Attention Helping Determine Quality of an Impression

Attention Helping Determine Quality of an Impression

Angelina Eng has over 25 years of digital media, marketing and operations experience, focusing on helping agencies and brands to define, build and manage digital media and marketing efforts.At the IAB, she helps advertisers, publishers, ad tech and data companies improve measurement and attribution approaches to digital media and marketing activities. She discussed the different types of attention metrics and why companies must make sure their data privacy policies are in order.

How would you describe the state of attention measurement today?

There are various organizations and marketers trying to determine how attention metrics should be used to measure the success of their campaigns. Marketers are looking for measurement metrics that help them to determine the quality of an impression and understand how and if those ads are influencing or changing users’ perception of their brand or product that they're advertising, and how that relates to measuring outcomes.

The word attention is often used to describe a variety of metrics. There are three ways to look at attention metrics. There's a lot of focus and attention right now on biometric activity, such as sound on or off, eye tracking, body movement, and those are showing an indication that if a user is either listening or watching what's on their screen and even potentially heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. The second is more focused on proxy signals or data signals that are being collected from a user's device, and those are more around behavioral metrics that indicate some sort of action or engagement with an ad such as expanding an ad unit by rolling over it, playing a video or turning the volume on and off.

And the third is understanding the emotional or psychological impact when it comes to attention. Is it increasing brand awareness? Is it changing brand, perception, or consideration? We've seen a lot of news about different organizations that are introducing it into their program or looking to evaluate what attention metrics mean for their organizations. We're seeing a shift away from impression and viewability or, at the least, in addition to counting impressions and viewability.

What's the best way for organizations to stay up to date on all the trends and advancements in attention metrics?

There's a lot going on in this space, and there are different ways of looking at attention metrics. The main thing is that I don’t think there’s going to be a one-size fits all and not every marketer is going to agree on the same metrics as another. Attention metrics can be subjective. So, what one brand feels is more valuable than another is going to vary, and to the degree of the importance or the priority for each of them.

Other things to consider: One is legislation and how it relates to consumer privacy. As many are aware, there are five pieces of legislation that are going into effect in 2023 in the US alone, and many more being introduced as well; potentially, federal legislation toward privacy. So companies looking to capture attention metrics in any of those three ways have to take into consideration how users are going to consent to information collected and understand how those companies are going to be using that information. Is that going to be collected and used on a wider platform, or just for a particular campaign?

There is potentially a risk of some of those data signals being regulated on what we can and can't collect, how we use that information, and with whom we share that information. So I would highly recommend that companies really look at their privacy policies and connect with their data and measurement partners to discuss what impact these regulations will have on the type of data they collect and some of the risks that may occur even if they have consumer opt-in. 

(This interview transcript has been edited for clarity and length.)

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