Attention is everything
All marketing starts with attention. Certainly marketing effectiveness is much more than just attention. It has soft sells for branding and hard sells for calls to action, along with many other factors such as availability, convenience, and pricing. However, none of this happens without getting attention first. And the most common way to get attention is to buy it. But where?
Attention is available on television, streaming services, search engines, social media, and on assorted websites, apps, and games.
To evaluate attention, one needs to equivalize the attention from the various sources. Since sources gain attention in different ways, the key to equivalizing is to identify the attention components and grade them. This idea of grading was invented in a mid-size, midwestern US city in 1854 to equivalize grain from different sources. Today, the now merged Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange dominates global commodities trading in more than just grain.
For marketers, attention is about seeing and hearing. So let’s not make this complicated. Let’s start with the five quantifiable components of attention: seconds visible, percent visible, seconds hearable, seconds eyes-on, seconds ears-on. For grading purposes - much like the different qualities of grain, we might want to score the quality of production too. We do not consider context factors, as they are inherently relative to specific brands and their brand strategies.
These components give us the framework for evaluating attention across sources.
Next to equivalize attention for planning and buy optimization, the next generation of systems need to be able to handle today's classic measurements - because change always takes time - in addition to these attention components. The ability to incorporate context for brand specific evaluations as well. If you are interested in how planning and buy optimization systems can handle classic measurements in tandem with components to evaluate attention across sources, drop me a note.
Future musings will delve into the gnarly world of measuring attention, classically and for its gradable components.
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Mark Green is co-founder of MediaBrain Inc.