"As the industry grapples with so much uncertainty around identity, it’s vital for advertisers and publishers to 'own' their attention metrics rather than relying on the big platforms to share those insights."
With just two weeks to go until ExchangeWire's LIVE Attention Event, we caught up with Saurav Dutta, VP of product marketing at InMobi Exchange, to talk about all things attention - challenges, opportunities, and how the future landscape may look in the midst of tightening privacy legislation.
How has the attention challenge evolved, and why is capturing attention harder than ever?
Over the years, we've witnessed a significant shift in focus, transitioning from television and newspapers enable a vast range of capabilities. to the digital age, which spans various devices. Presently, consumers have amazing multitasking abilities, juggling multiple gadgets, including TVs, mobile phones, laptops, alongside their offline engagements. As a result, the aggregated consumer attention span has become notably fragmented. This evolving landscape demands fresh, innovative approaches from both advertisers and sellers to capture those fleeting moments of audience attention.
As the industry grapples with so much uncertainty around identity, it’s vital for advertisers and publishers to “own” their attention metrics rather than relying on the big platforms to share those insights.
Attention metrics tell advertisers a lot about the relative value propositions of different publishers.They also help advertisers understand the performance of a specific ad placement. They can also be used to better understand the performance of a particular piece of the creative.
These questions remain important to publishers, too. Attention metrics inform decisions about pricing, how many ad units to offer, and perhaps most important of all, a precise understanding of the user’s true value to the advertiser.
Moreover, as mobile plays a bigger role in the media ecosystem and we continue to test and learn new identity solutions, it’s important to develop new technology and methodologies for measuring attention inside the app — an area where there are a lot of exciting possibilities.
Are some ad formats better able to capture consumers’ attention? In what ways do other formats struggle?
Absolutely. Grabbing user attention is a multifaceted process, with ad formats playing a pivotal role. It's crucial to align the ad experience with the digital environment's essence and the user's primary intent. Take, for example, gaming apps; users typically expect ads during natural breaks, like transitioning between game levels, and they don't perceive them as overly intrusive. This creates an excellent opportunity to engage users through interstitial videos or display ads. Even more effective are Rewarded Ads, as they come with incentives, making them particularly attention-grabbing. These ads tend to outperform flashy, disruptive pop-up ads that can detract from the user's content consumption experience, or ads competing with an abundance of on-screen content clutter.
What metrics are used to gauge ad campaign attention, and how effective are they?
Key players like Lumen and Adelaide use panel-based eyeball tracking technology to predict attention scores and associated outcomes. Apart from this, there are many other upper funnel metrics that serve as proxies today to measure the impact of ads on user attention, including:
- In-view time
- Exposure time
- Hover rate
- Touch rate (mobile)
- Screen real estate
Without standardisation in place, we anticipate that partner-to-partner variations in scores will persist. Nevertheless, these scores prove to be far superior indicators of ad effectiveness when compared to the conventional attention metrics such as impressions, viewability, click-through rates (CTR), and video completion rates (VCR). Furthermore, there is no doubt that the dynamic evolution of the ad tech industry will usher in more precise and scalable solutions for measuring attention.
What developments are taking place to improve how attention is measured, and how will these comply with privacy legislation?
With numerous efforts going on at multiple levels, the primary focus boils down to answering one question – did the message resonate with your audience in a way that drove them to take action? Given the big role mobile plays in the ecosystem and with IDs fading away, it’s important to develop new technology and methodologies for measuring attention inside the app – an area that holds a big space of exciting opportunities.
To explore the right solution, InMobi is actively working with key attention partners to solve for in-app measurement. Also, InMobi is one of the first companies to join the IAB’s newly formed Attention, aiming to:
- Create consistent set definitions of attention and develop a set of metrics that measure attention in different contexts and situations
- Create standardised attention metrics that are widely accepted and used across different applications
- Provide a common language for discussing attention and allow for meaningful comparisons and interpretations of attention data
Remaining tickets for the ExhangeWireLIVE Attention Event are available here.