How Does Audience Attention Impact Your Cross-Platform Reach?

Kevin Whitcher of Oracle

This article is sponsored by Moat by Oracle Data Cloud.

When it comes to TV commercials, the difference between a successful ad and a failure can be difficult to pin down. Sometimes the timing was wrong, or the target demographic was off – and other times the message simply didn’t resonate.

Whatever the reason, advertising – no matter if it happens on your phone, your tablet or your TV – only works if people are paying attention. And until that attention has been measured, it’s impossible to know which ads are working and which ads are not.

Due to the rise of digital media and the ability to closely measure its effectiveness, advertisers have become accustomed to granular and actionable insights on audience attention. But linear TV – still the dominant source for media consumption and often the most expensive – is disconnected from the trusted attention metrics used in the digital space, especially when it comes to how viewers respond to ads.

With advertising budgets under pressure amid the uncertainty of 2020, this lack of cross-platform attention measurement can be a risky blind spot for many brands and agencies.

To address this challenge head on, many forward-thinking brands are adopting new solutions that can deliver more granular measurement of their valuable cross-platform investments and start answering questions such as, “Are people paying attention to my ads or am I paying for my ads to play to an empty or unfocused room?”

Why measuring consumer attention is so important

Effective brand advertising must create awareness and capture the attention of relevant audiences, no matter where those audiences are accessing their favorite content. With the explosion of content across different devices and channels, consumers have significantly reduced and fragmented attention spans. The result: Attention is becoming a critical currency in the consumer economy.

If attention is the currency, then the standard for how media is activated and measured needs to be elevated. Now, advertisers must consider how vital metrics such as reach and frequency should evolve to capture the importance of an audience paying attention to an ad that’s relevant to them.

Measuring attention across platforms it’s possible and vital to the future of advertising

Due to the interactive nature of digital formats – such as display, mobile and streaming video – people are continually clicking, scrolling, playing and stopping content. Advanced advertisers are already measuring the impacts of these behaviors against their investments and quantifying consumer attention.

Historically, for TV, ratings and the associated reach of those numbers assumed a certain level of audience engagement. In reality, these metrics aren’t truly measuring ad attention, because few, if any, viewers tune in specifically to engage with ads.

But thanks to recent cutting-edge developments in cross-platform measurement technology, person-level TV engagement metrics allow advertisers to understand not only if the TV is on, but also whether the room is occupied and if the audience is truly paying attention.

“To optimize an ad campaign and get the most value from every TV ad dollar spent, marketers need to understand if viewers are actually paying attention to their ad. They require a level of metrics for TV advertising that mirrors digital second-by-second analysis of how their ads capture attention, across dayparts, demos and more,” said Yan Liu, CEO and co-founder of TVision, which uses a 100% opt-in panel to measure that engagement.

Savvy marketers can then understand what portion of their campaigns are most effective and focus their resources on the tactics that drive the best engagement.

With unified cross-platform measurement for reach and attention, marketers can better understand audience and attention across both digital and TV. This presents a unified view of campaign efficiency – and whether they are achieving the real goal of advertising by reaching a person who cares about the message.

Gone are the days of brands and agencies relying on incomplete data to plan TV advertising, resulting in billions of dollars of waste. The evolving media landscape continues to afford all stakeholders in the advertising ecosystem new opportunities. And it’s incumbent on advertisers to capitalize on them to engage consumers – with shorter attention spans and more choices than ever – in the most relevant places.

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