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  • Writer's pictureNina Franck

Considering attention can make all the difference

Think about the channels and formats which allow targeting the maximum

target audience

in the relevant context, with as much screen coverage and ear time as possible.


We marketers, media planners, comms planners etc. are in a bubble. We consume media differently, have different usage and we look at advertising very differently than someone who has got nothing to do with advertisement.

I just came back from Mad//Fest last week in London. And it was refreshing. Very little bullshit, snappy talks and an own stage dedicated to attention. Plus, it was sunny, met friendly familiar and new faces. But that is not the point.

The point is that with an entire stage dedicated to attention in media I am observing a shift from talking about how important it is to consider attention when planning media to actually applying it.

The host was Lumen and the guests were from all kinds of angles; media agency, media vendor, client side and, of course, researchers.


Building in a quality filter when planning


I had a discussion last week about building in a quality filter when choosing the channel and format for mid funnel activity.

By that layer of quality I meant thinking about how a consumer uses the platform, what are the chances to be seen, is it forced, is it video, is it display, what is the device and how is viewability defined.

Nothing complicated and kept fairly simple without having a new set of KPIs such as attention CPMs etc., but considering existing and openly accessible research by, for example, Lumen or Karen Nelson-Field, and applying these insights to the planning.

It is known that video formats have a higher chance to be noticed and hence to get attention and contribute to sales.

Display banners are often blocked out by the user, are even often not in view or barely, and if bought programmatically, there is a lack of contextual relevancy plus in some cases fraud.


Prioritise maximum visibility to give the message a chance


Around 40% of all online ads globally are not viewable and have never been seen by a human.

Why would a programmatic display banner be picked over a video format? Is it because we can measure more metrics with banners, i.e. clicks than with video?

Are we scared to trust in the old and proven truth that growth comes through incremental reach and continuous exposure because it is not measurable instantly?

The media landscape has evolved and media channels are changing constantly but the principles of marketing have not changed.

So, I would argue for any top and mid-funnel activity, prioritise channels and formats that will provide maximum visibility in order to have a chance to be noticed, even if it is passive and subtle.

No cheap CPM or 1% CTR can make up for getting into people’s mindset so the brand is there when the person gets to the stage of purchase. Because a banner is more clickable does not mean it has more value in being noticed.


The user journey is not linear and not the same for everyone


A video in the right context can feed into the consideration mid-funnel stage just as well.

The user journey is not linear and we need to acknowledge that.

TV is not clickable but it has proven impacts on sales, due to the reach, and increase in website traffic is often the case as well.

So, with a non-clickable video, if the message gets across and the content is relevant in the moment, the user can still search for the product, buy it or download it.

There is an obsession with wanting to measure everything, or a false belief that because you can measure metrics instantly the channel and format works stronger.

Media planners often like to hide behind numbers, especially if someone comes from a digital background. This is quite frankly a risk to the brand if all we do is trust instantly measurable metrics because consumers do not work instantly.

They do not follow a linear journey.

The reason behind this was that they believed that as online sales were ever more relevant, sales in this channel would come through digital advertising.

But they realised that there was no linear journey and brand activity actually drove the majority of all sales, while performance media drove wholesale and retail sales.

And these wrong assumptions all came from short-term measurement and the platform’s own attribution model as well as ROI and ROAS.

This clearly shows that just because you can measure something it does not translate into positive business outcomes.

When planning the next media strategy and campaign, think about which channel and format allow you to target a maximum of your target audience, in relevant context, with as much screen coverage/ear time as possible.


This article has been kindly published by The Media Leader on 12th July 2022,


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