Industry first review finds ad attention metrics valuable but not a silver bullet

On September 27, 2022 Media Releases

Sydney – 27 September 2022:   Developments in the attention economy are providing marketers with additional insights on their advertising investments but too much attention is being placed on ad attention metrics in isolation according to IAB Australia’s Ad Attention Measurement Landscape Report. The  Report, which is the largest collation of information and perspectives on ad attention measurement available in the Australian marketplace, cuts through the hype to provide balanced information on the emerging techniques for measuring advertising attention, helping marketers explore the various methodologies and identify which will work best for their activity and business scale.

The report highlights emerging evidence on the correlation between higher ad attention and business outcomes, but it concludes that ad attention measurement is not a silver bullet and that marketers still need to use to review a range of metrics to fully understand the holistic impact of their advertising investments.

Based on the insights of the report, IAB Australia has confirmed that it believes that while attention measurement is an important input to understanding advertising impact, it is not yet ready to be treated as an industry standard ‘currency’ due to low levels of understanding of the various methodologies and metrics and no definitive agreement or consistency in the attention metrics being used by respondents.

Prepared by the IAB Ad Effectiveness Council that includes representatives from media owners, data agencies, media agencies, research companies, tech vendors and advertisers, the 53-page report provides an overview of ad attention measurement vendors available in market including full details of their methodologies and metrics, as well as providing a measurement framework template.  It also draws on industry data from a survey of 180 professionals responsible for advertising decisions or measurement to provide insights on the level of knowledge and experience with advertising attention measurement and includes perspectives from both the buy and sell sides of the industry.

Some 82% of ad agencies indicated their intention to measure ad attention of campaigns over the next year, with 55% of agencies saying they know at least a fair amount about the concept.  The research found that ad attention measurement is currently mostly used to gain insights for media planning with 64% of agency respondents intending to use ad attention insights for media planning in the next year, with most (76%) using insights from studies published in market by agencies or media owners to inform their media planning.  By contrast, ad attention insights are used by just 30% of agency respondents for ad targeting decisions and 29% for adjusting creative design.

Gai Le Roy, IAB Australia CEO commented “There are many ingredients needed for effective advertising and the recipe needed for success will differ for every advertiser and every campaign. Measuring how all the pieces of the effectiveness puzzle fit together as well as influence each other is an area ongoing investigation that needs to be constantly reviewed as the ad market, media options, consumer behaviour and the marketing mix constantly evolves.”

Natalie Stanbury, IAB Australia Research Director said “The IAB and the Ad Effectiveness Council are excited by the development in the attention space and look forward to a healthy evolution of use of these metrics to help marketers increase the effectiveness of their advertising investment. We encourage brands, agencies, and media owners to start experimenting with ad attention measurement to understand the nuances across brands, format, position, context, and cost.”

IAB’s Ad Effectiveness Council undertakes various activities to provide guidance to the industry on the best methods to assess the impact of marketing activities along with insight and inspiration to help marketers optimise their digital advertising investment.

The Council also worked closely with ad attention measurement vendors to gather details on their methodologies and approaches including eye-tracking panel measurement vendors: Adelaide, Amplified Intelligence, Eye Square, Lumen and Playground xyz; neuroscience measurement vendor Neuro-Insight; and ad technology measurement vendors Double Verify, IAS and Oracle Advertising.

Editor’s Note:

Ad attention measurement provides data on whether ad messages are delivered to a person who sees and pays attention to the ad and for how long, but not whether the message was ultimately retained in memory which is of critical importance to understanding outcomes.

The changes occurring in our industry focused on increasing consumer privacy and giving consumers more control and choice about the data they provide are well documented. These changes mean marketers will need to adjust their marketing effectiveness measurement techniques to continue to be able to understand the success of their campaigns.

Some media effectiveness measurement solutions are unaffected by the retirement of cookies and will therefore continue with no disruption. Ad verification does not rely on cookies to detect fraud, deliver brand safety or measure viewability. Ad attention measurement conducted via ad technology solutions or eye tracking is also minimally impacted by changes in the industry resulting in the reduction in signals.


Download the report here