THE MEDIA YEARBOOK: Out of home (OOH) media owners are notorious for not agreeing on anything. But in the last year they have set aside some of their differences and united on issues of common interest.
The most significant progress made is the development of a new research tool for outdoor media owners to measure their audience share effectively.
The research model – a collaboration between Ask Afrika and Spanish OOH research company Cuende Infometrics – will launch in the second quarter of 2015. It will provide participating OOH media owners and agencies with a credible trading currency for the buying and selling of media space and time.
“We want to grow the OOH industry in South Africa,” says Lyn Jones, marketing manager at Continental Outdoor. “We’re tired of playing second fiddle to other media types when we know that OOH should be on every schedule and within every media mix.”
The OOH industry tasked Jones and Terry Murphy, Primedia Outdoor marketing and marketing services executive, to build the OOH joint industry committee (JIC) and develop the new research model. Continental Outdoor and Primedia Outdoor are underwriting the initial cost of the project, but they are in the process of getting buy-in from other OOH media owners.
Initially, only static roadside media will be measured. Ask Afrika will collect psychographic and demographic data by interviewing 15 000 consumers in communities of more than 8 000 people. This means the sample size will not include rural areas.
Ask Afrika will do an annually updated travel survey that looks at how people travel on their main outdoor trips during a given week. The information will then be combined with Cuende Informetrics’ traffic model. The traffic model consists of traffic flow data from GPS devices and real car counts from satellite data. Media owners will load their inventories and panels on to a map and the visibility zone for each site will be defined. Reach and frequency can then be calculated.
This research methodology is considered a significant step forward from the GPS-based OOH solution offered by the South African Audience Research Foundation (Saarf). Cuende’s data is all secondary data collected passively
(without actual consumer interaction) from cellphone devices, GPSes and satellites, explains Grant Robertson, innovations director at Ask Afrika.
This solution is a chance to provide the OOH industry with credible, consistent data that was previously lacking, according to Jones and Murphy.
Posterscope development director for sub-Saharan Africa, Bruce Burgess, says the research tool is a significant first step towards ensuring OOH gets a rightful share of media spend in South Africa. “If we can put the measurement for roadside on the schedule at strategy stage when budgets are being divided, then we have a real case for OOH. This is becoming more and more important as global brands trade in South Africa and require motivation for their ad spend,” he says.
Dave McKenzie, managing director of Boo! Media, says: “The
OOH industry has become professionalised in the last few years anyway because it has moved away from this cowboy set-up but there will always be opportunists. Having this research model will add to the legitimacy of the industry.”
OOH’s new audience measurement body
The development of the research tool has spurred the formation of
a new OOH audience measurement body called the Outdoor Measurement Council (OMC). The OMC is now a legal body and on 23 March 2015, it became an official non-profit company. The OMC will be run and controlled by the majority shareholders, supported by technical expertise from Kuper Research, who will also co-ordinate the media buyer advisory panel contributions. Jones says 90% of static roadside format media owners have been included in the body.
The innovative methodology includes the combination of traffic flows, satellite images and travel patterns to create a comprehensive traffic model, which when combined with the location of all media owner billboard panels, creates an accurate representation of OOH audiences. These elements are modelled to create OOH ratings demonstrating reach, frequency, GRPs, impacts, CPM and so on for out of home campaigns or single billboards. Elements such as direction of traffic flow and visibility are taken into account as part of the model.
It is expected that sample data for Johannesburg be tested in June, where after the audience for the top five cities will be released to the industry in August. It is envisaged that the full South African Static Roadside survey will be completed by December 2015.
At the OOH roundtable discussion hosted by The Media in 2014, Primedia Outdoor CEO Dave Roberts said the OMC should become the industry’s new marketing arm. “Ultimately OHMSA (Out of Home Media South Africa) is going to morph into OMC,” he said. “OHMSA’s problem is that it has been oscillating between legislation and marketing.”
Roberts is involved in getting the OMC on the OOH industry’s agenda and says a lot of thought and discussion has gone into how to make it work. “In the past, we contributed one percent of our revenue and people were bullshitting their numbers to pay less. It was voluntary and underfunded,” he said at the discussion. “Now we are saying, this is what it is going to cost each year and if you want to participate – depending on the number of areas in which you are participating – you will pay a certain amount.”
Investing in digital
The fact that consumers spend more time out of their living quarters coupled with advancements in digital out of home (DOOH) technology, have given OOH media owners the opportunity to use their medium in fresh, innovative ways. The biggest trend is an increased adoption of this new technology by OOH players and that this will only continue.
DOOH is becoming more accepted in both indoor and outdoor OOH environments, says OHMSA CEO Les Holley, and the improvement and reduction of the cost of technology will ensure that it becomes even more widely used. “One of the big drivers of that is going to be the fact that we won’t be able to get as many new sites as we would like, so you have to then optimise the existing sites. Well-positioned static sites will become well-positioned digital sites giving advertisers the opportunity to get into those areas,” he says.
The benefits of digital platforms are numerous, according to Provantage managing director Jacques du Preez. “Digital signage allows the advertiser to be relevant to the target market, the time of day and the geographical location, providing up-to-the-minute information and a kind of agility that traditional media can only dream of,” he says. “This relevance and interactivity helps to amplify the relationship between consumer and brand.”
And in addition, DOOH offers a huge cost benefit because messages can be updated with just the press of a button, adds Du Preez. “This makes it possible for campaigns to be more dynamic. Content can be changed frequently to make it more appropriate, an important feature in a connected world that is used to having access to the latest information at all times,” he says.
A glimpse at shopper behaviour
Primedia Unlimited CEO Ken Varejes says mall media is also becoming increasingly digitised because the technology allows for multiple advertisers to make use of one contact point.
“It also allows for advertisers to create more interactive ads. From a cost point of view, it’s significantly cheaper for the advertiser because they don’t have to print anything and place it. Everything is just sent through wi-fi or 3G to a site,” he says.
Primedia Unlimited and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in 2014 released ‘Shoppertunity’, a study which takes a closer look at shopper behaviour in seven malls in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
Of the 4 200 people surveyed, 64% were female and 36% male. Asked how often they visited the mall, 51% go weekly, 30% go monthly, 15% go daily and 3% go less often.
Eight in 10 survey respondents make purchases during their visit to the mall, while four in 10 of these purchases are initially unintended. This generates R13.5 billion a month, the study found. Thirty six percent of what mall-goers spend on these outings is attributed to in-mall advertising and marketing activations, amounting to R12.2 billion spend a month.
The role of digital is significant in malls where the ability to accommodate this technology is higher, according to the study. In malls with digital capabilities, digital directories and video walls fall into the top five recalled ad channels. The report also takes a look at mobile use in the mall space. While smartphone penetration is high, usage of devices for wifi in malls is not. Sixty two percent of respondents have a smartphone, 12% have a feature phone, and 26% have a basic phone. Online shopping, the study reports, has a low penetration (8%) though access and mobility are increasing.
Acsa fixes its operating model
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) in 2014 announced that it would be overhauling its airport advertising model from a multi-concessionaire system to a single operator system.
Acsa controls nine airports across the country, the biggest being OR Tambo International. The company makes money from leasing space in and around its airports to concessionaires such as Provantage, Continental Outdoor, Khombisa Media and Primedia Outdoor.
Acsa Group executive of commercial, Haroon Jeena, says the company decided to improve the way their advertising portfolio is managed for three main reasons: to increase their advertising revenue, which has decreased since the 2010 Fifa World Cup, to address confusion as to who media agencies should deal with when placing advertising in the airport space and, lastly, to remedy the clutter in some of Acsa’s airports. The company had in the past received numerous complaints from media owners about the excessive number of concessionaires that have been allowed to operate in the space.
So how will Acsa’s new advertising model work? Previously, the company’s multi-concessionaire system allowed for various OOH media owners across all the different airport touch points. The new model is a single concessionaire system with a twist. Acsa’s nine airports have been broken down into four clusters. The first is OR Tambo International, the second is Cape Town International and the third is Durban’s King Shaka International. The fourth cluster is made up of Acsa’s six domestic, or regional, airports.
But instead of appointing a single media owner for each cluster, Acsa is going to appoint one for all the indoor advertising, a separate one for all the outdoor advertising, and then another for the activation sites. The three opportunities across four clusters amounts to 12 tender opportunities in total. Media owners are not limited to the number of opportunities they can bid for. They can also form joint ventures with other media owners and then make a bid for a site as one entity.
The tender for Acsa’s sites closed February 2015. The new model will then be implemented from July onwards, with tender terms lasting for five years, renewable under certain conditions.
As technology transforms all areas of OOH, 2014 reflected what industry players can achieve when they join forces.
This story was updated on 10.04.2015 with new information on the Outdoor Measurement Council.
This post was first published in 2015 The Media Yearbook. A digital version of the full magazine can be downloaded here.
IMAGE: Primedia Outdoor, OR Tambo
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