According to a report published in January 2023, the average person worldwide spends 6 hours and 54 minutes on digital media each day. This includes time spent on the internet, social media, and mobile phones. Marketers are in a perpetual battle with one another to capture any part of the significantly fragmented attention span of consumers that is being pulled apart by the burgeoning volume of digital content being consumed across a growing number of devices and channels. Attention is now the most valuable currency that brands deal with.
With attention becoming a scarce resource, brands today need to stand out from the clutter of content that audiences are bombarded with. Studies show that, on average, people are exposed to anywhere between 6000 to 10000 ads daily. If we draw parallels to our own lives, how many of those ads do we even remember a few seconds after we have seen them… let alone go ahead and buy the product or service that was being advertised. The limited capacity of the human mind combined with the ad fatigue that has set in and new regulations on how ads can be placed, the recession in the ‘attention economy´ is well underway.
In this market, successful brands have understood that ‘context’ has become a key tool in winning the battles for eyeballs. The ability to deliver relevant and timely content within the right context is giving brands the edge in the attention economy. In a privacy-first world, businesses and advertisers will cease to have access to the usual consumer data they had access to previously, and will have to pivot their strategy to leverage contextual advertising to continue to grab consumer’s attention. It’s common knowledge that brands that garner higher attention also see higher shares in sales. By leveraging contextual relevance, businesses can engage consumers with meaningful content that seamlessly integrates into the digital experience of consumers and aligns with their interests, needs, aspirations and current state of mind at any given moment. This ensures that odds for driving a sale significantly increase.
For many years, ‘viewability’ was considered to be the most common metric to gauge the success of a media channel. As we move into a tighter economy, businesses will demand better accountability. This is where attention as a metric is a clear indicator of the effectiveness of one’s ad spends. Studies from Seedtag and Lumen have shown, ads that are contextual and creative drive 3.6x times more attention than regular ads. The study also showed that consumers who spent more time on the ad had a higher recall and delivered higher sales.
Numerous brands tend to believe that creativity alone makes the difference in grabbing attention. While studies indicate that the variation between a good creative and bad creative can be as much as 17 percentage points when it comes to brand recall, any ad, when seen at the wrong time and in the wrong context will yield significantly lower returns. Most of us hardly recall the ads that pop-up before YouTube videos and want to hit the ‘skip’ button as soon as possible. In the attention economy, it’s imperative to predict the mind-set of the consumer when placing the ad and the likelihood of them being in the right frame of mind to engage and eventually act. Creativity coupled with context is the way forward.
Brands need to remember that they are not just fighting each other with advertisements when it comes to the consumer’s attention. Brands are competing with new content from Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, news channels, podcasts, work email and much more… Everyone has a hold on the shrinking pie that is ‘consumer attention’. For brands looking to garner a higher share of the consumer’s wallet, grabbing and holding the consumer’s attention is paramount. Contextual advertising leverages technologies like artificial intelligence to deliver content that resonates with consumers, whilst respecting their privacy, and triggering a response that leads to higher sales.
In conclusion, the digital landscape is going to only get more complex, and very rapidly; attention spans are not going to get better any time soon. Brands that want to be ahead of the pack in the attention economy need to embrace contextual advertising. We at Seedtag are experienced and equipped to help understand your audience and help craft a strategy that leverages contextual advertising to maximize returns on your advertising investments.