Horizon Next's President On The Future Of Metrics, Measurement

Gene Turner, president at Horizon Next, wanted to build a career in law as a kid, but in high school realized his future in advertising and marketing media. Marketing classes in college came next.

“I’m not sure I was made to be a lawyer,” he said. “For me, I’ve been fortunate to be mentored by a lot of great people. I still like to listen and understand different perspectives before making decisions.”

Caroline Cook, senior vice president, growth at Horizon Next, which works with Turner, calls him “Superman” because he is “very insightful” and can help even the smallest brands grow.

Turner pointed to a new model developed by Horizon Next's product development teams to measure digital and traditional media. The team is working with automatic content recognition (ACR) data, which helps analysts understand how viewers watch a show and the impact it has on transactions and sales performance. Models were built out in late 2020 to bring more measurement and accountability to all types of video such as OTT and connected TV.  

When Data & Programmatic Insider asked Turner how his love for law as a kid influenced his business style, he said it’s about understanding different perspectives and risks before taking action.

Turner often uses the phrase “no parking tickets, only speeding tickets,” meaning that he wants to be in an environment that takes action.

“It’s pretty awesome to build a team from nothing and they love coming to work every day,” Turner said. “There’s an open forum for collaboration and sharing different perspectives. You want to be in an environment where everyone respects one another.”

Turner began working at Horizon in 2003. At the time Horizon Media brought in $700 million in total billings, rising to $8.7 billion in 2020. The division Turner runs today didn’t exist when he joined Horizon. When he became president of Horizon Next, collective accounts totaled about $10 million, rising to $2.5 billion today, he said.

One of his early mentors at Horizon Media, retired adman Carl Kotheimer, told Turner to “set a vision for what you want, talk about that vision and deliver on it. Don’t worry about what you have today, but rather build what you want.”

Turner points to the industry needing a better understanding of the value of brands in relation to the value of conversion media. That’s something every advertiser wants to better understand and get right, he said. Market disrupters come in with completely new perspectives, trying to teach them to brands, but it’s important for them to understand how to create awareness without consideration and how to build their brand to drive sales. He believes much of the mid-funnel activity that takes place in media is super critical.

The thing he loves most about his job as president of Horizon Next, for brands willing to disrupt the industry. is to accelerate their path to growth.

“They try to push the limits,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to help these brands scale. Being in a position to deliver across any communication channel and drive growth is a lot of fun.”

5 comments about "Horizon Next's President On The Future Of Metrics, Measurement".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 15, 2021 at 10:56 a.m.

    Laurie, find it odd that they are using ACR sets to evaluate how people "view" content---when the these offer no information about whether the "viewer" is even in the room and certainly not whether the "viewer" is attentive to the content---or paying no attention, using a second screen, etc. ? Unless things have changed, all you get from a ACR set is dialing activities and other electronic info---but on an average second---or minute---basis, these represent only a small part of whatever audience is there. As for new metrics and measurement, I'm guessing that he is referring to some way to track "outcomes"---but I'm not sure  that is what he meant.

  2. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan, February 15, 2021 at 2:32 p.m.

    I appreciate you, Ed. You always ask the great questions. I'm sure they didn't tell all. 

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, February 15, 2021 at 3:22 p.m.

    Very interesting Laurie.

    While I commend all efforts to improve measurement, and particularly the effectiveness of advertising, I have some reservations when this is done in singularity.   The nature of business and commerce would mean that a competiive business will try to negate any advantage by producing their own new measurement system.   So which vendor does the media agency or advertiser trust?   And how do you co-mingle disparate measurment systems to get a campaign level assessment?

  4. Gene Turner from Horizon Next replied, February 15, 2021 at 9:39 p.m.

    Ed, I supposed the word WHAT should have been used in place of the word HOW: We are analyzing what viewers are watching using ACR.

    We are tracking outcomes as you suspected, it is a panel representation of the larger audience present. 

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 16, 2021 at 3:54 a.m.

    Thanks, Gene. It's a difficult nut to crack but I wish you good luck with your new model.

Next story loading loading..