A complacent – and confusing – media measurement system needs shaking up and any new structure for planning and buying communications strategies should have have consumer attention at its heart, says a senior executive at Dentsu Aegis Network in The WARC Guide.

This month, The WARC Guide looks at attention – what it means in the context of advertising, how to measure it, how to optimise for it, the implications for quality (subscribers can read the full report here).

Writing in The WARC Guide, Jonathan Waite, Senior Director, Global Media Partnerships, Dentsu Aegis Network, states: “We see it as our critical role to be the catalyst for changing a complacent and obfuscated system and to ensure that the media we buy for our clients is the very best in terms of its value and the results it delivers.”

To that end the Dentsu Aegis Network has set up a programme,‘The Attention Economy’, to help redress media ecosystem complacency and redefine what true value looks like.

This is using cutting-edge eye tracking technology, in partnership with some of the world’s leading researchers in the field.

“What we have experienced so far has been encouraging in its potential to be positive for the whole advertising ecosystem,” Waite reports (for more details, read his article in full: Attention should be the new table stakes when it comes to media measurement):

• It is measurable. The technology is better than ever and there are now a number of highly capable companies building and offering credible solutions to measure Attention, such as, Amplified Intelligence, Lumen and Tvision to name a few.

• It represents something real and tangible that can be traded: the presence of a person, an easy to understand quality of viewing linkable to outcomes for brands.

• It delivers something transparent and simple. It fills the gaps in the current system to deliver a like-for-like comparison of the ‘impression’ across multiple touchpoints that allows media planners to make better informed decisions.

• It teaches marketers something that genuinely improves effectiveness of advertising.

“The media ecosystem needs to drag itself into 2020 and redefine the impression to better represent what we all want – people’s attention,” says Waite.

“A metric for planning is useful,” he adds. “Much like Viewability has allowed planners and buyers to better assess the quality of their media placements, Attention would go a step further and tell us if people have actually seen our advertisements.

“Why not go the whole hog and make it the thing we trade and value?”

It’s not necessarily an easy process, he acknowledges – “It would be uncomfortable to discover that the channel you invested the most of your marketing budget into received far less attention than those you’ve undervalued” – but it would be a positive step forward.

Jonathan Waite and Karen Nelson-Field will be presenting a webinar on Measuring the Value of Attention on Tuesday 16 June (9:00am BST/ 4:00pm SGT). WARC subscribers can register here.

The WARC Guide is a compilation of fresh new research and expert guidance with WARC’s editorial teams in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai pulling in the best new thinking globally. It also showcases the best on WARC – case studies, best practice and data sourced from across the platform.

Sourced from WARC