South African OOH media agencies will finally have what they’ve been waiting for: an all-purpose out of home planning tool customised for the SA market. Nikki Temkin investigates what this new development means for the industry.
It’s high time for a paradigm shift in the local OOH industry and the Out of Home Measurement Council (OMC) has developed a solution that may just revolutionise the local OOH landscape. Enlisting the services of Telmar and CUENDE Infometrics, they are in the midst of developing a valuable and easily accessible audience measurement tool for OOH called Quantum. It promises to make media planning a cinch and will hopefully also provide the statistical weight necessary to justify OOH spend to clients.
“The new OOH research is not only moving with the times, but is ahead of the times, providing cutting-edge research that will accurately reveal the true value of OOH advertising,” says Primedia Outdoor’s marketing and marketing services executive, Terry Murphy.
Origins of an OOH revolution
So how did this all come about? The OMC will become a joint industry committee (JIC) out of a dire need to provide the industry with an OOH measurement survey. The structure of the JIC is based on the findings from the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) Future Proofing exercise conducted by Kuper Research in 2012. Ask Afrika are the fieldwork providers for the travel questionnaire which is the foundation for the demographic and traffic model. It draws on international best practice, as it is linked via data fusion to an establishment survey (ES), along with a variety of other dedicated media surveys.
The OMC JIC will be run and controlled by the major participating OOH companies, supported by technical expertise from Kuper Research. They will ensure the independence, robustness and transparency of the research which has been initially underwritten by Continental Outdoor Media and Primedia Outdoor – they have also provided the relevant funding.
The biggest gun in the process is CUENDE, a Spanish market research company, known as the ‘rocket scientists of OOH research’, who offer ground-breaking and ‘big-data’ methodologies and models which have been successfully introduced in a number of countries in Europe and South America. During his recent presentation at PAMRO (Pan African Media Research Organisation) conference, which garnered much audience excitement, Daniel Cuende, co-founder and innovation manager of CUENDE Infometrics, explained, “CUENDE are leaders in garnering high-resolution satellite imagery and spatial analysis and can therefore provide a quality of information not seen before in OOH technology.”
In partnership with Quantum, Telmar will provide the software. Jennifer Daniel, MD of Telmar South Africa, adds, “The software offering extends beyond traditional billboards. Users can include digital billboards and buses. Media owners will be able to create and offer packages to the industry and media planners will be able to compare these packages as well as create their own customised campaigns.”
Ultimately, the OMC’s vision, which seems to be within its grasp, is to produce consolidated, inclusive, and representative research covering the key OOH areas including billboards, transit, airport, Gautrain, malls and digital OOH.
“OOH previously appeared to be an arduous purchase when compared with other media types. This is the first time ever that the top OOH static roadside players will be represented in one dashboard. This enables far more efficient planning, making it easier to buy OOH and rendering it more quantifiable,” says Lyn Jones, group marketing manager at Continental Outdoor.
Static roadside formats are being addressed first in the research, however further methodologies are already being investigated to cover the diversity of OOH environments. The new OOH currency will deliver reach, frequency, GRPs, duplication factors, impacts, CPM etc. and will be comparable to other media metrics for the first time ever in South Africa.
Among other factors, elements such as direction of traffic flow, orientation, movement, height, illumination as well as optimum visibility are also taken into account as part of the model.
Endless benefits of hybrid systems
“This is unchartered territory in Africa. We offer multi- spectral analysis using various different currents. 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,” explains Cuende.
The new OOH currency offers media buyers a much-needed consolidated, single view to access and plan from all media owner OOH inventory. A hybrid system for integration of data, the state-of-the art, geo-spatial, Quantum software will be available to buyers through Telmar, and will allow for ease of planning and purchase, and generate standardised and measurable plans. “In February 2016, we hope to launch workshops for media owners and media planners to learn about utilising Quantum,” adds Jones.
The powerful mapping capability in the software will display selected sites and planners will be able to see points of interest near the selected panels as well as a street view in Google maps. The system is so highly detailed that it can identify the density of any area no matter what the size.
It will measure all the cars in a particular segment of a street by their type, orientation and speed and be able, with accuracy, to report the average number of vehicles per street over a given fieldwork period. The survey includes demographics, pedestrian traffic as well as transit usage.
This data is analysed with input from worldwide GPS navigation systems to produce exact co-ordinates. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s Madrid, Islamabad, Maputo or Johannesburg, we can demonstrate the performance of an advertising panel in an easy, compressive way and at low cost,” says Cuende.
This will be the first SA OOH data collected in many years. All analyses are captured in Power Point as the planner works through the various screens in order to make instant presentations possible.
The methodology has been proven to be consistent and coherent where it has been implemented. Murphy concludes, “The SA industry is looking forward to having a state-of-the-art software tool to analyse the new OOH data.”
This story was first published in the Ocotber 2015 issue of The Media magazine.
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