How the 3 A’s of advertising are intertwined

As AI and attention metrics become more commonly used, and addressability practices are reevaluated in response to cookie deprecation, the way marketers plan, buy, and measure are evolving.

Generative AI: AI’s ability to isolate trends is a powerful marketing opportunity, said Angelina Eng, vice president of measurement, addressability, and data center at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), during a recent Meet the Analyst Webinar.

  • The next frontier of generative AI will be “evaluative,” said Todd Rose, senior vice president of global business development and addressability at InMobi. It will be used to determine what audiences or campaigns to surface based on trends and other factors. Evaluative AI will enable platforms to efficiently ship ad traffic to buyers in order to find an impression of interest.
  • Generative AI and predictive analytics are coming together to augment targeting strategies applied to advertising content to a degree that couldn’t happen before, especially when it comes to delivering ads on Apple devices.
  • AI can help marketers fill in the blanks caused by Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency by looking at data loss signals to determine a specific user’s intent, beyond where they clicked and general interest, said Eng.

Attention metrics: As marketers seek reassurance that they can reach target audiences, a greater focus is being placed on attention metrics. While there is no standard definition currently, there is a lot of promise because the underlying technologies are familiar to marketers.

There are three approaches to measuring attention metrics, Eng said:

  1. Biometric data, which includes neurological-physiological tracking or scanning, facial recognition, brain waves, heart rate, blood pressure, and more. Biometrics typically require some sort of device for data collection.
  2. Data signals, specifically processing rules that come through the supply chain, are sent either directly from the publisher or captured by a device. Ad verification companies already rely on data signals to measure ad engagement and behavior.
  3. Cognitive and emotional data considers if an ad affected a user’s mindset, and if the ad impacted consideration.

Although the IAB and other third-party organizations are working to provide guidance on attention metrics, building trust between agencies and clients on its usage and how it’s measured will be key in making it a standard currency.

However, a lot still needs to be considered before attention metrics are made a standard currency, Eng said:

  1. Can attention metrics be measured in a scalable fashion, and is it representative of the population and the publisher’s audience?
  2. What is the impact on revenues and scalability on the publishing side, and is too much accountability placed on the publisher?
  3. Not all ads are created equally—some are eye-catching and engaging, while others need to work harder to explain their story. How does creativity come into play?

Because attention metrics are not the same in all contexts, it will be exciting to see how AI can transform and adapt individual ad experiences to be more impactful, added Ian Anderson, vice president of AI at InMobi.

Addressability: “Not only is the industry not ready for these applications,” the IAB’s Eng said of the impending loss of cookies on Chrome, “[the] majority of the industry is not prepared. Maybe some of the holding companies are, and the publishers, but it’s not widespread.”

  • While there’s been a lot of preparation and solution awareness, it’s business as usual for most, said InMobi’s Rose. Ad buyers are still buying against mobile ad IDs. When mobile ad IDs aren’t available, ad buyers—despite education around the spectrum of solutions—are ignoring options like cohort-based solutions, and defaulting to contextual advertising because it’s familiar.
  • Google’s Privacy Sandbox is a concern as it doesn’t cover enough or provide the same level of support that the industry currently has, Eng said.
  • As targeting evolves, AI will help fill gaps in addressability, our analyst Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf said, and marketers will be able to balance AI for advertising technologies that simultaneously prioritize consumer privacy and data protection.

For more insight and perspectives on the three A’s of advertising, watch the full Meet the Analyst Webinar below:

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