‘Understanding total attention is your competitive advantage’: New Amplify Intelligence research

New research from Amplified Intelligence and Pinterest has revealed that the key to successful consumer attention is an often overlooked metric – ‘total attention’.

The research studied how consumer attention patterns impact marketing results, and found that while brands often focus on breaking through the clutter to earn ‘active attention’, passive strategies are just as important and more efficient, driving 6.7% more attentive seconds per dollar.

“Our world is full of distractions, from phone notifications and deliveries, to dogs barking in the background of a conference call. These distractions pull people away from their main focus, and fight for our attention,” said Stacy Malone, VP of global business marketing at Pinterest.

“Brands often believe that breaking through the noise means being the loudest in the room. But modern marketers already know: Attention is more complex than you might think.”

People are constantly switching between two types of attention – active and passive – according to Amplified Intelligence. The research found that accounting for both modes helps makes media plans stronger – with active tactics breaking through the noise, and passive reinforcing messaging and keeping brands top-of-mind.

Ads that produce a higher emotional response were found to amplify attention by 50%, while showing ads in a relevant context increased active attention by 60%.

In the study, ads with a high concentration of happiness and surprise drove more total attentive seconds than ads without that concentration.

The research also compared Pinterest to other platforms to see how total attention comes to life. It found that on Pinterest, 170% more total attention was driven, with passive attention playing a major role in particular, as they delivered 7.3 times more passive attention that other platforms.

Malone said: “A big reason for this is, quite simply, that people enjoy the content on our platform.4 And that’s by design. We want people to feel good on our platform, so we’ve created a place that inspires people to take action in their own lives.

“If you take one thing with you today, remember: There’s power in passive attention.

“Make sure your team is planning for a holistic attention strategy, with tactics that speak to both passive and active attention. One day the industry will standardize on an attention metric – but in the meantime, understanding total attention is your competitive advantage.”


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