Q&A with Mike Follett of Lumen Technologies on Attention


1) Who are you? My name is Mike Follett and I am a founder and CEO of Lumen. I have spent my entire career making communications more effective, starting as a planner with the DDB group in London, New York and Mumbai, before returning to the UK to work for Tesco’s advertising agency. I founded Lumen Research in 2013 and have built it up over the last nine years into the leading attention technology company.

2) What is your role at Lumen Research?

I am one of the founders and CEO. I also do a lot of washing up in the office.

3) What is Lumen Research doing for the advertising industry?

Lumen uses eye tracking to measure and predict the reality of visual engagement. Our technology converts the webcam on a user’s phone or desktop computer into a high-quality eye-tracking camera, capturing not only what users can see, but also what they actually look at.

The company has large-scale permanent panels in the US and the UK, and temporary panels across many other global markets. These panels are recruited to be nationally representative and fully GDPR compliant.

4) What is your partnership with TVision doing and how will it improve TV advertising?

TVision is developing a UK-based, opt-in panel to measure person-level TV viewing and engagement, collaborating with Lumen’s digital measurement to enable UK marketers to easily compare engagement across media.

The combination of TVison’s TV and CTV attention data and Lumen’s digital attention data allows advertisers to access a holistic picture of viewer engagement from a single platform.

Within this platform, brands can determine new metrics, such as which campaigns engage viewers best and when they wear out; which media placements deliver optimal attention; how attention can be improved across platforms; and the relationship between TV and digital campaign attention.

5) Why do you feel the need to work on this platform?

Ads work best if people are paying attention. The advertising industry understands this basic premise, but measuring and quantifying attention and its impact, and optimising campaigns based on that data, is a recent development. Lumen and TVision are helping drive industry advancement by arming brands with powerful attention insights

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