Attention: The Saving Grace of Measurement? Or Another Industry Fad??

Advertisers strive to reach their target audiences. That’s a given. But, long gone are the days of simply ‘reaching audiences’ – the biggest question in AdTech right now is how do you ensure your audiences are truly engaged, and how can we really measure that?  In particular, how are businesses working to capture and retain audience attention in an era marked by information overload and fleeting consumer focus? 

After all, there is a key difference between something being visible, and something being consumed. In some cases, a passing glimpse will leave a lasting impact. In others, a drawn-out video will annoy and disdain a viewer. For me, ‘attention’ is more complex than just understanding if an ad was seen or engaged with.

I was watching the Scaling Attention speaker session with IAS & Lumen at the ExchangeWire Attention event, where Mike Follett, Managing Director, Lumen, took us back to a childhood memory of Eye Spy. Hours of fun for many of us in our distant memories, however, a game that presents a key lesson for us today.  It’s essentially about identifying the difference between viewability and viewing – “things are there to be seen but not always noticed”.  And some things are noticed but not always seen.

For me, the buzz around ‘Attention’ is becoming another industry craze that fails to answer what we hope it will. Why? Because ‘attention’ means everything and anything to everyone. Before I delve any deeper into my thoughts, let’s explore Attention in a little more detail.


The importance of ‘Attention Metrics’ in AdTech

In traditional advertising, success was often measured by impressions and clicks. However, these metrics alone fail to provide a comprehensive understanding of consumer engagement. In the digital realm, where attention spans are limited and competition for attention is fierce, tracking and analyzing attention metrics have become indispensable.

Attention metrics encompass a range of parameters that go beyond simple views or clicks. They delve deeper into user behaviour, interaction, and engagement levels. These metrics offer insights into how users engage with advertisements, how much time they spend, and whether they take desired actions after exposure.


Why is everybody talking about Attention Metrics right now?

The main reason behind its growth in popularity is down to the simple fact that the AdTech world is changing. With the third-party cookie set to demise as of next year, old ways of working are no longer applicable. And resurrected methodologies such as contextual targeting are taking a greater share of budgets. In essence, contextual targeting – and the data derived by contextual technologies – is feeding an advertiser with relevant insights surrounding the places and environments that consumers like best. 

“Attention is a really big topic as we move into a privacy-protected world,” opens Rose Silford-McLoughlin, Programmatic Partner, dentsu. “We’re moving away from third-party audiences, measurement is becoming more difficult. We have to measure effectively in a cookieless environment.” source.

Further, we now have the data that perhaps we didn’t before. Technology platforms and expert services are available that allow advertisers to essentially stitch all their data and insights together, to make better and more informed decisions to deliver the outcomes that matter. 

And, arguably more importantly, the industry is accessing AI technologies more than ever before, allowing for the opportunity to turn this data into actionable functions Think about predictive analytics which can be used pre-and-post bit to drive better campaigns. 

All these moving parts are creating the perfect time to bring into focus the idea of ‘Attention’. But once again, I ask: what does Attention truly mean? And how can it be smartly applied depending on the environment in which we are consuming media? Attention across a mobile device will drastically differ from consuming TV and podcasts, and so on. I personally feel the fragmentation within measurement will be with us for a long time, and although ‘attention’ may be able to fix part of it, I’m not sure we’re quite there yet.


Putting my Positive Hat On…

I’m not dismissing the incredible opportunity that Attention can bring to AdTech. Understanding attention metrics empowers advertisers and marketers to optimize ad campaigns effectively. By analyzing data insights, they can refine targeting strategies, optimize ad creatives, and tailor content to resonate with their audience’s preferences and behaviours. Continuous testing, experimentation, and adapting to emerging trends are crucial in leveraging attention metrics to drive advertising success.

It goes without saying, the journey of attention will be a huge focus as we move into 2024. And I am excited to see how it evolves. But for now, I still stand slightly on the fence. Perhaps I need to define what attention means to me. Or perhaps I’m just too long in the tooth and have seen too many measurement fads come and go, promising to be the new ‘silver bullet’, only to have their methodology undermined and deemed useless a year or 2 later, to get excited about anything anymore.

Will Supply-Path Optimization Solve Efficiencies within AdTech??

In the ever-moving, fast-paced world of digital advertising, staying ahead of the curve is a perpetual challenge. Advertisers are continually seeking ways to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their ad and marketing campaigns. One of the key strategies to achieve this is Supply-Path Optimization (SPO). 

SPO is a complex but essential technique that helps advertisers make informed decisions about their programmatic ad buying, ensuring their messages reach the right audiences at the right time and in the most cost-effective manner. 

However, is SPO the holy grail for advertisers and transparency? I don’t think it’s as simple as that. And this article will help explain why

Firstly, let’s do a sense check into SPO and the benefits it is bringing to the industry.

Benefits of Supply-Path Optimization

Whilst I agree that SPO is a good thing and holds many benefits within control and transparency, I do have reservations that we run the risk of going too far in that direction, therefore putting the power in the hands of a small few – meaning aspects such as innovation and keeping a competitive edge will falter due to market dominance.

Further, aspects such as scale and price may overrun value, and that simply cannot happen. Big-volume SSPs that offer the lowest rates are currently being preferred over those SSPs that build the tools that add value to the supply chain. This can often be down to far too narrow scopes provided by the auditors. I understand cost and scale might be good for the short term, but removing value will only impact advertisers in their long term strategies.

For me, ‘value’ should always be the core focus, and I really do hope phase 2.0 of the SPO journey will start to shift focus and get back on track. 

Other Challenges with SPO 1.0

Advertisers should consider the following:

In an era where transparency and efficiency are paramount, SPO allows advertisers to make the most of their programmatic ad budgets. By streamlining the supply path, reducing costs, and enhancing transparency, advertisers can achieve better results and more effectively reach their target audiences. However, it’s essential to approach SPO with a well-defined strategy and a commitment to ongoing optimization to reap the full benefits of this powerful technique.

We cannot lose sight of value, and we need to ensure we do not let that slide in the bid to add scale and limit costs in the bid to drive efficiency. 

Embracing Change: The Power of Pivot in Business?

Not everybody likes change. Change often brings disruption, confusion and a feeling of being unsettled. But learning to embrace change, in business, can be one of the most powerful tools in your toolkit. Why? Well in the crazy world of business, change is the only constant. Industries shift, customer preferences evolve, and unforeseen circumstances can disrupt even the most well-laid plans. In such an environment, the ability to pivot becomes a critical skill for any business seeking long-term success. 

Today we explore the power of the pivot in business, sharing actionable insights on how to embrace change effectively.

Let’s Explore The Power of the Pivot


Adaptability Leads to Resilience

Adaptability is a cornerstone of resilience in business. Organizations that can pivot quickly in response to changing circumstances are better equipped to weather economic downturns, technological disruptions, or unforeseen crises. History is replete with examples of companies that have not only survived but thrived by embracing change. Consider Netflix, which evolved from a DVD rental service to a streaming giant, or Apple, which shifted from a computer manufacturer to a global tech leader. These companies understood the power of the pivot and adapted their strategies accordingly – not just to create a competitive edge, but to be brave and deliver something new to an evolving audience.

Staying Relevant in a Dynamic Market

Market dynamics are in a constant state of flux. Consumer demands, competitors, and technology can all change rapidly, leaving businesses that fail to adapt at risk of obsolescence. To stay relevant, it’s essential to monitor industry trends, customer feedback, and emerging technologies. Embracing change enables businesses to align with these shifts, ensuring they remain competitive in their respective markets. We talk a lot about this in our New Markets whitepaper which you can find here.

Capitalizing on Opportunities

Change doesn’t always bring challenges; it can often bring new opportunities. A well-timed pivot can open doors to untapped markets, innovative product offerings, or strategic partnerships. By remaining open to change, businesses can position themselves to capitalize on these opportunities and gain a competitive advantage. Embracing change isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving in a dynamic landscape.


Explore my 5 key ways to embrace change in business

  1. Foster a Culture of Innovation

Innovation requires different minds to come together. I would urge all of you to create a diverse task force that thinks differently and can approach trends and topics with a unique point of view. Encourage your team to think creatively and explore new ideas. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their insights and experimenting with new approaches.

  1. Stay Informed

Regularly assess your industry, market, and customer trends. Whether you attend industry events, read weekly newsletters or ensure an open dialogue with good pals within the industry – whatever works for you, do it and make sure it is consistent! Stay informed about emerging technologies and evolving consumer preferences. Knowledge is power, and understanding the changes happening around you will enable you to make informed decisions.

  1. Be Agile

Incorporate agility into your business processes. Develop flexible strategies that can adapt to changing circumstances. This might involve shorter planning cycles, cross-functional teams, or rapid prototyping. This doesn’t mean you can’t have an end goal, but by being flexible in your path to that goal, you’ll leave yourself open for growth where needed. The key is to be ready to adjust your course when necessary.

  1. Learn How to Fail

Not every pivot will be a resounding success. Some may fail, and that’s okay. Failure can provide valuable insights and serve as a stepping stone to future successes. This is true not only in business but in life too. Often the biggest achievements we have in our lives have been as a result of some kind of failure. Encourage a culture where failure is viewed as a learning opportunity, not a setback.

  1. Communicate Effectively

Change can be unsettling for employees and stakeholders. Clear and transparent communication is essential during times of transition. Keep your team informed about the reasons for the pivot, the expected outcomes, and their roles in the process.


Let’s summarise.

I cannot stress enough how the power of the pivot cannot be overstated. Embracing change is not just a survival strategy; it’s a pathway to growth, innovation, and long-term success. 

Remember that change is not a threat; it’s an opportunity waiting to be seized. So, embrace change, and let it propel your business to new heights!

The Rise of Retail Media?

In recent years, the retail landscape has witnessed a significant transformation, driven by technology and changing consumer behaviors. One of the most remarkable developments in this evolution is the rise of retail media. Retailers, both online and traditional ‘brick and mortar’, are discovering the immense potential of leveraging their customer data and online platforms to offer advertising opportunities to brands that deliver more engagement and personalisation opportunities than ever before. In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of retail media, its growth, and the impact it’s having on the world of advertising.


The Birth of Retail Media.

Retail media is a relatively new concept that emerged as e-commerce giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target recognized the untapped potential in their customer data and digital platforms. These retail giants began to offer advertising space on their websites and apps, allowing brands to target shoppers with highly relevant ads. This shift marked the beginning of retail media’s rise and has continued to grow tenfold since. It has arguably become one of the hottest trends in AdTech, and there’s good reason why.

The Power of Customer Data

One of the key drivers behind its route to fame is the vast trove of customer data that retailers possess. They have insights into shoppers’ preferences, purchase history, browsing behaviour, and so much more. This rich data enables advertisers to create highly targeted and personalized ad campaigns that are more likely to resonate with consumers, leading to increased conversion rates.

The Enhanced Shopping Experience

Retail media doesn’t just benefit advertisers; it also enhances the shopping experience for consumers. Instead of bombarding shoppers with irrelevant ads, retail media allows for the delivery of ads that align with their interests and purchase intent, without being creepy or ‘stalkerish’. We’ve come a long way since the days of consumers feeling ‘watched’ and as more begin to understand the value exchange between sharing their data and getting something in return, the relationship between advertising and brand grows ever stronger. This creates a win-win situation where consumers see ads that are more likely to be useful to them, while advertisers achieve higher ROI.

The Diversification of Ad Formats

Retail media platforms offer a wide range of ad formats beyond the traditional display ad. These include sponsored product listings, video ads, and even in-store advertising opportunities for traditional in-store-only retailers. This diversity of ad formats allows advertisers to choose the most effective means of reaching their target audience within the retail ecosystem.

Future Growth

The growth of retail media shows no signs of slowing down. As more retailers embrace this model and invest in enhancing their advertising capabilities, the retail media landscape is expected to expand further. Smaller retailers and niche e-commerce platforms are also entering the space, making it a diverse and competitive arena.



The rise of retail media represents a fundamental shift in the way advertising and shopping intersect. It’s a win-win for both retailers and advertisers, offering highly targeted and personalized ad experiences to consumers while providing retailers with an additional revenue stream and a competitive advantage. As technology continues to advance, and retailers further unlock the potential of their customer data, the role of retail media in the advertising ecosystem will only continue to grow. It’s an exciting development that’s reshaping the future of retail and advertising.

The Minds Behind LaunchPad.?

Continuing on from our earlier blog with co-founder and CEO, Guy Jackson, we interview our co-founder, Remy Wasyluk, to understand how LaunchPad came to fruition, and what the future holds for the the consultation business.


01. What excites you about LaunchPad’s vision?

In its shortest and most straightforward form, Launchpad has a vision of doing consultancy better.  Better ways of thinking, smarter strategies and aligned processes that I believe, fill a huge hole in today’s fractional skills marketplace.  In between jobs, I have undertaken fractional work as a specialist for a number of years – while also witnessing many others do the same – and I have learnt a lot over time.  For me, the fundamentals lie in the pairing of specialism with a strategy; a place where expertise meets technology to unlock some incredible opportunities. And this is where LaunchPad can really make a difference, in providing a better framework for delivering the results that matter in a more transformative way for clients – rather than simply short-term processes that won’t last the distance.  

With transformation being driven at the rate that it now is, this market is only going to grow and it’s an area that Launchpad will spearhead the charge. And that really excites me!


02. What are the biggest challenges faced by businesses today that you hear the most about in your role at LaunchPad?

Wow, I mean there is in all honesty there are so many challenges faced by businesses within AdTech today. It entirely depends on the sub-category in which a client exists, their product and or service offering and where they are in their transformation journey. However, one common theme that seems to be present in almost all of my clients is the lack of digital specialists and SMEs (subject matter experts) alongside the cost of implementing these skill sets and the limited time in which leadership has to balance short-term delivery with mid-long term growth initiatives.  

Many leaders know what they need in order to pivot towards success, however, they are weighing up time, resources and tightening budgets, and that is not a fun place to be. The good news is, LaunchPad can really add value here. In fact, these are the core challenges that both Guy and I have been supporting clients with for years before we created LaunchPad itself.  We aim to take your ideas and use our specialist skill sets – and community of experts – to roadmap and help you execute at lightning speed. In short, with us, you’ll see the benefits quicker than without us.


03. What areas of AdTech get you up in the morning? And equally, wake you up at night!?

I’d like to be able to say I leave AdTech at my desk before the end of the day, but the truth is, it is in my veins! However, what I do love about our industry is that it is FULL of incredible technological innovation. And challenges are only increasing due to the speed of innovation and AI.  As leaders, we need to be on our A-game, which can cause a threat if you look at it like that, but it can also open up a huge amount of opportunities and gains – and that’s why I love what I do. 

I genuinely love working around our client’s challenges and finding their path to growth that they didn’t know existed. You know the old age saying ‘Two heads are better than one?’ It’s that in a nutshell. Our collective thinking and strategy delivery is always the best for me as we’re exploring new ideas, and opening eyes to potential which is a pretty exciting environment to be in. Challenges don’t always have to be doom and gloom – it’s how you overcome them that matters. And so it doesn’t really keep me up at night, but it certainly is why I get up in the morning!

How to Successfully Launch into New Markets?

Our latest blog explores the challenges and opportunities faced by many AdTech leaders who are looking to venture into new regional landscapes.

For many, ‘landing and expanding’ into new markets is high on the agenda when setting out future ambitions for the organisation. And, as technology advancements increasingly become the key driver in organisational success, global expansion is a prerequisite ‘must’, rather than a ‘luxury’ for any serious AdTech leader.. 

Research findings from an annual survey of technology decision-makers, by Equinix, Inc. revealed that global businesses are planning major investments in digital technologies to support ambitious expansion plans following lessons learned from the global pandemic:

However, many fail in their global footprint efforts due to ill-thought-out strategies, an assumption mindset, and/or a lack of due diligence. (In fact, the assumption mindset is one of the biggest downfalls of many businesses that I have met throughout my many years in AdTech!

So many business leaders believe if a product or service works well in one region, it will likely translate to another. But this simply isn’t true. If the global pandemic taught us anything, it is that despite going through unprecedented times on a global stage, recovery strategies and routes to ‘normality’ differed immensely. Audiences differ, external factors differ, and economic landscapes differ; there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to AdTech, so my advice is to remain humble in every part of the decision process. 

The good news is, by thoroughly working through your ‘new market’ strategy, you will start to see the incredible opportunities available to you and your business’s future, and you’ll most likely be able to do a bit of a ‘spring clean’ in the process, removing tech, vendors, and processes that may no longer be delivering you value. And, the good news is, you’re not expected to do this alone! Embracing change and launching into a new market can be pretty daunting, however, the incredible collective at LaunchPad is here to help. 

We’ve created a How To Guide focused on launching into new markets. Within our guide you’ll learn about the current marketplace regarding business expansion, the ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ when defining your strategy, the legalities in global expansion, and the next steps on how to get started.

Download our Launching into New Markets Whitepaper and start your journey on international expansion!