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Attention Metrics in Advertising

Updated: 5 days ago

Advertisers can now measure the quality of attention paid to their ads. But is it worth the investment?

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You can track how many people were served your ad, but how do you know they paid any attention to it?

Metrics like impressions and click-through rates don’t tell the whole story, which is why many marketers are experimenting with attention metrics in advertising campaigns.

In fact, a 2023 DoubleVerify study showed almost 96% of advertisers worldwide using attention metrics in at least some of their buys that year! Let’s see how the right media agency could put this valuable information to work for your brand.


What are attention metrics?

Attention metrics are measurements that indicate the quality of focus or engagement a consumer gives to an advertisement; these can vary depending on the ad format and placement.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) classifies these metrics into three main categories:

  1. Biometric Data - Tracks eye movements, facial recognition, brain waves, or heart rate

  2. Data/Device Signals - Time spent on site, scroll speed, cursor location, etc.

  3. Cognitive & Emotional Data - brand lift studies, focus groups, customer surveys, etc.

Why is measuring attention important?

Quality of attention can be a deeper indication of consumer interest than reach or viewability alone, offering brands better insights into which products or messages resonate best with their target audience.

And, what if we could not only measure but optimize our campaigns for higher attention?


Guess what? We can. Attention data is being used by Exverus today to place smarter programmatic bids through our partnership with DoubleVerify.

Lastly, the signal loss from third-party cookie deprecation has intensified the need for advertisers to collect information about consumers’ preferences from other sources. Attention metrics are one way to fill that gap.


Challenges with attention metrics in advertising

Admittedly, biometric data can be expensive to capture, and it usually comes from market research studies of consumers who opted in, but those research samples may or may not mirror your brand’s target audience.

The lack of standardization across platforms also presents a challenge to advertisers comparing the effectiveness of different ad creatives or placements.

Finally, the data signals publishers provide don’t always correlate with purchase intent.

For example, significant time spent onsite could indicate consumer interest, or it could simply indicate a slow reader, multiple tabs open, or the person got up and walked away! These insights are meant to be a piece of the puzzle, not the whole thing.

As with any new media metric on the market today, brands have to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze. According to our research, the data is showing us that impressions classified as "high attention" are getting 2 - 2.5X conversion rates above average. 


And that's got our attention.


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