Advertising Week Roundup

We heard about it on panels. We read about it online. We saw lots of folks talking about it on Twitter. What’s it, you ask? Time. Or more specifically, attention.

Attention—as both as a metric and a currency—was a major theme at this year’s Advertising Week. The common consensus: The media ecosystem needs to reevaluate how it measures success. In a landscape of seemingly limitless content and infinite impressions, it’s time to shift the focus away from views and clicks and look instead at a finite resource: human attention.

As Michael Sebastian noted in a must-read Ad Age feature, putting the focus on time rather than views is an attempt to create scarcity. And, in an economy of scarcity, quality better aligns with monetization. Those who are able to capture more attention, by creating quality content and creative, will be able to charge more for it.

Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, mirrored this point in another great read about time-based measurement, saying “Time is a scarce resource (maybe the scarcest of all). It’s the one thing the media-technical complex can’t manufacture.” Certainly, he says “the measure of great content and brand marketing is the time, attention and emotion of consumers—not the click of the mouse or a tap of the finger. Yet as an industry, we’ve spent far too much energy running on a treadmill of ephemeral attention. It’s time (for lack of a better word) to focus on what matters most: consumer attention.”

Folks on the brand and agency side had a few things to say about attention too. For Erika White, corporate communications director at Pandora, capturing consumers means earning their attention over time. “This means adjusting the impression, reach-based marketing mentality that has informed much of advertising strategy in the past,” she told Campaign. “Thinking beyond earning a single click or view and focusing on truly earning consumers’ attention and engagement over time will be what winning marketers and communicators take away from this week.”

The ways we define and measure ROI have evolved, noted Marla Kaplowitz, CEO, MEC North America. “Today’s ‘always-on’ consumers require brands to move at the pace of modern culture; to genuinely engage these consumers, a brand must be able to grab audience ‘attention’ — a valuable, yet challenging, currency,” she said.

Lots of folks were talking about measuring and monetizing attention in the Twittersphere too:

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