What Is Attention and How Is It Measured?


In an increasingly cluttered world where people are constantly bombarded by stimuli, humans have adapted by filtering out everything that doesn’t matter to us at that moment. As time-starved, distracted people, attention is one of the most valuable and scarce resources we have.

What is attention?

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary:

Most marketers believe attention holds value but few can measure it.

While marketers recognize that attention is important, there has not yet been a singular industry standard to measure or understand it. Some marketers have relied on viewability or other signals as a proxy. But brands are hungry for something more meaningful that helps them understand how their ads are performing.

Not all attention is measured equally. 

At Yieldmo, we calculate attention by looking at a few different factors:

  • Commonly available baseline information about the impression (creative, content, consumer, viewability, etc.)
  • The user’s micro-gestures that indicate attention. Micro-gestures can be as simple as hovering and then pausing the mouse pointer, or more complex, such as scrolling and suddenly tilting the phone, changing the direction of scrolling, or pausing on a page.

We translate all of these real-time human actions into attention signals and model those signals to look for predictive patterns. Time and again, such attention signals have successfully directed us to future consumer intent.

Simplified, here are the elements we use to calculate attention:

  • Attention Signals
  • Attention Metrics
  • Unique AI models with predictive patterns

This gives us:

Attention Analytics

The practice of using real-time consumer behavior signals to understand interest & improve advertising’s relevance & performance.

Yieldmo’s attention analytics are fundamentally different from many of the binary marketing metrics on the market. At Yieldmo we fluidly measure, model and act on all aspects of attention a person gives an ad.

To learn more about how we use attention to improve advertising, download the Guide to Attention Analytics here. You’ll learn more about the science behind Attention Signals, Attention Metrics, and how to leverage them to improve your advertising. 

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on attention analytics. Read part 2 here and part 3 here