Advertising models to be reinitialized in the new “attention economy”



Global thought leader Karen Nelson-Field is the guest speaker at a webinar in October this year, showcasing her groundbreaking work on attention in advertising.

Speaking ahead of the “Cause, Consequence and Course Correction” webinar to be hosted in early October by Spark Media, Robyn Bishop, Head of Marketing, said that while the South African market is aware that attention is an important topic and that it plays a more important role, this needs to be deepened.

“I think media agencies with global offices will find that attention will soon be built into the media planning metrics used in their strategic planning tools. Large agency groups, like Dentsu, OMD and PHD, are already closely aligned to move the media forward with the unmistakable research results of Amplified Intelligence, ”she said.

Bishop adds that as co-founder of the Attention Council, Nelson-Field is leading the game-changing theme “Attention as Money” for the media. “Localized Lumen research shows how exceptional our local newspapers are at capturing human attention, something that shouldn’t be overlooked in our media landscape,” she says.

How advertising statistics have changed

The dominant theory in the 1960s was that advertising was able to persuade a non-buyer to change their behavior to become a buyer. However, Nelson-Field says that in today’s society, very successful advertising largely reinforces, rather than modifies, behavior; and this happens over a long period of time. “Attention as a metric is relatively new to the audience measurement game and prior to that, advertisers typically looked at engagement levels, such as page impressions. “

These metrics used to be inward-facing and device-based, but now we’re moving to outward-facing metrics – what the person or consumer does rather than what the screen does. You might have a page on the screen in front of you, but you might be distracted by something else or even a second screen. So the advertiser is now able to track how long your eyes are actively on the page rather than how long the page is displayed on your laptop, ”she explains.

She adds that consumers are usually very distracted, usually by other funny things on the page. “On average, between 70 and 80% of an ad has no active attention,” Nelson-Field explains.

She points out that share of voice as the foundation of marketing planning and performance has been eroded due to the rise of digital platforms, where data on share of spend / impressions is impossible to calculate and largely meaningless. .

“As a result, the media market has become increasingly dysfunctional. We can no longer compare different impressions based on market prices paid or any overall device-based performance metrics because these opaque metrics tell us little about the actual human attention given to the ad, ”she says.

Moving forward in the new attention economy

In his latest book, The Attention Economy and How Media Works: Simple Truths for Marketers (Springer, January 2020), Nelson-Field discusses the advertising myths that companies must leave behind, so that they can win in today’s ” attention economy ”.

An excerpt below gives a clear overview of his line of thinking:

“In this age of distraction, it’s best to let the old definition of mindfulness ‘take full possession of the mind’ for The Exorcist. This hypnotic notion is simply not reality. But before you call the undertaker for publicity, remember that little attention can be just as valuable.

She writes that advertisers will need to understand:

a) How to create advertisements based on known mechanisms to promote attention;
b) How to purchase materials that support modal qualities known to promote attention; and
c) How to move from a legacy measure that only considers high attention to measures that better reflect the reality of human attention.

“Don’t panic, the future of the attention economy looks bright, with less guesswork about attention and a lot more certainty,” Nelson-Field concludes.

You can join the free Cause, Consequence and Course Correction webinar on The Reality of Human Attention Processing in Advertising on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 10 a.m.

Presented by Spark Media.

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