Earlier this morning, one of my colleagues sent around a note to a bunch of us pointing to a post by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress (and many others). In his post, he talks how the Knight Foundation has granted Grist.org monies to build an open-source WordPress plug-in to measure Attention Minutes.
As someone who straddles technology and marketing/advertising, I wanted to talk about why this is particularly interesting.
Note however, WordPress is not the first to go down this path, mentioned in the comments of the post are Upworthy and Parse.ly, two companies who are dabbling in this space too. I’m sure there are many others.
Lets break down Attention & Minutes.
The dictionary describes attention as the act or faculty of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object. Since the invention of Internet marketing, attention has been one of the key drivers of increased economic growth…. because it’s measurable. If you can measure attention by different proxies, you can understand if it’s working or not for you or your brand and can then make rationale decisions as to investing more or less.
Attention KPIs focus around engagement. CTR is a signal of attention. Hovers/Mouse overs are a signal of attention. Purchase is a signal of attention. Commenting is a signal of attention. Creating is a signal of attention. You get the idea.
The dictionary defines a minute as the sixtieth part (1/60) of an hour; sixty Minutes are super important in advertising because much of the ecosystem trades on time based measures such as Gross Rating Points (GRP). The GRP delivers of the answer of what % of the population is reached during said time period, with some form of content… usually television. There have been movements to bring the GRP to digital media and I’ve certainly been vocal about this subject in the past.
Attention Minutes are interesting to me. I don’t immediately dismiss them like I do with GRP’s. I like the idea of a measurable attribute/KPI with some form of time period. This seems reasonable and something that I’d like to learn more about. How is it bought? How is it sold? What tools measure it? How can you purchase attention minutes in the programmatic world?