It's Time for Digital Advertisers to Start Measuring Attention

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Mike Pallad
Laura Salant
Senior Director, Research and Insights

Marketers know there's a lot more to measuring the success of an ad campaign than the clickthrough rate (CTR), but how do they narrow down the most meaningful metrics? eMarketer’s Bill Fisher spoke with Mike Pallad, president of Undertone, and Laura Salant, the digital advertising company's senior director of research and insights, about the importance of "attention"—and how measures of attention are evolving to provide insight into the effectiveness of ad creative.


Three fundamental pillars of ad measurement have emerged: fraud, viewability and brand safety. How important is each of these?

Mike Pallad:

There's a direct correlation between all three. It starts with great creative and an environment that's safe for both a brand and a consumer to engage with that brand's message. The consumer also needs to be a real human being; and the message needs to be in the right place to capture attention.

Laura Salant:

When we talk about attention, it's active attention, which has a strong correlation to creative. One of our clients talks about a metric called CPAT, or "cost per attention time." Our version of the calculation is the cost of the product divided by the interaction time in seconds. And that interaction has to be truly active, such as exploring a carousel, opting to play a video or expanding an ad.

It's not only a measure of attention itself—it's also about the efficiency of garnering that attention. It's simple, it's transparent, and it can really validate the effectiveness of marketing partners. We'd love to see attention added as the fourth pillar.

Interview conducted on September 26, 2018

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