Guest Column: From media outputs to business outcomes

We could spend an inordinate amount of time in making sense of TV GRPs vs online video impressions, print performance vs banner impression, or we can shift energies from these media outputs to their provable contributions to business outcomes, says Anand Chakravarthy, Head-West at Maxus

e4m by Anand Chakravarthy
Updated: Mar 5, 2015 8:58 AM
Guest Column: From media outputs to business outcomes

All the businesses in world have one thing in common. Their core objective of profitability.

In today’s competitive market, businesses are being driven to generate better results. And more often than not it’s the A&P investments that come under the scanner in board meetings.

So increasingly the questions that keep marketers awake at night are not just around Brand Equity, Imagery, Awareness, etc. but also around lead generation, retail walk-ins, customer retention, average ticket size value et al.

In Media, with things getting complicated with shifts in consumer behavior across an ever-expanding multitude of media platforms, our primary focus has been on managing this complexity. Measurement, value, integration are occupying the largest time in most marketer – media agency conversations.

Perhaps the time has come to move this conversation to the only question that really matters. How do we go beyond looking at just media output to business outcomes?
We could spend an inordinate amount of time in making sense of TV GRPs vs online video impressions, print performance vs banner impression etc. Or we can shift energies from these media outputs to their provable contributions to business outcomes. 

And why is this shift essential?

Outcomes are channel-agnostic:  While media delivery metrics may be unique to every media channels, business outcomes are not. Leads generated are leads generated. Sales are sales.

Only outcomes matter to businesses: Low impression counts or bad view-ability do not matter in a board room. Bad sales do.

Outcomes shift power to marketers and media owners: In a media world defined by delivering provable business outcomes, the role of marketers and media owners as active participants in media transactions becomes more pronounced.

World over the process of movement from media outputs to business outcomes is now gaining momentum. India is fast becoming an evolved media ecosystem and in some ways we already have better measurement systems in place. This is the right time to move ourselves, and start laying the ground-work for more outcome based media planning and measurement.

The challenge for most business is that multiple divisions within an organization are chasing individual KPIs. Even in marketing teams, there are more often than not multiple KPIs, all of which may or may not have a direct impact on the desired business outcome. The first and primary task in moving focus to business outcomes is therefore being able to identify and set the correct KPIs for the year.

The author is Head-West, Maxus.

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