Four years of attention truth has taught us an important truth. Attention is a precious resource across every category, in every medium and for every audience. No matter what you're selling, what stage of the purchase funnel you're at, or who you're selling to, the fact that people CAN see what you are selling does not mean that they WILL see what you are selling.

But we can go further. Having conducted hundreds of studies, in the UK and around the world, we can compare how attention compares across media. After all, the media might change, but people's eyes are the same no matter what they are looking at.

Looking at the world in this way leeds to some pretty interesting conclusions:

 

% Viewed is % of “viewable” impacts – i.e. those exposed to a page of a newspaper, who go down an aisle, or impressions with 50% in view for >1s Press ads: FP = Full page, HP = Half page Dimensions of Digital ads: DMPU = 300x600, MPU = 300x250, Billboard = 970x250, Leaderboard = 728x90

% Viewed is % of “viewable” impacts – i.e. those exposed to a page of a newspaper, who go down an aisle, or impressions with 50% in view for >1s

Press ads: FP = Full page, HP = Half page

Dimensions of Digital ads: DMPU = 300x600, MPU = 300x250, Billboard = 970x250, Leaderboard = 728x90

Based on 283,357 press exposures and 77,343 digital viewable impressions

It shows that the average print ad is much more likely to get noticed than even the best performing digital ads. You would have had to buy more than 5 DMPUs to get the same chance of being seen than a single full page press ad. You'd have to buy a couple of them just to the same exposure as a shelf-edge barker in a supermarket.

However, it isn't just about how likely ads are to get noticed in the first place. It's also about how long people spend with your communications. Your 5 DMPUs would gain you nearly 3 times the dwell time of a single full page ad, and 8 times the attention you get from your pair or barkers.

Comparing across media like this allows us to explain some of the anomalies we see in the market. Why do marketers continue to 'over invest' in print relative to time spent with the medium (I'm looking at you, Mary Meeker)? Probably because a single exposure in a newspaper is at least 5 times more likely to get noticed than even the best performing digital ad. No one raise an eyebrow if you invest heavily in point of sale materials, but people are beginning to kick up a fuss if you pour money into digital advertising. And rightly so: people are likely to see your POS, whereas there's a big chance they won't notice your digital advertising. 

Lumen's attention data offers the perfect way to compare across media - and link that attention to sales. It's a consistent currency - that can make you money.