Do attention metrics truly correlate with business outcomes? In this episode of Fact, Fiction & Flights, we get into the details of attention measurement use cases. Find out if attention is a standalone metric or whether it’s meant to replace other forms of media strategy measurement.  

Over the past several years, advertisers have discovered, discussed and experimented with attention measurement, and the exciting new metric ultimately became a new business reality in 2023. This year, it’s fully in action and still growing. In an era of information overload and fleeting attention spans, advertisers are no longer satisfied knowing that an ad made it in front of their target audience; they want to know if the viewer actively received the message. By quantifying attention, advertisers can gauge the impact of their campaigns, optimize content and drive desired outcomes.

What Is DV’s Fact, Fiction & Flights?

In this exciting series, Sanj Palepu, Manager, Product Marketing at DV, sits down with industry experts to discuss common misconceptions surrounding attention measurement. The goal? To help advertisers better understand the concept and value of attention measurement. Each discussion is navigated through a fact or fiction lens, and to keep it fun questions are paired with a beverage taste test.   

Below, we provide highlights for Episode 2: Fact, Fiction & Flights, where Sanj meets with Publicis Groupe’s Sari Wong, SVP Groupe Agency Development.

Sanj and Sari kick things off with a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley.

Sanj: It’s supposed to be very light and refreshing. Cheers!

Sari: That’s good.

Sanj: Really good. Let’s dive into our first question.

Question #1: Fact or Fiction? Attention metrics are actionable and correlate with key business outcomes.

Answer: Fact 

Sari: Attention, like any other metric, needs to be tested. Every client and every brand is going to have to test attention and see if it has a correlated outcome to the things that they care about most. Right? So it’ll just be different for everyone.

Sanj: At DV, we measure attention with 50 different data signals, because [there are] so many factors that can influence attention. And so we bring that together to really capture ad exposure and engagement through different client tests. 

With Mondelez and Vodafone and others, we’ve found that exposure really tends to correlate to upper funnel KPIs like brand awareness and brand perception, and engagement correlates to more of those lower funnel KPIs like conversions. And so we found that’s really helpful to make that connection between these metrics and the outcomes we’re driving. 

And we’ve also recently partnered with a company called Attain, which is a provider of lower funnel sales outcome data. This is really going to help our clients make those connections in a more scalable way and really see the impact of attention on sales data as well.

Sari: Very cool.

Sanj: Okay, I’m excited to try our next wine. This is an “Orange Wine” from Alsace. Cheers! 

Sari: Cheers!

Sanj: Interesting. 


Sanj: I like it, though. 

Sari: I do like it. It’s very good.

Question #2: Fact or Fiction? Attention metrics have multiple use cases and can be leveraged for measurement, planning and optimization.

Answer: Fact

Sari: It’s very easy to get analysis paralysis, but [here are] some of the ways that we look. As you go into planning, you can look at historical campaigns — benchmarking and asking [our clients] for some of these metrics upfront by saying, look, this is what you have to achieve to be deemed successful. We have to be transparent with our clients, with our vendor partners, about what success looks like.

Then, kind of, encamped in campaign optimization or in market optimization [is] back to what we talked before [with] correlated metrics and correlated outcomes. Very often, our post-campaign metrics or what’s important to our client is not something we can measure on the fly. We have to figure out which of those metrics are the best indicator for the things that we really want later and hope that we get that outcome that we’re looking for. 

Sanj: One thing that’s exciting about attention is it can be used in these different ways, and we really aim to see our clients visit from end-to-end throughout that campaign process. We really encourage our clients [to] adopt a “crawl, walk, run” approach.

So we always recommend starting with that: Always-on measurement, looking at how the campaign is performing and establishing benchmarks like you were mentioning; and then building on that to make those in-flight optimizations, whether that’s in-flight in the campaign or maybe programmatically through something like a segment or dynamic activations; and then taking all that data and using it for future planning. So it’s like that continuous feedback loop cycle that keeps going, like you said. 

Sari: Exactly.

Sanj: So we’re on to our last wine. This is a like full-bodied Barolo. 

Sari: Alright.

Sanj: Should be pretty good.

Sari: It looks kind of light! 

Sanj: I know, cheers!

Sari: Oh, this is good!

Sanj: Yeah! Okay, we’ve reached our last question. 

Question #3: Fact or Fiction? Attention metrics should be leveraged as a standalone metric and replace other forms of media strategy measurement.

Answer: Fiction

Sari: I think something we haven’t really addressed or talked about is [how] all the demands and all the asks around performance [are] not just your campaign performance, but what are the things that make your agency good stewards of your media? And, you know, I think sometimes we see a lot of conflicting KPIs or conflicting asks. 

So, we might [be asked] to deliver a certain amount of efficiency or savings. And sometimes that is inversely related to quality, which is something you use ability and attention for. Which sometimes makes our media more expensive. So, we can’t just look at one metric and say that that is the thing that we’re going to deem our performance. It’s about delivering some overall efficiency for a client. 

Sanj: Right. And attention can’t just come in and solve all of these challenges with like a magic wand. 

Sari: Right — I wish!


Sanj: But I think what’s exciting about attention is it can help us get a little bit closer, right? And it can work with all these other metrics and the different demands. And especially, as an agency, you’re balancing to help get closer to those outcomes, which has been the pillar of this conversation. 

One other thing that’s been exciting recently in the industry is the emergence of AI. Dynamic algorithmic activation enables brands to use AI in the media industry to optimize towards different goals and get as close as they can to those unique business outcomes. And so, for example, DV recently acquired a company called Scibids, which has leading AI technology. 

And with this, our clients can really optimize towards attention, for example, while also making sure that they’re maintaining cost-efficiency because these things all matter, right? At the end of the day, attention alone isn’t going to do the job. 

Sari: They all matter!

Sanj: But attention and having high-performing inventory while also reaching that really strong, cost-efficient inventory can really help strengthen a media back as a whole. 

What are some other industry challenges that are making it difficult for clients to get through the campaign workflow?

Sari: Right now, we’ve all been in [the] middle of cookie deprecation, and I think that’s something we’re talking about a lot. What are the legacy measurement solutions that will and won’t work post true cookie deprecation? How do we [act] on that when we have some very real outages across the industry? So it’s something we’re all going to have to figure out together.

Sanj: For sure. That’s definitely been top-of-mind. I think that’s also why, as the industry is changing, we’re seeing so many shifts, whether it’s cookie deprecation or increased privacy regulations or audience fragmentation, content fragmentation. [There are] all these things that are shifting in our industry. And so the emergence of innovative metrics like attention, like AI, I think can really help us also advance the way that we’re approaching measurement and, again, help our clients get to their ultimate KPIs.

Sari: Right.

Sanj: Well, Sari, thank you so much. This has been such a great conversation. It’s been so amazing having you here today. I have one final question for you. And it’s the most important one. Ready? Okay. What was your favorite wine?

Sari: I think the Barolo!

Sanj: Yeah, okay! That was good.

Sanj: Thanks for watching Fact, Fiction & Flights. You can visit DV’s YouTube channel or to learn more about driving results with attention measurement.

Watch the full episode here, and keep an eye out for the next episode of Fact, Fiction & Flights to stay on top of the latest trends in attention measurement. 

Want to learn more about the power of attention measurement? Download our DV Authentic Attention® for CTV one-sheet! With DV Authentic Attention for CTV, advertisers can access granular insight into their CTV campaign performance, to gain measurement transparency, optimize performance, and improve media planning. Download the one-sheet here.