Jacqui Vear

Posted on 22nd May 2024
by Jacqui Vear

Attention – the new marketing metric

The modern world glorifies multi-tasking, yet we clearly have the capacity for sustained attention. There are survey results out there which report that more than 70% of people have binge-watched more than 5 hours of a show in a single sitting.

There’s a direct correlation between, attention, memorability and action. So unsurprisingly the mission of marketers is grabbing attention. Advertisers know this, whilst appreciating that there are different degrees of attention; sometimes we’re focused, at times we intentionally divide our attention. That’s why TV adverts start with a big impact; through volume, an opening line that grabs you, through emotion and storytelling. Messaging almost needs to find its way to our subconscious, where we remember a tag line, soundtrack or product, without really knowing that we do!

Take note, this marketing metric now extends beyond big budget TV commercials. Gone are the days when the assessment of marketing reach was about the size of the average audience alongside the frequency of the message. Marketing metrics are no longer about views, they are about meaningful engagement.

From the desks of Marketing Managers to boardroom tables, everyone needs to be in control of how their messages ‘cut-through’. Attention metrics will be part of project plans and KPIs, with good attention leading to sustained brand engagement.

The tactile advantage of print

We’re here to help you identify the right marketing channel for your messages, to maximise ROI.

Direct mail performs particularly well in attention metrics, which surveys attribute to the sensory experience of mail. A World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) survey gave it an attention rate of 95%. Whilst engaging older generations very effectively, the survey highlighted that Gen Z was most likely to engage with direct mail, that’s the term is used to represent those born in the late 1990s and early 2000’s. Mail is also linked to undivided attention, which a JICMAIL study linked to 124 seconds across 28 days for direct mail and 62 seconds for door drop mail. (1)

The latest data from JICMAIL for Q4 of 2023 reported that 95% of mail had some sort of physical action taken with it, other than being immediately discarded. 30% of mail prompted a commercial action. (1)

There is software that we can access as we prepare your door drop mailings to analyse the likely engagement of your recipients. Eye-tracking technology can tap into a reader’s subconscious by picking up on their instinctive reactions to artwork. The software will generate a heatmap which plots the typical duration of a gaze and a sequence report will confirm the first four areas of a design that eyes will fix on. Armed with these insights, we can optimise artwork, with a focus on brand placement, the scale of key features within the design and the clarity of the call to action.

Distinctive design

Creativity is certainly a tool to achieve cut-through, (our design agency oodle make it their mission to offer creativity with oomph!) There is a ‘return to humour’ which was reinforced by the introduction of a new awards category on this theme in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this summer. Playful is an objective that even the most serious brands can entertain in a mission to be memorable.


If you’re accounting for attention metrics in our omnichannel world, well done! If you need ideas that will prompt captivation, we’d be very happy to chat about your brief.


Can we help you grab some attention?

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