Initial 'Outcomes Measurement' Findings: It's The Data, Stupid

The Media Rating Council (MRC) this morning unveiled initial findings of an ambitious initiative to establish an industry standard for “outcomes” based measurement and its conclusion may be that there is no single method for measuring it.

Instead, the MRC said it will likely shift gears to focus on the “quality” of data used, as well as important disclosures on their “capabilities and limitations.”

Details of the initial findings can be reviewed in a memo published by the MRC, but it also concludes that while a universal industry standard may not be attainable, the current state of outcomes measurement processes is “largely opaque” and that the industry is “in need of much greater transparency.”



As a result, the MRC implied its primary role will be to ensure greater disclosure of methods, data and processes to enable a buyer-beware approach to utilizing various outcomes measurement solutions.

“The MRC’s Outcomes Standard can be expected to include rigorous requirements for methodological and other disclosures to better enable users of the measurements to understand and interpret the end results,” the MRC said in a statement announcing the initial findings.

Unlike conventional audience-measurement metrics that have historically been audited and accredited by the MRC, the council had sought to develop a new standard that went beyond so-called “inputs” in order to measure the “outputs,” or the effects of media exposure on the audiences they reach, such as brand lift, actions, sales, etc.

“These preliminary findings will serve to inform the direction of the outcomes standards initiative as it moves forward over the coming months,” the MRC stated, adding that the working group will continue to meet to finalize a draft document that will be released to the industry later this year.

2 comments about "Initial 'Outcomes Measurement' Findings: It's The Data, Stupid".
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  1. mark sherman from Sherman Media, March 18, 2021 at 3:39 p.m.

    A very verbose memo concluding that Garbage in, Garbage out.

    So long as media measurement is based on OTS..."Opportunity to See" our audience measurement data/advertising exposure inputs will be garbage....grossly exagerated. We are so far from cross media attribution that it is shameful. Its 2021 and The Emperor Wears No Clothes. 

    Brian Jacobs' blog today
    tells the story of a media director in the 60's who had a framed quote from the McDonald’s CMO on his office wall. It read: “Media is far too important to be left to media people.”

    Sixty years later a recent Gartner study found that Media planning and buying skills was the least important of the Marcom attributes Global CMOs value. .

    Media as an investment remains opaque all these years later, and the blame sits squarely at the feet of the advertisers who have been unwilling to finance media research and left it in the hands of the media sellers whose interest lies in exageration for commercial gain.

    Attribution, let alone cross media attribution, let alone Media ROI, is and has been for 60 years the single largest issue facing the media community, and tragically we are no farther ahaead than we were when Nixon was President.

  2. Michael McMahon from ROI Factory replied, March 18, 2021 at 8:13 p.m.

    Well said Mark. We attempted to convince people that conversations about online reach and frequency equivalency would soon be moot. That was twenty five years ago, and I'm still dealing with people who can't handle the lack of R&F metrics for digital media. Which I believe creates a great opportunity.

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