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Exploring the Attention Factor for Today’s Brands

Brand Standing

Deciding on the right media mix, and translating it into the right targeted brand communication, can be a key part of the process to gain meaningful media insights for your brand. Intelligent research tools, deriving information and data, generating actionable insights from such data, are important parts of creating a brand communication framework.

A holistic approach could be even more effective—taking into account all the data, media and channels, as well as the competition—at being able to react and adapt your media strategy with both a long-term and short-term perspective in mind. This ability to optimize the brand’s media planning, and taking a cross-media planning approach, keeping in mind both online and offline channels, also supports the brand mission. So is it all about attention metrics? And just how does one measure attention?

Attention is one key aspect that brands have to grapple with in this attention economy. Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira, in a blog with McKinsey, “Mind the attention gap: What brands need to know about advertising today,” is concise in her assessment: “The situation is much more complicated nowadays, because people’s attention spans are much shorter and they are inveterate media multi-taskers. In this world, then, ads need to focus on doing one thing—there isn’t enough time to do more—doing it quickly, and then driving the persuasion at a later stage, in another channel, or in a follow-up ad. An effective TV ad today drives people to engage with the brand on a second medium, either on a mobile device or a computer. Therefore, you are now seeing more ads that are trying to get consumers to take a specific action that is short of buying, such as going to a website. These can only work, though, if there is a compelling reason to go. The need to grab attention means that the entertainment factor is really important. Ad design and creative really matters. A good ad creates a bridge from grabbing attention to persuading on another channel. That requires advertisers to think in a 2-step multichannel model.”

Just determining where the target customer is in their purchase journey can support a brand’s advertising efforts and where to focus limited media resources. There may be opportunities to simply raise brand awareness, or if the consumer is at the evaluation stage, providing more relevant information would be warranted. Build engagement slowly and deliberately. “It’s important to think in terms of developing multiple short interactions to create a ‘ladder of engagement’ with a customer,” points out Teixeira. Attention is scarce. Ask your brand-self, just what is the media strategy’s message? Understand the potential attention of each media resource to effectively determine what to use and where.

Attention, Please

Attention metrics and media attribution were key parts of All Things Insights’ recent virtual Gathering, The Road to TMRE, which featured a slate of media measurement presentations. In “Taking New Approaches to Attention Metrics,” Michael Nevski, Director Global Insights, Visa, discussed attention metrics with ATI’s Seth Adler. They looked at driving actual conversions through evaluating media exposure and digital visitation behavior, understanding how to value media beyond reach and frequency and more. A real understanding of just what truly defines engagement is key, Nevski notes.

In addition, during the same event, “Piecing Together the Attribution Puzzle” brought together Adler with Doug Healy, Senior Director, Consumer Insights, Gatorade, PepsiCo, and Sunny Zhu, ESG Data Analytics & Operations, Indeed. They explored understanding attribution and the various types and models, identified future trends, looked at issues such as transparency and more. While there is no one clear path forward, a solution might be viewed as a multi-touch media attribution approach with a strong emphasis on marketing mix modeling.

Brand Insights Knowledge

Of course, as part of developing a media strategy, one must truly get to know the brand in question. Just how well do you know your brand, its mission and how it aligns with the target audience? Brand insights can encompass a variety of metrics, such as brand awareness, brand perception, brand trust, and its value proposition, among other factors. By leveraging brand insights, companies can make informed decisions that strengthen their brand positioning, improve brand perception, and create more impactful marketing and media campaigns.

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference will be held January 23-25, 2024, in Miami, FL.

Video courtesy of Brand Master Academy


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.


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