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Tracking Podcast Ad Performance That's Hard To Track w/ Omer Jilani

There’s two sides to attribution. Hang out with Bryan and Omer as they talk about the great feeling of helping creators get the revenue they need to keep their visions going, by getting them good attribution.

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Bryan: Collaboration, alternative attribution, and innovation. That's what we're talking about today on Sounds Profitable with me, Bryan Barletta.

this episode is brought to you by chartable attribution, analytics and awesomeness. Go to for more details. I know that you're listening to Sounds Profitable because podcast ad tech is important to you. But it's important to me that you are kept up to date on the latest news from the entire podcast industry to help with that.

Here's what happened last week. No matter when you're listening from James Cridland at Podnews,

the article I wrote about alternative attribution, which I've linked in the description I discussed, what you should be doing in order to get consistency and to drive the most. My old friend, Omer Jilani from Claritas came by to talk about the other side of that sort of attribution and how amazingly cool it is to help creators generate profit, to keep their creative visions running well, Omer, thank you so much for being here.

Omer: Thanks so much,

Bryan: Bryan. Nice to be here. Yeah. Nice to have you here. So for those of you, this is the first time you're interacting with Omer. Omer usually doesn't sound like this. He wanted me to kick off and let you know, he kinda threw out his voice a little bit and he didn't listen to my latest article or read my latest.

How about microphones? So we're going to have to get him to expense a new microphone, but, uh, Omer OMERS here from Claritas, me and Omer have worked together for, we worked together for six years. Right? You came on when we were at, at Kieran and then we became barometric. And then we split off when ad Deron was acquired and barometric was its own thing for like a stressful year.

And then Claritas acquired us. And we were there for a while before I went on to megaphone. And now you're kind of running the show on the attribution side. Right.

Omer: Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, we've, we've worked together for quite some time, as you mentioned. And, uh, we've seen, we've seen a lot, you know, pop both positive and negative and, and, you know, I think now, um, I am running the measurement side of the business or what we call the optimized team here

Bryan: at Claritas.

Oh, that's so awesome. Like it, it was very fun and I think it gives you a really cool perspective. We started in digital attribution or started as a, as a, a mobile DSP without Darren. We transitioned into the attribution for everything with, uh, traction and then became barometric, which I still laugh about the.

Click with me that our original like URLs were, were S T R K And they're like, yeah, traction dot U S. And I was like, no, that looks like tracking us.

Oh man. I laughed at that real hard. And, and then, you know, we pivoted into podcasting and, you know, Claritas does more than just the podcast attribution, but like, You helped start that. I mean, pod sites and Chartable with the attribution started after the fact, the entire industry kind of grew around it.

And Clara just, you know, worked really hard to like set the standards. I mean, I believe we built, uh, the first lift reports. I believe we really made that a priority to get people away from the anxiety of not being able to track every single thing and focusing on the directional aspect. You know, Omer, I think what you've done at Claritas and what Claritas has done for the space is, has been really foundational in podcast ad tech.

Yeah. No,

Omer: thanks so much. And Bryan, obviously you deserve some of the credit for that. There's there's others that deserve some of the credit as well. So I've just been fortunate to. From the work you and others had put in. And, you know, I think to your point, it's a really exciting time now to be able to take kind of some of the foundational things that we've built, that we were using across different channels and apply to the audio ecosystem and, and podcast, and, you know, selfishly I've just really enjoyed it.

You know, getting to know and learning about the podcast ecosystem. Um, and it's been just as enjoyable meeting people in that, in the podcast and audio ecosystem. So it's been a really exciting couple of years for me personally, as well as for Claritas as we scale our capabilities.

Bryan: Yeah. It, you know, you, you hit on something that's really neat there.

Like it is exciting. When you think of like mobile websites or standard websites and apps and whatnot, the people creating the content that people engaging with that, like making that site or app, what it is, are not the people that me and you would deal with on the ad tech or business side. But in podcasting, we often are, we're dealing with the people that are very close to the creators, if not the creators themselves.

And there's something exciting about it. I mean, I've been talking to a lot of people recently and like I got into ad tech because of the technology excited. But it's also the fun of being like the right hand in the business and revenue generating side for those creators. Like now it's fun that I'm creating content about this whole thing, but before that, like, it's so neat to be able to see that creator, do the ad and execute on it and show them that we can track the success.

Generate all that from it, it really pulls it all together. And podcasting gives you that close connection that I don't think a lot of other channels get maybe like influencer marketing, maybe like on Instagram and whatnot, but podcasting is neat. It's got that. Cool. Yeah. And

Omer: I think, no, I don't. I was thinking about this.

I don't know, but that's kind of when you're in the nascent stages of kind of a new channel or new technology where you kind of see more collaboration and, you know, even collaboration with people that you would consider competitors, I just find that, and you know, whether it's us or pot sites or chartable.

You know, I have conversations with those guys, you know, we're comparing notes and I think on the publisher side and the platform side, you know, everyone is vested in delivering better attribution, better measurement for the brand and the brands obviously. You know, after, you know, going through this measurement phase with, you know, branded search and things like that, they have certain expectations for any channel that they're running across.

So being able to work closely with people like yourself, the brands, the agencies, and the platforms, it's just been very collaborative. And I, I,

Bryan: I enjoy. Yeah. It's like nothing else. It's the most interesting part of ad tech I've been in my entire career. And you know, so this week, like what I really wanted to talk about with you is like pod sites and chartable are really heavily focused on digital attribution and they're great.

They knock it out of the park. And most podcast advertising is digital, right? A lot of it's direct response or brand recognition. We're driving somebody from experiencing a podcast ad to a website, to an app. And the kind of connection that they have there being able to match that that's the most like data we have, but all of these companies with device graphs are empowered in different ways to match.

Let's call it alternative methods. In the article that, you know, we'll reference in the episode notes, we talk about a few different ones here and I kinda, you know, instead of like rehashing them, because I don't know how much more technical we really need to get on them. Like, I want to kind of reminisce about some of the stories that we did, um, because these like my hands on experiences with these.

Side-by-side with you? Uh, I think very, most of them were done while we were traveling. None of them were ever convenient. It was never like, oh, we're not going to be on the road for six weeks. So let's do like a really tough campaign. It's like, it's January. Do you want to go to Chicago? Which I reflected on?

Yeah. And I've only been to Chicago in January. And with you multiple times.

Omer: And it's, it's been, uh, quite some time since I've been on a plan for work. So hopefully we get, we get back to those days relatively soon,

Bryan: but we, um, you know, one of the things that that really stood out is like the device graph is all about focusing on taking the exposure, right.

And identifying every piece you can and matching it to the graph to augment it. So in podcasting, that's just IP address. And then you augmented, if it is a household IP address, which is really important, you have to filter down to the IP address of the household IP. Yeah. Cause cellular just isn't going to do it right.

And business is too wide. And then from there you match that to, can you tell the residents, right? Can you tell the postal and from the postal, do you know any public information about them? Are you able to match 20 other device IDs or cookies or anything else? And I think the most fun one that me and you did was I think it was for a bank.

Right. And it was postal like the bank focused on exposure to in-person.

Omer: Exactly. Yeah, no, it was, uh, it was, you know, it was a regional Midwestern bank and they were driving sort of affinity card affinity, credit card signups. Um, so we were to your point, Bryan, we were appending, you know, our media pixels to their various, uh, media, digital media, uh, creative.

And so we were capturing that exposure data. And, and again, that one wasn't podcast specific, but the same holds true where we're, we're taking any kind of data from that media pixel. And ultimately the graph, the identity graph is foundational to anything that we're doing here, because it allows us to connect the two data streams, one being the exposure to your point on this one, the conversion, if you will, it wasn't a pixel.

It was actual postal data. Um, from a bank because when someone would sign up for a credit card application, they're entering their postal, they're entering lots of information, you know, like social security, name, phone number, email, and postal. But you can imagine for us to be able to get the approval from a privacy standpoint, from a bank.

To deliver us postal, uh, data for their, their new subscribers or applicants. Um, that was really exciting. So we were taking, you know, the incoming feed of, Hey 1, 2, 3 main street, you know, Kansas, um, you know, Topeka, Kansas. Um, they signed up for a credit card and what we were able to do with our identity graph.

And I think, you know, it speaks to the way that ours and maybe some graphs are built is that they're not reliant on any single node or identifier. So we might be taking in a, uh, you know, an IP or a device ID on an exposure. But we're ultimately matching it to a household and then having postal data in that graph, we can take that, you know, a credit card application, this is the postal address and say, oh, 10 days ago, or 20 days ago, this household was exposed to an ad, clicked on an ad

Bryan: exactly

Omer: exact product.

So that was really exciting. And again, to your point, it's not standard. It's not something. You know, it's kind of seamless and standard in the UI, but most importantly, we can do it. And, you know, as we see more scale, as we see more interest, that's when our product team can sort of get going and working on standardizing and, and really productizing, um, something like.


Bryan: Alma, I think what's really neat about that is that, like you said, it's not the default, right? This isn't what we're, we're not talking about. Like everybody should abandon, you know, exposure to website or anything like that. Like that's the bread and butter it's going to be direct response does really well.

Even brand recognition, we're driving people to more information, so much as digital. But the cool part about podcasting is thinking outside the box. I think of podcasting so much like native advertising, right? It was the first time we were like, hi, instead of banners, what happens if we put a skin on everything and I'm not still convinced that like the, the formatting of that and making it all cookie cutter was the right way to go, um, in making that programmatic buyable.

But like, I like the idea that it just. You know, taking these solutions, you reach out to a client and they're just like, well, we sell cars and you can't buy a car online and now you can go, well, what does that matter? We can help you with directional attribution. We can help you with lift reports. We can help you with matching this data, set that you just dismissed and said, I podcasting doesn't work for me because I can't get that.

And the answer to this is what we can, it's a little custom, but we can't.

Omer: Yeah, no, exactly. And just that example, bro, it's like, yeah, I'm not going to be able to, you know, tell you, you know, if someone bought a car, but using that same, uh, thinking that we did for the bank, like if there was a dealer. That wants to share postal data.

We can we've proved that already, or, you know, short of that, you know, using geolocation, geolocation has been used for years across all the other digital channels. Why not use it for podcast? So, and that's, you know, that's, that's always been seen as a strong proxy for tier two, tier three auto on all their digital campaigns.

So we can do the same thing for podcast and, and not only sort of, you know, one to one. And again, when you, when you're talking about standard or one-to-one attribution, there's obviously the scale. Because you're never going to capture a hundred percent of devices that go into a dealer.

Bryan: Let's put the nail on the coffin for that one-to-one attribution sucks and it's fake.

And anybody who tells you otherwise lie, like I'm just going to say it, like, there's no way that 100% capture everything unless it's in a, like, like, unless Spotify is bringing you into their environment to specifically get you to buy a Spotify membership. Right? Like we're talking about everything closed ecosystem.

We're not talking about. If you're in Spotify and it's a podcast ad in Spotify using their streaming ad option, which is an app based ad with audio content. That's not podcast advertising. Even if that kicks out to a dealership, it's still the same thing. You're still not going to be able to measure 100% of the time on both sides.

So attribution is directional. And at the end of the day, when you pick a partner, you're picking someone who has the most flexibility that agrees on methodology that. And that has killer customer service and business relationship, because there's so many things that you need to make sure are. Right. You know, the greatest example is figuring out where the handoff.

If I'm the publisher, my handoff point is the second that I get you to that destination. Right? So if you gave me the option to drive a podcast ad to, um, you know, a dealership, I would say, cool, give me geolocation, because that means that it's likely that the person entered the dealership, right? I, dealership's not in the middle of a shopping mall, so I'm not worried about them accidentally being identified somewhere else.

It hits the time limits needed to properly send you. Okay. And then that startup funnel. Now, if they, but the brand should come back and be like, now I want to give postal address because I want conversions because that's better for the brand. Now they're only looking at end of funnel. And so working with a partner, whatever attribution partner you find.

You got to get the right mindset, right? You got to get on the same page. And that is the most valuable thing everything's directional. And they need to be a part of your team because they're going to go to bat for you, with your clients because not all of it needs to come from one source. Yeah. You know, and

Omer: you bring up kind of a good point in terms of they're going to go to bat for you.

Like, I think such a big part of our business and my role is setting expectations. You know, with clients because ultimately, you know, I am, I am agnostic. You know, my sole intent is to take the data that we're getting and give you an accurate view of what we see my intent isn't to say, Hey, we're getting this campaign on this publisher with this brand.

Let's make sure that there's good results or let me, let's make sure that there's positive lift, you know, w what, what, what validity do I have or reputation of, do I have in the marketplace? If that's my intent, my intent is like to take the numbers I'm given and give you the accurate read. And, and that speaks to expectations.

Like we've had customers come to us like, Hey, we want to drive Lyft for, you know, national QSR. Um, and our podcast by is $200,000. And I'm like, I can't in my right mind. Take your money. And tell you that we're going to drive, we're going to measure lift for you. If 200,000 is 0.0, zero 5% of McDonald's at expanded, sir,

Bryan: those playing at home QSR is, uh, is like retail restaurants, right?

Like have quick service, quick service restaurant

Omer: and the tunnels, BK pizza, you know, all those guys. So, you know, I think it's just, you know, having discussions. Uh, establishing feasibility, managing expectations, and ultimately telling our publishers partner, our publisher partners like, Hey, we're not always going to tease out lift.

We're not always going to see lift. There could be a saturation point where there's gonna be no lift. So it's just being very transparent. And I, I just feel like I've been around for too long. I'm not in the game of, you know, setting expectations at one time. And then, you know, having clients frustrated or not expecting what the results that they might see, and


Bryan: that's such a big point.

Number one, that you're old and number two, that number two, that podcasting, uh, the technology and podcasting has been really focused on being honest and truthful. Like I think the rest of ad tech right now is getting ripped to shreds, right? There are brand safety issues. There's MIS and disinformation advertising.

Yeah. Like programmatic is, is a mass right now in greater ad tech. And people are finding that if they just stop their ad budgets and some other big channels, they're not losing anything, but podcasting could have exploded in growth if ad tech just kept saying yes, and yes, and yes, if they kept drawing those charts bigger and would read or greener arrows, whatever you need up into the right to prove to the client, whatever they want.

We've said no, as an industry, a lot, we've said like, that's not realistic. I would love to take your money, but I want your money for ever. I want a long-term relationship with you. I don't just want this one campaign and to sour you on the industry. And that's really powerful. Like, I, that's such a cool thing that I don't know of any companies that have survived in this space that have just said, yeah, we can do whatever.

Yes, you're right. We'll do it with whatever campaign we got people saying, oh, for the geolocation, right. It's like 10 million impressions. Right to do some of these correctly. That's a big podcast campaign.

Omer: Yeah. I mean, you're talking what you're talking, you know, I would say anywhere from 20 to $30 CPMs, um, you know, that's, that's a big bucket of money.

Uh, so, so you have to, you know, you have to be honest and transparent when people are looking at those types of expenditures and listen, you know, the other thing is like, in order for me to scale my business, I can't take every custom ask. That comes my way. So I think I w we put it through the lens of like, okay, what do we think we can actually deliver on what they're asking and to do we see kind of a market need market demand for what they're asking?

Because if the answer is yes, Then, okay, I'm going to bet. I'm going to invest initially time and resources to build something that I see can be a big revenue generator for us selfishly in the future. That's why I think to your point, like some of these non-standard, you know, things that we brought to the marketplace, we see demand.

We see, uh, the ability to provide it. And if we can do that, You know, and, and, and get some sort of, you know, word out there on, you know, how we're doing it and that we're doing it. Then we can drive some, uh, some volume based on the demand going forward

Bryan: and with the right buy-in that becomes a feature built into the platform you're, you're taking.

Educated guesses at, you know, what is going to pay off and you're trying it out, but it's the type of thing. Like, God, if I do not recommend to any brand or agency or whoever to like start your endeavor in podcasting with nonstandard, right? Like, like let's try something, right. Drive them to the Subaru website to talk about the sweet new deals on new Subarus.

And then if that went well for brand recognition, let's figure it out. Go about it. Right. But it's just, it's smart to know that there's other options. It's great to know that it's not cookie cutter, that you can have partners out there that you can say, I want to try something different or I can't make this math work.

I can't connect this. My other funnels don't work that way because it's all about that conversation. And if you don't have that connection, Maybe you succeed by pure luck of being generic. But I think that people right now, we're still, it might be 20 years in a podcasting. We're still in like the, the first movers phase of podcast advertising.

There's still tons of room to be like a leader, right. You might not hit better help spend anytime soon, but you might get up there and performance real quick. If you spend some time learning it and meeting all the partners like Omer and Claritas and everybody else out here to just get a feel for it.

Omer: Yeah. And again, you mentioned it multiple times, like DTC brands direct to consumer brands. Like they have been able to see it immediately because, you know, they're, they're seeing their, their, their business results, uh, in virtually real time and can now attribute it through whether it's us or our, some of our competitors directly to the podcast channel.

And so that's where you're seeing better helping us. You know, dumping a shit ton of money into podcasts, which is really exciting. And now you have kind of the second movers, which are the bigger kind of blue chip players, like, okay, let's figure this out. And you know, whether it's auto, whether it's CPG, whether it's, you know, QSR.

They're really trying to lean in and figure out how they not only invest, but invest in a, kind of a intelligent way where they can really justify the investment and prove out the, uh, the performance. Yeah,

Bryan: I like it. Yeah. Across the board, man. I like it. It has been a pleasure to work with you and has been a pleasure to watch what you guys are doing at clarifies still, and just growing this space.

Like it's so cool that. I don't, I don't see anybody at anybody's starts at C F, like you said, everybody's collaborative, everybody's working in the right directions. We're coming together on standards. There's enough room for everybody. And there's cool differences between everybody. And, you know, honestly, not only do I miss travel because this pandemic sucks, but like we had a lot of fun traveling and I'm hoping in the near future, we get to meet up at some conference.

And then I'll, I'll save the best part. I'll kick this off at the end. Anytime you have a chance to meet up with them, or if you've not asked him yet, ask him how he is related to the people in super troopers. And the beginning of it is probably my favorite story. And let me tell you that scene, the schnoz Barry scene Omer was in the real version.

Omer: Well, I wouldn't know. I didn't know. This podcast was going to take a turn to super troopers, but I should have, I should have expected that, that, uh, I always love telling the story and, uh, You know, I just say that the super troopers are a great guys. I was fortunate enough to spend, um, more than four years, unfortunately for my parents in college.

And, uh, and, uh, I have happy to tell the story to anyone who's interested in listening.

Bryan: That's awesome. Yeah, definitely hit Romer up for that. And then also hit them up for attribution and stuff like that. Even just talking about 70 industry ideas about non-standard solution. And Omer. I like to end everything off with asking what is a podcast that you're currently listening to, that you think more people should be checking.

Omer: Um, so one of my favorites is always how I built this, you know, guy, Roz, you know, such a great personality interviewer. I think it's probably got great recognition, so I don't know really how to promote it. Um, but. Just as Bryan, you kind of dork out on like, you know, gaming. I drunk out on fantasy. So I have kind of a list of three podcasts that I listened to.

It's a footballs right around the corner. So my go-to is these days are the audible, the fantasy football's football. And daily fantasy. And when I go for my walks in the morning, if I can get a little more Intel on who I'm going to draft, who are those deep sleepers that I'm going to pick up and no one knows about that, that's really fun for me.

So that's what I've been listening to recently, but, uh, I love, I love so many podcasts, um, from the daily for news to, um, to some of these sports. And I always love listening to Gary V. Um, there's, there's a bunch of pretty well rounded. I tried to try to be, you know, but, uh, yeah, no, thank you so much, Bryan.

I really enjoyed reconnecting with you and to your point, I'd love to figure out a way to, uh, to catch up, uh,

Bryan: uh, on our tracks. Absolutely. We'll make it happen. Well, thanks so much and I'll definitely have you back. All right.

Omer: Thanks so much. Bye.

Bryan: and stick around for some special bonus content. At the end of the episode, I've teamed up with Evo Terra to give you a minute long strategic thought that is guaranteed to shift your perspective on the present and future of pod. As we all work to make podcasting better. Thanks to Omer for coming on to talk about my article tracking podcast, ad performance, that's hard to track.

If you liked what you heard and want to connect, you can find me Bryan Barletta on LinkedIn, way less formally on Twitter as hi-five RPG. And of course you can email spelled either way. The most important part about Sounds Profitable is providing you with more resources and making sure that I can answer your questions.

So check out the link to Yappa in the episode description and leave me a message. And with your permission, I'll answer it live on the show. Sounds profitable is completely recorded using Squadcast. I'm such a big fan of all the features that they have from the video recording remote, to their Dolby features, which are really fantastic.

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The Sounds Profitable podcast would not be possible without the help and support of Evo Terra, James Cridland and Ian Powell, thank you all for your help and support. .

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