publishers that deliver on that.

This may mean that prices for the better placements will increase too, and as an industry we may need to get comfortable with the idea.

Collaboration will be key as we aim to move the industry forward to build and measure the most meaningful media experiences for our clients and for audiences.

As one of the first agency networks to implement attention data into planning tools at a global scale, we’re seeing our clients lean into attention metrics through our partnerships with both Lumen and Adelaide. Many of these clients are identifying previously poor media experiences for their consumers that have been using these standard metrics and subsequently reinvesting into better performing media for both their brands and audiences.

The results are often clear, better recall and consideration of the brands themselves, less media investment wasted on placements that simply are not seen and higher conversion rates to KPIs.

Attention centres people

We see the goal of attention being to put people back at the centre of what we deliver for brands. How, where and in what context we show up in is becoming more important than ever before, as the huge variety of media experiences we need to plan across constantly evolves.

It’s been proven that media buys with higher attention scores drive more consequential media performances, leading to more meaningful outcomes for clients both in the short and longer term. Our strategy is to create the world’s largest attention database, a propriety platform that enables our teams to deliver better media experiences for our clients by having a deeper understanding of audiences real lived experiences in media.

We hope to see an industry that embraces multiple tested and validated attention metrics to bring more meaningful media experiences to life for our clients and their businesses.

Jon Waite is global managing director and head of media experience development at Havas Media.

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