Oct 10, 2008

Mktg - India;OOH Media & Nielsen Company launch OOH Metrics

Surina Sayal

In a nascent industry such as digital out of home screens, where advertisers and media agencies demand certain metrics and measurement data for advertising, Out of Home Media India has taken the initiative by joining hands with The Nielsen Company to announce ‘OOH Metrics’.

OOH screens communicate to the consumers in out of home locations, where people have started spending a considerable chunk of their personal and working time, in a non-intrusive way. It reaches out at various touch points. To bridge the gap of metrics, OOH Media decided to launch OOH Metrics.

The study spans the six key markets of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad with a sample size of 14,574 people in 175 locations. It profiles the likely audience and substantiates reach figures.

Discussing the research and the need for it, Ishan Raina, chief executive officer, OOH Media, tells afaqs!, “We have been working on this research for close to a year. We feel it is critical for a bigger pie. There’s no doubt that this industry will do well, but we want to make it do well faster. We are highly committed to this industry.”

The research was conducted across the three location verticals where OOH Media has its screens. These are OOH Work (commercial properties, BPO/ITES, SME), OOH Shop (lifestyle stores, malls and supermarkets), OOH Play (multiplexes, gyms, restaurants and bookstores).

The study comprises of audience profiling of consumers visiting the location, insights from consumer behaviour of audience in different networks and insights and understanding of audience response towards OOH screens to gauge screen/ad recall.

The key highlights revealed by the research are that the average weekly reach of OOH Media’s network in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune is 54.6 lakh. Except Delhi and Chennai, audience recall of OOH screens was 85 per cent or more, and 90 per cent of the audience surveyed recalled an ad being played on the OOH screen.

The research also revealed that the average presence of the SEC A audience in all locations is more than 60 per cent and that on an average, an employee moves in and out of the OOH Work locations at least four times a day. Therefore, on an average, the opportunity to interact with OOH Media screens per day is seven to eight minutes, depending on the vertical space across each city.

The Work network also revealed the frequency of visiting the location, ratio of tenants and visitors, waiting time near the lift and the restaurants normally visited for meals/snacks.

In-store and leisure networks revealed details about the decision maker/influencer in purchases, especially for FMCG and electronic items, the purpose/frequency of visiting the location, the preferred sections of locations visited and time spent in each, and shop locations similar to OOH locations visited.

Raina says, “Some years ago, prime time on TV was 7-10 pm. Today, I don’t know many people who watch TV at that time. It’s not even TV anymore. For an ITES person, now prime time means 2 am, when he’s getting back from work. For a person visiting a gym, prime time is 6 am, when sees an OOH screen at his gym. Again, at a restaurant that has a screen, prime time is 1 pm.”

Palal Bhattacharjee, associate director, media and entertainment team, The Nielsen Company, says, “Digital OOH offers a distinct dynamism that is fresh and evolving. It targets an audience which has the time, and more importantly, the inclination to engage with digital advertising content. This kind of initiative on the consumer’s part brings with it a competitive advantage for this medium, not easily replicable by traditional media.”

Though Nielsen has conducted more than 40 independent brand-specific researches (Campaign Evaluation Studies) for clients of OOH Media, there was a need for an exhaustive study tool. Partha Rakshit, managing director, South Asia, The Nielsen Company, says, “The need of the hour is to establish a currency of this new and exciting medium for this industry to develop.”

Raghu Venkataraman, vice-president, media strategy, OOH Media, says, “OOH Metrics is a critical step forward in ensuring the growth of the digital out of home medium.”

He adds, “The efficacy of the medium is being continuously tested and proven via the Campaign Evaluation Studies, but getting data on quality as well as quantity of the audience reached by us was a long felt need. With this research, the attraction for digital out of home will only grow.”

Venkataraman says that employing OOH Media’s screen has seven implications for marketers. These include 20 million plus footfalls per month (and growing) in Mumbai, Delhi and NCR, Bengaluru and Pune; high focus on SEC A and low wastage; it is consumed by the prime age group of 20-44 years, thus allowing focused communication possibilities.

He adds that though the screens are male skewed, family audience verticals where marketers can tailor communication such as residential areas and supermarkets are being researched.

“The fifth implication is that the audience is extremely affluent and the marketers’ yield audience. Also, shop and play networks are reach builders which are launch networks for marketers. The work network functions as a frequency builder, which means an assured audience five days a week for marketers,” he says.

Raina claims that OOH Media, which is present in 22 cities with about 5,000 screens, owns 50-70 per cent of all digital screens in India today, and earns 55-65 per cent of all the revenue earned in digital signage in the country. It aims to double its screens by next year. OOH Media is the seventh mover in this (digital out of home) space and is growing at 30 per cent per month.

Niloufer Dundh, chief sales officer, OOH Media, tells afaqs!, “From the very beginning, we wanted to do research. In fact, we are going a little slow on the expansion mode and have chosen to invest more money in research than advertising.”

She shares that a sizeable chunk of business comes from media agencies. “About 55-60 per cent business comes directly from clients, while the rest come from agencies. When it comes to spending a few lakh, clients take the decision themselves, but when it comes to spending Rs 1-2 crore, they go back to their media agencies and want them to evaluate it.” This is where the research comes in.

Raina pegs this industry at Rs 150 crore and expects it to grow to Rs 1,300-1,500 crore in the next five years.

But why not launch a syndicated research involving other digital screen players? Raina says, “If you look at the history of metrics, it is the largest player that takes the lead. It has the most to lose as well as the most to gain. Also, it makes sense for us, with 5,000 screens, to do such research but for someone with 1,000 screens, it may not make as much sense.”

Raina concludes, “It will also take some time to bring other players on board. Thus, if we wanted to get six more players to do this research, we would have done it in 2026. We wanted to do this now. We’re looking to build with speed, and speed comes with initiative. But we will be delighted to have an industry study in the near future.”



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