- T.R. Wilhoit
If you’re paying attention to the ad industry at all, you’re probably aware of the ‘attention’ media buyers have received by their clients. The kind of attention that costs thousands or millions to resolve.
Though you should always be assessing media spends and evaluating effectiveness, its come to our attention at IQ that many marketers today neglect a seemingly obvious and important piece of media effectiveness — context.
It’s important to seek 3rd party research for a number of applications in marketing. But think for a minute about your own consumption patterns.
Have I ever purchased directly after clicking a banner ad?
Have I ever purchased a product from preroll video advertising?
When’s the last time I purchased a new product based on TV ads?
You’ve likely completed a purchase from a form of display advertising (loosely defined). Now think of your answers to these types of questions in the context of your consumption —“What else was I doing during this time?” Your answers will vary here.
Maybe you were checking email, and clicked a link to an article. Maybe you were attempting to watch your favorite show on Hulu. But definitely, you were checking messages on your phone, your Apple Watch, your Fitbit, or corralling the kid(s).
We live in an era of multitasked, multiscreen, low attention span consumption habits. In this case, we must consider the context for which an ad of any sort is seen by the consumer to develop a style of ad that will grab attention when we need it to.
To make the best ads possible, marketers must consider context along with attention and strategy to determine the right approach.
Below is a brief framework for creating more effective ads:
- Where will the consumer be when viewing the ads?
- What platform will the ads be viewed on?
- What will the consumer (likely) be doing when viewing the ads? (i.e. multitasking)
- How attentive will the audience be on this platform?
- Which screen will their attention be driven to?
- What type of content will surround the ad?
- Based on context and attention level, should the ad promote engagement or persuade the consumer?
- Should the ad inform or entertain primarily?
- How critical is attention on first touch? (considering multi-channel ad campaigns)
The history of advertising leans heavily on persuasion. Shopping used to be fairly linear in that you might see an ad on TV or in a magazine and head directly in-store for more information. Advertisers had to persuade you enough to get you to physically try or buy.
But as the internet expanded in popularity, so did ad channels, creating a new ad content approach: engagement. Consider social media advertising. Attention spans will be remarkably low due to the amount of content. For this platform, its critical to get attention fast through entertaining content. This is why context matters first and foremost.
The next time you’re planning for new ad campaigns, try using this framework to right size your spend by platform and create content that’s appropriate for the context. If anything, you’ll likely have well grounded creative ideas and maybe even happier customers over time.
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