Thought Leadership

Everything Enrollment Marketers Should Know About Attention Metrics

How New Forms of Measurement Are Changing the Game


Every higher education marketer will tell you: the value of an enrollment has never been higher. What good is a lead generation campaign if quality leads don’t eventually choose your institution to continue their education? A key part of finding quality prospective students is efficient investment in upper-funnel campaigns. Quickly knowing how an ad or piece of content is performing, why it’s performing that way, and how we can improve it is crucial to success. Attention metrics, the latest evolution in digital media measurement, enables us to achieve this.

What Are Attention Metrics?

Attention metrics use a variety of data signals such as facial recognition and eye tracking, in concert with AI Analysis, instead of focusing on one specific data signal, such as impressions. Attention metrics deliver a much more robust picture of how your audience is responding to your media.

Companies like Amazon and The Trade Desk are leveraging these metrics, combining AI-driven eye-tracking data with web page layouts to assess how much attention ads truly capture. Vendors like Lumen Research, Adelaide, and Playground XYZ are at the forefront, using AI to analyze dwell time, scroll speed, and interaction with ads.

Why Are We Excited About Attention Metrics?

This new measurement tool is useful for upper-funnel campaign tactics that many higher education institutions test to improve strategies, better attribute the success of awareness-based ads, and more deeply understand user sentiment. Attention metrics will drive more informed decision-making and ensure that every advertising dollar contributes to measurable business goals even at the brand level, granting additional understanding and transparency to the marketing funnel.

What Do Attention Metrics Mean for Enrollment Marketers?

Many higher education institutions are trying to balance the need for brand marketing versus conversion campaigns. Integrating attention metrics reporting and analysis into your marketing workflow can bring more efficiency to your campaigns by allowing you to:

  • More quickly identify ad creative that is and isn’t working
  • Identify media formats that are successful or need rethinking
  • More efficiently direct your ad budget to drive incremental engagement and conversion
  • Better understand what your audience is drawn to and where

Attention metrics challenge the idea that marketers should rely on the number of impressions or views their ads get to determine success. In some cases, attention is a better metric to understand someone’s likelihood to convert rather than viewability.

By including attention metrics in your media analysis, you are much more likely to understand and measure the impact of your ads, allowing you to better find and build community and drive enrollment success.

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