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SMG x ISBA: Navigating the Path to Measurement Standards in Retail Media

The industry's clamour for measurement standards has found resonance in ISBA, the UK advertisers’ trade body, which recently unveiled its Responsible Retail Media Framework in collaboration with media agency OMG.

In their on-stage talk at Retail Media Summit UK, Clare O’Brien, ISBA’s head of media, effectiveness, and performance, shed light on the framework's conception, development, and objectives.

Following her presentation, Bianca Hall, Insight Director at SMG, shared insights into the challenges hindering standardisation efforts within the industry.

O’Brien disclosed that the genesis of the framework dates back to January 2023 when concerns emerged about the imperative need for a structure governing responsible media practices. The agreed-upon objective was to forge an open and consistent landscape, empowering advertisers to comprehend:

  • The contribution of retail media investment to business outcomes

  • Its impact on output goals

  • The parameters defining what advertisers are purchasing and how to optimise it

Recognising the diversity in retail media in the UK, encompassing factors like maturity, technology, and the nature of the offers, the resulting document zeros in on three pivotal areas:

  • Standardisation of metrics and definitions

  • Flexible attribution windows

  • Transparency and third-party verification

“We assess the present, anticipate the future, and consider what comes next,” O’Brien explained. “Our aspiration is that, in collaboration with the entire industry, this framework will serve as a guiding light.”

Bianca then delved into the barriers obstructing standardization in retail media:

Technical Barriers

Some retailer websites, being antiquated, necessitate a manual process for extracting insights. The imperative upgrade of these sites poses a lengthy and expensive challenge.

Loyalty and Data Coverage

In the US, up to 90% of retail transactions are tied to a loyalty card. Hall commended ISBA's efforts in ensuring brand metrics from these loyalty cards, emphasizing the necessity of robust loyalty card coverage.


Retailers today contend with a multitude of media owners, each equipped with distinct tech stacks, KPIs, and measurement methodologies. While advertisers crave transparency and consistency, they mustn't lose sight of the ultimate goal – understanding how their media performs.

Bianca also provided three strategic suggestions for the industry’s next steps:

Prioritize What Matters Most

Brands should articulate their most critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), ensuring their presence on every retailer’s roadmap.

Transparency and Consistency

Advertisers should scrutinize every numerical input from each media owner, guaranteeing apples-to-apples comparisons.

Measure the True Impact of Retail Media

Acknowledging that retail media extends beyond short-term KPIs, the industry should persistently seek methodologies to measure its long-term effects.

Register your interest for next year's Retail Media Summit UK

This year's Retail Media Summit UK, the "Retail Media event of the year," brought together industry professionals from both the UK and the US. It provided insights into the value of retail media for both retailers and brands. Next year's Summit, co-hosted with the Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI), promises to be even more dynamic.

Don't miss the chance to be part of this community shaping the future of retail media. Register your interest today to stay informed and join us as we continue to unlock the potential of retail media together.


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