It’s long been a fact that South Africa hasn’t had an effective or viable means of measuring out of home (OOH) media. The sector made do with a few survey questions about OOH that were attached to the South African Audience Research Foundation’s (Saarf) All Media Products Survey (AMPS).
Now an end to the problem is in sight. The new research model “will blow this out of the water in quality and cost. It will give media owners an incredibly accurate audience measurement, and provide media strategists with an insightful and user friendly way to plan OOH campaigns”, Ask Afrika said in a statement.
Ask Afrika and Spanish out-of-home research company Cuende Infometrics have collaboratively designed an OOH research model that is not only cost effective, but one of the most advanced methodologies globally, the research company announced today.
Amelia Richards from Ask Afrika and Daniel Cuende (in absentia via a video) presented the research methodology to media buyers and OOH media owners at two presentations hosted by the newly formed OOH joint industry committee, the Out of Home Measurement Council (OMC), endorsed by Out of Home Media South Africa (OHMSA).
Lyn Jones from Continental Outdoor Media and Terry Murphy from Primedia Outdoor were mandated by the OOH industry to build the OOH JIC and to find a research model and providers that would increase OOH’s advertising market share, and allow it to compete with other media on an equal footing.
The OOH currency had to deliver reach, frequency, GRPs, duplication factors, impacts, and cost per thousand (CPT). The research needed to be comparable to other media and provide an OOH rating with audience figures per OOH site per day, replacing traffic counts. It had to allow for the building and evaluation of networks and be linked into branded data to facilitate sale to advertisers for subscribing clients.
Ask Afrika will provide the demographics (including brand awareness and media consumption), a commuter and pedestrian profile from the Ask Afrika travel survey, informing the traffic model. Cuende will provide traffic flow data from GPS services (independent and installed navigation systems like TomTom and Garmin and apps on iPhone and Android devices such as Google Maps). Not everyone has a navigator so this will be updated with real car counts from satellite data in real time. The orientation of the vehicle and whether it is moving can be determined. The data will be loaded into a software planning system.
“Media owners will load their inventories and panels onto a map and a visibility zone of each site will be defined. At present it only measures fixed outdoor features such as billboards, but other OOH media will be added in future. Contacts with each panel will be modelled and frequency and reach calculated. Audience and panel network metrics will be available and users can experiment with potential panel and network sites so that they can see exactly what will give them the best impact, for specifically defined target markets,” says Richards, client service director at Ask Afrika.
“The research will be available through mapping software with which you can locate every single billboard, with orientation, audience estimation, GPS data, impact, profile, and demographics. We calculate this on the fly, so you don’t have to wait for three months for results. You can play with orientation and groupings of billboards, look at brand data, and create a new offering very quickly,” says Cuende, innovation manager of Cuende Infometrics.
Participating media owners will have access to a continuous live tracking system, a live trading currency, with exclusive access to the Ask Afrika travel survey data, and OOH ratings in a single database, with target audience metrics per panel and per network. Media agencies will be provided with a standard demographic planning dataset, they will get a package plan with a panel by panel geographic information system (GIS) that is updated monthly.
“The South African OOH industry now has access to world class audience measurement. This will allow our industry to co-operate in a bigger way and grow our market share,” says Barry Sayer, executive chairman of Continental Outdoor Media.
Jos Kuper presented the model adopted for the Out of Home Measurement Council (OMC) joint industry committee (JIC) designed by herself and Lauren Shapiro, based on findings from the Future Proofing Project conducted by Kuper Research in 2012/13 on behalf of SAARF. The proposed JIC structure is modelled closely on the successful ROUTE UK JIC structure. The key media buyers were given the opportunity to become part of an advisory panel.
The OMC board will be responsible for governance and policy, funding and budgeting, resource allocation, quality control and auditing. Representation will be based on financial contribution in line with a tiered financial structure. It will initially be underwritten by Continental Outdoor Media and Primedia Outdoor who have funded the process to date, but with the intention of including as much of the OOH industry as possible.
“This is a major and a positive step for our industry as a whole. The reality is that little was achieved in this process over the last four years. We believe that the only way to get the show on the road is for the OOH media owners that can afford it put up the financial guarantees to start the process, and then urge as many others as possible to join. We have made every effort to ensure this is a world class, unbiased, and fair piece of research,” says Dave Roberts, CEO of Primedia Outdoor.
OOH media owners were presented with a four-tiered funding model that is size and cost proportionate. This model makes the research accessible to big and small OOH players alike, each owner will be able to decide at which level they wish to participate. The research will initially cover roadside OOH formats, however the structure of the research allows for the phased inclusion of commuter media, and thereafter the measurement of indoor OOH media for example malls, airports and so on.
The project kicked off in the beginning of 2014 for the pilot phase, and the industry launch is planned for the second quarter of 2015. The overall plan makes space for an annual audit of the methodology and data to ensure a fair and unbiased currency. The current drive is for industry buy in and endorsement of the methodology and resultant currency research.