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Season 2 Episode 10
Measuring Media Quality with Harmon Lyons

RESOURCES   ❯   The Marketing Rapport Podcast

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Marketing Rapport, host Tim Finnegan sits down with Harmon Lyons, Chief Business Officer of Adelaide Metrics, to delve into the world of media quality measurement. Harmon shares his journey from roles at Microsoft, EA, and TransUnion to his current position at Adelaide. His career path offers unique insights into the evolving landscape of media advertising and measurement.

Harmon explains how Adelaide Metrics differs from traditional measurement companies like Nielsen and Comscore. While those companies focus on audience metrics, Adelaide assesses the quality of media placements. They use data such as eye-tracking and exposure to provide scores that help advertisers understand the effectiveness of their ad placements.

The discussion also touches on the importance of high-quality data in driving marketing success. Harmon emphasizes that good data is crucial for both audience targeting and media quality assessment. He highlights how Adelaide’s innovative approach is helping publishers and advertisers optimize their campaigns for better outcomes.



Guest-at-a-Glance

Harmon Lyons
  • Name: Harmon Lyons
  • What they do: Chief Business Officer
  • Company: Adelaide Metrics
  • Noteworthy: Harmon Lyons is focused on media quality and advertising effectiveness, leveraging innovative metrics to optimize ad placements.
  • Where to find them: LinkedIn

Key Insights

  • Elevating Media Quality Measurement Beyond Traditional Metrics
    In the podcast, Harmon Lyons discusses the critical role of media quality measurement in today’s advertising landscape. Unlike traditional metrics that focus on audience numbers, Adelaide Metrics emphasizes the importance of evaluating the quality of media placements. By using advanced data such as eye-tracking and exposure data, Adelaide provides scores that reflect how effectively an ad engages its audience. This approach helps advertisers understand not just who sees their ads but how much attention those ads receive and their impact. Lyons highlights that this shift from click-through rates and basic analytics to detailed quality assessments represents the future of media measurement, offering advertisers more precise tools to optimize their campaigns and achieve better outcomes.
  • Harnessing High-Quality Data for Effective Advertising
    Harmon Lyons underscores the necessity of high-quality data in driving successful marketing campaigns. He shares his experience from TransUnion and Adelaide, emphasizing that the quality of data used for audience targeting and media quality assessment directly influences campaign effectiveness. Lyons explains that having accurate, verified data ensures that marketers are reaching the right audiences and placing ads in the best possible contexts. This focus on data integrity is crucial for achieving meaningful outcomes, such as brand lift and sales conversions. He advocates for using top-tier data partners and leveraging sophisticated data analysis techniques to enhance media quality, ultimately enabling advertisers to make informed decisions and optimize their media spending.
  • Pioneering New Frontiers in Ad Effectiveness
    During the episode, Harmon Lyons delves into innovative measurement techniques that are transforming the advertising industry. Adelaide Metrics goes beyond traditional audience measurement by incorporating attention metrics and outcome-based assessments. Lyons explains how their system uses eye-tracking and other advanced technologies to gauge the quality and effectiveness of ad placements. This approach allows advertisers to understand not just if their ads are being seen, but how much attention they capture and how well they drive desired outcomes. This method provides a more holistic view of ad performance, enabling better optimization and more strategic media planning. By integrating these cutting-edge techniques, Adelaide is helping marketers navigate the complexities of modern media consumption and achieve greater advertising success./li>

Episode Highlights

Differentiating Adelaide Metrics from Traditional Measurement Companies
Timestamp: [00:04:00]

Tim asks Harmon to explain how Adelaide Metrics differs from companies like Nielsen and Comscore. Harmon clarifies that while traditional companies focus on audience measurement, Adelaide assesses the quality of media placements using various metrics, including attention and outcomes. He elaborates on how this approach provides a more comprehensive understanding of ad effectiveness.
“To Nielsen and Comscore, they’re looking at the audience. We’re looking at the actual media placement. So we can give a score to that placement. And that’s really what the New York Times was talking about — what’s the quality impact of that placement itself and our scores derived by outcomes. So it’s working with our partners and understanding what outcomes are, whether it’s brand lift, whether it’s conversion and mixing that into kind of the algorithm and the machine learning that generates a score.”

Addressing Privacy and Data Quality
Timestamp: [00:15:00]

Harmon discusses the ongoing concerns about privacy and the importance of data quality in media measurement. He emphasizes that high-quality data is essential for accurate targeting and measuring media effectiveness. He also touches on how Adelaide Metrics ensures compliance with privacy regulations while still providing valuable insights to advertisers.
“Privacy is obviously a really big topic still, as it should be, and ensuring that what you’re doing is operating in a privacy-compliant way. Media quality is another big topic. Attention has just gotten a ton of buzz. It’s really the next opportunity to raise the bar in terms of how media buyers are executing their plans and allowing them to get the most bang for the buck at the end of the day.”

The Future of Media Measurement and Emerging Trends
Timestamp: [00:18:00]

Tim and Harmon explore the future of media measurement and the emerging trends in the industry. Harmon highlights the importance of staying ahead of the curve and adapting to new technologies and methodologies. He mentions the potential impact of digital out-of-home, audio, and CTV, and how Adelaide Metrics is positioned to help marketers navigate these changes.
“We’re looking at everything from digital out of home to audio to CTV to linear social across the board. So we’re really helping marketers understand what are those placements that are going to drive the most effective outcomes for them. And then, you know, you almost think of it in a vein of a media mix model where you’re going, ‘Where should I spend my next million dollars,’ and understanding where to put that.”

The Critical Role of Identity Resolution
Timestamp: [00:23:00]

As the discussion wraps up, Tim asks Harmon about the significance of identity resolution in the data and measurement industry. Harmon emphasizes that identity resolution is crucial for knowing exactly who you are targeting. He explains that high-quality, first-party data is essential for accurate audience targeting, as it provides a clear picture of who the audience is. Harmon outlines the process, starting with ensuring the right audience, followed by targeting media quality, and then assessing placement and context. This approach ensures that advertisers reach the right people effectively.
“Identity resolution is critical. It’s that high-quality data, the importance of it and being able to actually know who you’re targeting. It’s just a critical component and kind of that first leg that we were talking about. Do I have the right audience? […] It was a bunch of estimates in the identity resolution and using first party data and matching that up, you have a really good sense of who you’re targeting and if that data is quality or not based on the partner that you’re choosing to work with.”


Top Quotes

[00:11:00] Harmon Lyons: “If we talk data, it’s a garbage in, garbage out type mentality. If you’re throwing bad data at something, you’re not going to get the results that you want.”
[00:15:00] Harmon Lyons: “Privacy is obviously a really big topic still, as it should be, and ensuring that what you’re doing is operating in a privacy-compliant way. Media quality is another big topic.”
[00:13:00] Harmon Lyons: “For me, it’s about listening. It really comes down to hearing what people are saying — not just in the company itself and how it’s being positioned but in the industry more broadly.”
[00:09:00] Harmon Lyons: “The idea of being able to get high-quality verified data to be used for marketing purposes is super important. Not only just from the audience perspective to make sure you’re targeting the right audiences but also from a media quality perspective. Tying it to outcomes is the holy grail. If you’re an advertiser, you want to know what impact it’s gonna have.”
[00:24:00] Harmon Lyons: “Identity resolution is critical. It’s that high-quality data, the importance of it and being able to actually know who you’re targeting. Using first-party data and matching that up, you have a really good sense of who you’re targeting and if that data is quality or not based on the partner that you’re choosing to work with.”