Measuring Out-Of-Home in "Research and Marketing"

The magazine "Investigación y Marketing" has published an article summarising the paper presented by Daniel Cuende, from CUENDE INFOMETRICS, at the last ESOMAR Congress, held in New Orleans. The article, of which we include an extract, was published in issue 133 under the title "From earth to heaven".

The object of the same responds to the growing need for an increasingly accurate measurement of outdoor advertising audiences for the medium, as it gains in importance and is discovered as more effective and relevant.

Outdoor has traditionally been a difficult medium to measure due to its very nature, unless costly investments are made, as a result of a high quality methodology that involves tracking panellists with GPS devices, as has been applied in the UK and Spain for years. It is therefore not surprising that in many countries there is a lack of audience data from the outdoor media. The solution requires technological disruption, as we have access to technologies we never suspected could exist.

At CUENDE Infometrics we have developed an avant-garde methodology for the measurement of outdoor advertising audiences that, following ESOMAR guidelines, is committed to a hybrid solution that combines different sources.

To know the movement patterns within the cities we detect and identify the vehicles on each street, the type and speed, by analyzing high resolution satellite images. The images are captured by our partner, DigitalGlobe, (...). Only thanks to cloud computing is it possible to process such a volume of information.

The detection algorithm has been improved using machine learning techniques used in artificial intelligence to achieve an error rate of 0.046%. This means that the algorithm is fit for purpose without any doubt.

We want to emphasize that this is the first time in history that we have this kind of data: the identification of all cars within the entire metropolitan area, simultaneously and, therefore, obtaining the real universe. The temporal analysis allows CUENDE Infometrics to understand the traffic flows of each city, which makes it possible to model them and use them in the measurement of outdoor advertising audiences.

Other sources in the measurement of Outdoor Advertising audiences

Other sources, such as mobile phone data or counts from traffic cameras, can be integrated, although they are not global solutions or have commercial biases. Only satellites provide a technology with global coverage. In any case, in some projects we have incorporated these sources. For example, in Pakistan we integrated data from traffic cameras.

In this regard, CUENDE Infometrics has reached a global agreement with TomTom, the GPS navigator manufacturer, to use anonymized data from its in-vehicle navigators, external GPS devices and Android and iPhone devices.

This data is analysed and processed to obtain detailed information on traffic flows by street segment, which can be correlated with satellite images using a proprietary calculation process.

The hybrid outdoor audience measurement system requires a survey that provides demographic information (gender, age, status...), media consumption and travel patterns, origin/destination, pedestrian trips and public transport use. The survey not only provides profiling and targeting, but also fills in the gaps for non-vehicular trips.

The type of survey is more economical than the panel of GPS individuals because the system does not need detailed information of each trip. Therefore, this makes the fieldwork budget more efficient, allowing for higher samples or more frequent updates.

The interview methodology varies depending on local characteristics in Pakistan face to face, in more advanced countries it can be CATI or online, and in Nigeria or Kenya, the best option has proven to be a mobile phone interview. It is essential for the outdoor audience measurement system to have the outdoor inventory (the advertising media to be measured and planned) geopositioned on digital mapping. For this reason we have developed a specific GIS software called Inventory Manager also included in Quantum, the standard outdoor advertising planning tool used in Spain and other countries such as the United Kingdom or South Africa.

But it's not just about latitude/longitude... The software integrates more than 20 classification variables, including specific attributes such as environment, type, company, panel illumination and additional information to aid planning.

Visibility in Outdoor Audience Measurement

Because contact in OOH is a passive action, not like television or print, where the individual chooses to contact the media, it is necessary to move from the opportunity to see to the probability of seeing.

Internationally this correction is called VAC (Visibility Adjust Contact) and has been promoted by ESOMAR. CUENDE Infometrics has structural visibility coefficients that have been designed to be applied in all countries. For each individual panel, its audience is calculated according to its own characteristics (size, location, panel orientation, height, lighting, eccentricity, the number of lanes in the street...) and considering that the individual's direction of travel allows the panel to be seen.

CUENDE automatically calculates the visibility zone using digital maps, discovering blind zones, and performs a legibility analysis. This is done through the use of our internationally patented system that integrates legibility corrections defined by various sources, including US Federal Highway Administration, US Sign Council and proprietary studies of over 500 outdoor advertising campaigns.

In addition, additional factors apply depending on lighting, street width, sidewalk location, number of lanes, mode of transport and dynamic and digital effect.

This audience system calculates the visibility of the 1,118,869 advertising faces included in GEOMEX, the outdoor audience measurement system in Spain. These are grouped into public assets, forming part of the current commercial offer of the medium, and private assets, managed privately by each company. The private inventory is the OOH's test and prospecting bank, and it is also used intensively for the evaluation of any advertising face beyond the companies' own media. (…)

Checking the Outdoor Advertising Audience System

Like any new methodology, it must be tested. The use of satellite imagery in combination with traffic data and a specific survey, which we have termed METRICOOH, should provide the same kind of results in planning decision making as GPS-controlled panelist research

We analyzed 1,787 billboards and 9,268 bus shelters in Madrid distributed in its metropolitan area. The distribution of the "impacts" of the billboards shows a similar output with the averages. (…)

With this project we are revolutionizing media measurement. We can provide outdoor audience data with the same quality and speed in any city, for NY, Karachi, Barcelona, Cape Town..., with the same methodology, with the same metrics, making them comparable, aggregatable and more useful for local and global planning.

Now, finally, any media planner, small or large, in any country, can know the effectiveness of outdoor media with accurate and consistent metrics across all countries.

You can download the complete article.