So you need to reach the masses, the powerful group in the low to mid LSM market, and have started thinking about how to do so. Lifestyle opportunities may be a way, sports works well, or how about entertainment? Mauro Black uncovers the options.
There are certainly many ways of reaching parts of this market but if the intention is mass reach then I would recommend starting at the beginning – transport, which lies at the daily heart of mobile, economically active South Africans.
Consider these background figures – out of the 51.7 million South Africans (Census 2011), a massive 22 million (AMPS 2014) use public transport.
Of the 22 million, 77% use taxis. Not surprising considering that nearly three quarters of households can reach a taxi service within one kilometre of their home. The taxi network not only moves South Africans around, it contributes a staggering R16.5 billion to our economy.
Incidentally, the average time spent in a taxi per day is 59 minutes, talk about a captive market. As such, taxis and taxi ranks offer excellent opportunity for engagement with this market.
Buses are another major mode of transport, with 16% of commuters using this them to get around. Our bus networks are being upgraded; look no further than Johannesburg’s Rea-Vaya or Cape Town’s MyCiti to get a working example of modern commuter transport. Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) development is underway in cities across South Africa with 13 new routes opening soon.
As far as average time spent per day in a bus, the number comes in at 66 minutes per day, which is a considerable length of time to communicate a brand message to a consumer, especially in a captive environment.
Train commuters come in at 7% of the 22 million. The 1.5 million train commuters know that this is generally fast and affordable transport. Consider this: it will cost a train commuter R10.50 to travel from Pretoria Station to Park Station (MetroRail ticket price). The same 56km trip in a Ford Fiesta 1.4 will cost R127.00 (AA rates of R2.26 per km) and that is before you insure your car.
Commuting by train will only get better as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa) efficiency plan rolls out. Prasa has committed to spending R51 billion over the next decade on 600 new trains, as well as improving the overall commuter experience. Out of home platforms on trains and in train stations offer advertisers a high footfall of captive consumers, not to mention the daily regularity with which they pass through stations and use trains. In this environment, brands can become an integral part of this consumer’s daily life.
The springboard for all this is government’s new growth plan and the national transport master plan. The primary objective is to enable South Africans to have access to economic activity and opportunity. On railways alone, the upgrade over the next ten years is R51 billion. A massive investment to ensure infrastructure improvements, improved journey times, security of passengers, operational safety as well as enhanced station environments.
So what is leading to the growth, expansion and upgrade of transport infrastructure? Simply put: urbanisation. More people are moving to metro and urban areas, in fact according to census data, 2.883 million South Africans moved to Gauteng between 2001 and 2011.
The numbers speak for themselves and from the point of view of OOH media, the ability to innovate and offer effective opportunities for brands, is very exciting.
So why should brands consider the transit environment to reach this burgeoning consumer market?
1. This is how economically active South Africans get around. Furthermore, the commuting pattern generally remains the same so for brands wanting reach and frequency, advertising in the transit environment is ideal.
2. The number of commuters continues to grow.
3. The transit environment offers multiple touch points. The opportunity to connect with the commuter market is not limited to one captive environment in the transit space. Brands can engage with the commuter at the start of the journey in a taxi, or at the next step in a bus or train. Static environments such as the ranks and stations offer even more opportunities where the average dwell time in the morning is 29 minutes. This offers the opportunity for activations, brand ambassadors and more.
The commuter market is bursting with out of home opportunities. The market is growing, and for brands wanting to increase affinity with this audience, they simply cannot afford to ignore the transit space.
Mauro Black (@Mauro_Black75) is general sales manager at Provantage Media Group. Follow @ProvantageSA.
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