Thursday, February 10, 2011

If Attention Is Linked With Economic Value Creation Then Why Aren’t Advertisers Paying Their Agencies For Capturing A Viewer’s Attention?

The word attentionomics is getting a lot of buzz these days.
Steve Rubel of Edelman is getting a lot of well, attention, for bringing the word back into the fore.

Steve’s cohort, David Amano, refers to attentionomics as when marketers begin to realize the value of attention and not just reach in driving conversion.

Their logic is simple. On the digital platform, choice is infinite. But, attention is finite. After all, there is only so much time in a day. Which means the more attention a brand gathers for itself, the less time the consumer has to pay attention to another brand.

That's how attention creates value.

I think they’re on to something. After all, for years now this blog has been touting the fact that agency compensation should be based on how much attention the viewer gave to the commercial, rather than how much attention the agency gave to creating the commercial.

In other words, agency compensation should be based on output rather than effort.

Granted, Rubel and Amano haven’t proposed paying agencies based on attention. At least, not yet.

If they did, what would this new monetization model look like?

For starters, there would have to be some consensus as how best to measure attention. Time-spent with a commercial is one such way. Obviously, this would only work with commercials that are viewer-initiated. Forced views measure entrapment, not attention.

Attention can only be measured when the viewer has a choice not to pay attention.

Once a viewer clicks "play" on a commercial, attention is completely dependent on the creative itself. View duration, now serving as a proxy for attention, can be measured. And, as we all know, what can be measured can be monetized.

We’ve devised one such monetization model that already does this. It's called View Duration Compensation. It allows advertisers to hold their creative agencies completely accountable for creating attention.

It's based on the premise that more attention is better than less attention.

Which is also Rubel’s and Amano’s premise.

The fact is, in the digital future, it’s not share of voice that will lead to share of mind and ultimately, share of market. It’s share of time that will lead to share of mind and ultimately, share of market.

How long will replace how many.

Let's hope that attentionomics continues to get the attention that it deserves.

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