Point of view: Valuing analytics

Joe Mandese

For much of its history, the advertising business could loosely be described as being in what some pundits have described as the 'attention economy'.

We didn't always call it that, but that's fundamentally what advertisers and agencies were vying for: the attention of consumers to their brands.

Of course, that was easy during advertising's Golden Years, when there were only a few media options, and a relatively limited number of brands competing for the consumer's attention, but that began to erode in the 1980s with the emergence of multichannel television, and it has only escalated with the hyper-fragmentation created by the internet, and all the digital offshoots it has spawned.

In the late 1970s, there were only a half dozen media options an advertiser could use, or a consumer could be exposed to. Actually, media industry economist Patrick Quinn estimates there were eight. Currently, he estimates there are more than 100. And that's just the number of media platforms vying for consumer and advertiser budget attention.