Difficulty measuring the reach and impact of outdoor advertising was affecting iSite Media’s ability to grow market share and deliver well targeted campaigns that met client objectives. iSite implemented a bus advertising measurement system that has had a significant and immediate impact on their business results and changed the way marketers think about and use transit advertising.
“In partnership with Critchlow, we’ve built a moat of innovation and a bank of intellectual property that’s unique to our business. That’s the type of competitive advantage you want.”
- Mike Porter, Chief Operating Office, iSite Media
While iSite had doubled its bus advertising revenue since taking over the majority of New Zealand bus advertising contracts in 2009, the company wanted to build on this success and both increase its market share in the outdoor channel, as well as grow the sector by targeting the 97 percent of advertising that wasn’t being spent on outdoor media. Research commissioned by iSite identified that lack of measurement was the most significant obstacle to purchasing outdoor media, so they began investigating how to create an opportunity-to-see (OTS) metric for measuring the impact and reach of outdoor advertising. (OTS is already widely used in traditional advertising).
They needed geo-demographic, socio and spend/demand analytics and a better suite of sales tools to represent bus media advertising, so that they could make evidence-based recommendations on the mix of advertising locations that best suited clients’ target markets. iSite Media partnered with Critchlow to both build and help further conceptualise a bus advertising measurement system.
To build a solution, it was necessary to understand where buses travelled in New Zealand and how long they spent on individual road segments. This could then be applied to council data on daily traffic volumes to determine an opportunity-to-see (OTS). The project used innovative spatial data techniques to smart map every single main metropolitan bus journey in New Zealand.
“We applied spatial data analytics to hundreds of thousands of road journeys, mapping over 22,000 bus routes,” explains Critchlow sales and marketing leader, Scott Kennedy. “These bus journeys were then overlaid against 200,000 road segments to derive a weighted average calculation that produced a final OTS for each bus journey. The results were aggregated up to a bus depot level.
“Having spatially represented each depot’s footprint of bus journeys, we were then able to generate a geographic polygon and identify the associated meshblocks [neighbourhoods] for every bus depot. This enables iSite to optimise weights for bus media placement. “By overlaying Census and spend data, iSite is able to derive insight into the purchasing behaviour for the bus media audience.”
Of the solution, Mike says: “The final product allows us to input to a client’s brief, and make an effective campaign solution and ultimately optimise where and how many bus adverts we recommend to best reach their target audience.
“This deep analysis and amalgamation of data from many sources creates actionable insights, and has helped deliver a product that has changed the way marketers think about and use transit advertising.”
Market reaction to being able to quantify the OTS for bus advertising has been significant says iSite Media chief operating officer Mike Porter. “The project has transformed the return profile of our business. This isn’t about ROI. This is about transformative enterprise value increase.
“We smashed a multitude of sales records in September 2013. “Contracted business increased 60 percent over the same month in the year prior, and on top of that our share of the bus advertising market was the highest month on record – 30 percent higher than the previous 12-month average.
“The effect on our business has been instantaneous: winning new campaigns, increasing spend on campaigns, the creation of more convincing proactive pitches.” Additionally, the bus measurement system enables iSite to better compete against other media and deliver improved use of outdoor to clients.
“iSite is taking a firm market leadership stance and we see an ongoing investment in business intelligence and marketing innovation. We see this measurement system as an area where our competitors can’t easily follow. “In partnership with Critchlow, we’ve built a moat of innovation and a bank of intellectual property that’s unique to our business. That’s the type of competitive advantage you want.”
The Highly Targeted Outdoor Media campaign (the bus advertising measurement system) won the prestigious Supreme Nexus Award at the New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards 2013. In addition to taking out the Supreme Nexus Award that year, the bus measurement system, which is a first for New Zealand and also understood to be a first for transit advertising globally, secured three other Nexus gold awards for market and customer insight, marketing products and services and strategic vision.
Judges at the Nexus Awards described the Highly Targeted Outdoor Media campaign as "brilliant and complex analytics, packaged beautifully into a simple and usable product that propels outdoor media into the measurable and targeted world of direct marketing".
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