In a sea of KPIs, attention is now key at GSK in how they are optimising their advertising to maximise their brand growth says Sam Gaunt, their Northern Europe Media Director.

Gaunt, who was speaking at MAD//Fest London, said that GSK “knows that if you grab people’s attention then sales will follow”, and that “ROI is closely correlated to the amount of time people consume advertising.”

One of the key challenges of digital advertising as been the large number of metrics and KPIs. Gaunt said that the journey of defining KPIs can be like “painting the Forth Bridge”, with new tech always offering the ability to further enhance how we measure the effectiveness of advertising. Some metrics stay, but many go.

Attention is at a huge premium. We all are bombarded with adverts every day and we all know, as consumers ourselves, that we try and avoid it. As Gaunt outlined, “only 11% of time we are exposed to adverts are we actually looking at them.” As such, at GSK the key metric and KPI is ‘cost per thousand attentive seconds' and not 'cost of a thousand impressions'. The latter is “great currency but not a great KPI”.

However, creatively getting people’s attention only works if it is optimised against the right audiences, “the challenge that is found in digital channels is finding those audiences and actually delivering against them” Gaunt opined.

GSK also ensures that they invest in responsible, ethical content that aligns with its brand values. As Gaunt explained, the environment has to be right to get the right people in the right places. “With good quality editorial content comes potential customers and therefore adverts”.

So whilst attention is becoming the holy grail for marketers, they should not forget, at their peril,  the other key elements of optimising data to maximise audience reach, and aligning with publishers and platforms that align with and enhance your brand.

Over 8,000 people attended MAD//Fest on 7-8 July in-person and via the virtual platform. Speakers included KFC CMO Jack Hinchliffe, S4 Capital Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell and Resi Founder Alex Depledge MBE. Full sessions are available now on our YouTube channel.