Prof Byron Sharp criticises attention metrics, argues for always-on reach | WARC | The Feed
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Prof Byron Sharp criticises attention metrics, argues for always-on reach
Professor Byron Sharp, author of the massively influential How Brands Grow books and director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, took aim at the growing interest in planning (or paying) for attention when speaking at an event in Australia.
Why it matters
Mental and physical availability matter enormously, especially in our digital world, and many more of Prof Sharp’s ideas – based on extensive evidence – continue to hold. So perhaps the new thing on the block deserves the kind of scrutiny we now reserve for ideas like engagement metrics. (For more on attention, see WARC’s guide here.)
What he said
Speaking at an Mi3-Linkedin B2B event, written up by the Australian publication, Sharp questioned the idea of paying for more attention, using the example of an OOH ad (on a bus shelter).
“Our job is to get some attention. I don’t want to do advertising and not be seen. But after that, paying for a lot more [attention]? No.”
“Am I just going to look at the bus shelter ad for 10 seconds? Would I need to?
“No, so don’t be suckered in. It’s just the old engagement thing: ‘We need to get engagement with our consumers!’ No you don’t. You need to fit into their busy lives, that is all,” he said. “Most exposures are fleeting … and that’s okay.”
Ultimately, it all comes back to the idea of reaching everybody (priming potential shoppers who are not yet in market) and spreading out your ad exposures, so they don’t bunch together. It’s a really interesting talk and worth a read.
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