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25 CHAPTER 3 Research Findings Media Planner Quantitative Research to $50 million. The outlying group here was media gener- alists with local/regional clients, in which 80% came from The following sub-sections report the findings of the firms of this size. media planner quantitative research, which took the form · One-quarter of out-of-home specialists had transit media of a 10-section survey. Data are presented for the total sam- specialists within their firms. ple and the three segments--the out-of-home specialists, the · Fifty percent of respondents had been in media planning generalist media planners with national clients, and the gen- for between 6 and 20 years. The out-of-home specialists eralist media planners with local or regional clients--among skewed a bit less experienced, and the generalists with which there are significant differences. For ease of reference, the local/regional clients skewed a bit more experienced. three discrete segments will be referred to as follows: out-of- home specialists, generalists with national clients, generalists with local/regional clients. Results of the Recruitment The research team set out to recruit 150 respondents over- all, with an almost equal number of respondents in each seg- Section 1: Screening and Classification ment. However, the actual number of respondents recruited of Respondents was 153: The specific criteria used to qualify respondents for partic- ipation and the questions asked for classification purposes are · 42 media generalists with clients that advertise nationally presented in Chapter 2. An overview of the findings of this · 60 media generalists with clients that advertise locally and section is as follows. regionally · 32 out-of-home media specialists with clients that adver- tise nationally Headlines · 19 out-of-home media specialists with clients that adver- · Out-of-home specialists are still a lot less prevalent than tise locally and regionally general media planners. Instead of out-of-home specialists making up half of the sample as planned, they represented Table 2 compares the intended recruitment numbers with only one-third. the actual numbers. · The majority of out-of-home specialists in the respondent Finding out-of-home specialists was much more difficult base came from out-of-home media agencies. The major- than expected. Apparently, firms specializing in out-of-home ity of generalists with local/regional clients came from media are not quite as prevalent as the research team had advertising agencies. The generalists with national clients thought, based on its preliminary qualitative interviews with came equally from advertising agencies and general media media planners. Therefore, the sample was adjusted to be agencies. two-thirds generalists and one-third out-of-home specialists · The annual billings of respondents' firms spanned from instead of half and half. (See the sub-section "Major Trends under $1 million in billings per year to over $500 million in the Media Industry" in the "Media Industry Overview" per year. For the entire sample, 62% were from firms with section of Chapter 1 for background on the reorganization of billings in the small to medium range of under $1 million the media planning industry.)
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26 Table 2. Results of the recruitment. Planned Pl Actual Out-of- Out-of- Media Media Home TOTAL Home TOTAL Clients Generalists Specialists Generalists Specialists Advertise nationally 38 37 75 42 32 74 Advertise locally or regionally 37 38 75 60 19 79 TOTAL 75 75 150 102 51 153 Recruiting efforts also yielded a greater number of out- Firm's Annual Billings of-home specialists with national advertisers as clients than Respondents represented a good distribution of firms by out-of-home specialists with clients that advertise locally or size of annual billings. For the entire sample, 9% worked for regionally. Because these specialty media houses are an emerg- firms with less than $1 million in annual billings, 28% worked ing industry, it makes sense that the clientele is heavier on the for firms that billed between $1 million and $10 million, and national advertiser side at this point. 26% for firms that billed between $11 million and $50 mil- A few other metrics to confirm representativeness of the lion. These firms would be considered small to medium sized. sample included gender of the respondent, geographic dis- Of the out-of-home specialists, 45% were from firms in this tribution, size of the respondent's firm and longevity of size range. For generalists with national clients, 55% were the respondent in the media planning profession. Thirty-six from firms in this range. For generalists with local/regional percent of respondents were male, while 64% were female. clients, 80% were from firms in this size range. Twenty-five percent of respondents were based in the North- In the large size range of firms with $51 million to $500 mil- east, 25% in the West, 26% in the Midwest and 24% in the lion in annual billings, out-of-home specialists had 43% of their South. Thirty-five percent were from firms with less than total, generalists with national clients had 29% of their total and $10 million in annual billings, 35% were from firms with generalists with local/regional clients had 13% of their total. $11 to $100 million in annual billings, 20% from firms with Finally, in the jumbo size range, defined for this study as $101 to $500 million in annual billings, and 10% from firms firms with billings in excess of $500 million per year, out-of- with more than $500 million in annual billings. Finally, 27% home specialists had 12% of their total, generalists with of respondents had been media planners for three to five national clients had 17% of their total and generalists with years (the minimum requirement was three years), 40% had local/regional clients had 7% of their total. (See Table 3.) been planners for six to 15 years, and thirty-three percent had been planners for more than 16 years. The research team was satisfied with the representativeness of this sample. Presence of Transit Media Specialists in-House Among out-of-home specialists, more than one-quarter Type of Firm Employing the Respondents (28%) reported having a transit media specialist in-house. Among media generalists with national clients, almost one-fifth Respondents were asked the type of firm that employs (19%) reported having a transit media specialist in-house. The them. The choices were a general media agency, an out-of- lowest number, as expected, was found in firms employing the home media agency, or an advertising agency. Out-of-home generalists with local/regional clients: only 5% reported having media specialists came primarily from out-of-home media a transit media specialist in house. (See Table 3.) agencies (65%). Another 26% of them were found in advertis- ing agencies. Generalists with national clients were split almost Years in Media Planning half and half from advertising agencies and general media agencies. Generalists with local/regional clients were found Respondents had to have been in media planning for at predominantly in advertising agencies (70%). The other 30% least three years to be admitted to the survey. More than 50% came from general media agencies. (See Table 3.) of all media planners in the survey had been in the business
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27 Table 3. Profile of media planners. Media Generalists Media Generalists TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists w/ National Clients w/ Local/Regional (% of 153) (% of 51) Profile Questions (% of 42) (% of 60) 1. Type of Firm Respondents Work For General Media Agency 28.1 9.8 47.6B 30.0 OOH Media Agency 21.6 64.7 - - Advertising Agency 50.3 25.5 52.4 70.0B 2. Firm' s Annual Billings <$1m 8.5 2.0 9.5 13.3 $1m$10m 27.5 21.6 21.4 36.7 B $11m$50m 25.5 21.6 23.8 30.0 $51m$200m 16.4 19.6 21.4 10.0 $200m $500m 11.1 23.5 A 7.1 3.3 $500m $1B 5.9 5.9 7.1 5.0 >$1B 5.2 5.9 9.5 1.7 3. Presence of Transit Media Specialist in House Transit media specialist in house 16.3 27.5 A 19.0 5.0 4. Years in Media Planning 35 yrs 26.6 31.4 38.1 15.0 620 yrs 52.4 58.8 38.1 56.7 >20 yrs 21.0 9.9 23.8 28.3 5. Familiarity with Transit Media Extremely familiar 24.8 52.9 A 11.9 10.0 Very familiar 41.8 29.4 40.5 53.3B Moderately familiar 27.5 15.7 40.5 28.3 Slightly familiar 5.9 2.0 7.1 8.3 6. Frequency of Recommendations Always/Frequently recommend transit 49.7 70.5 A 45.3 35.0 Occasionally recommend transit 37.3 21.6 35.7 51.7B Rarely/Never recommend transit 13.1 7.8 19.0 13.4 Always/Frequently recommend billboards 73.4 85.7 66.7 Occasionally recommend billboards 21.5 14.3 25.5 Rarely/Never recommend billboards 5.1 - 7.8 7. Size of Typical Out-of-Home Budget <$50,000 14.4 7.8 9.5 23.3B $50k$99k 12.4 5.9 9.5 20.0B $100k$500k 37.9 25.5 50.0 40.0 >$500k 35.4 60.8 31.0 16.7 >$1m + 17.0 31.4 A 21.5B 6.7 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level
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28 for six to 20 years. However, the aggregate experience levels transit option in the geography needed, and lack of fit with among the three segments varied. The out-of-home special- marketing and media objectives. ists had the smallest percentage in the most experienced group (more than 20 years). Generalists with local/regional Familiarity with Transit Media clients had the smallest percentage in the least experienced group (three to five years). The generalists with national clients All respondents had to be at least minimally familiar with had the most evenly dispersed group, with the highest percent- transit to be admitted to the study. As expected, out-of-home age of the three segments in the least experienced group and the specialists reported the greatest familiarity with transit media: lowest percentage of the three segments in the six to 20 years 82% self-reported as either "extremely familiar" or "very famil- group. (See Table 3.) iar" with transit media, with 53% checking the "extremely familiar" box. Only 52% of the generalists with national clients checked the "extremely familiar" or "very familiar" boxes, with Section 2: Out-of-Home and Transit Media only 12% claiming to be "extremely familiar." Among gener- Budgets and Usage alists with local/regional clients, 63% are "extremely familiar" The main information gathered in this section of the test or "very familiar" with transit--higher than the generalists related to familiarity with and usage of out-of-home media in with national clients, perhaps because of greater demand for general and transit specifically. To get a sense of the current transit among their clients. Similar to generalists with national prevalence of usage, the research team asked what portion of clients, the "extremely familiar" group among generalists with clients' media plans include out-of-home media and transit local/regional clients is small: 10%. media, as well as what portion of media spending is allocated With the lowest percentage of respondents who are to out-of-home media and to transit media. Also the size, in "extremely" or "very" familiar with transit media, the gener- dollars, of the typical out-of-home media budget with which alists with predominantly national clients had a high percent- age of respondents in the next box down: "moderately famil- respondents typically work was requested. iar." Together with data on their attitudes toward transit media, this finding has a positive implication: more transit Headlines advertising could possibly be recommended and sold by gen- eralists with national clients simply by increasing the preva- · Familiarity with transit is greatest among out-of-home lence of planners who are very or extremely familiar with specialists, although a large proportion of generalist media transit media. (See Table 3.) planners also claim to be very familiar. · Frequency of recommending transit is highest among out- of-home specialists, but is still less than the frequency with Frequency of Recommending Transit which they recommend billboards. Media and Billboards · There are fewer out-of-home specialists, but they recom- The proxy for actual usage of transit media was the fre- mend out-of-home media far more frequently than quency with which respondents recommend transit advertis- generalist media planners, and they tend to have larger ing to their clients. Among all respondents, almost 50% out-of-home budgets with which to work. reported that they "always" or "frequently" recommend tran- · For two-thirds of generalist media planners, the typical sit to their clients. Only 13% said that they "rarely" or "never" percentage of a media budget allocated to out-of-home is recommend transit. Within the segments, the highest fre- between 5% and 20%. quency was reported among the out-of-home specialists: more · Fifty-three percent of out-of-home specialists recommend than 70% reported "always" or "frequently" recommending transit to more than 50% of their clients. Only 21% of transit media. Among generalists with national clients, this generalist media planners do the same. percentage was 45%. Among generalists with local/regional · The median percentage of an out-of-home budget that gets clients, this percentage was 35%. allocated to transit is 11% to 15% according to generalist The comparable percentages for recommendation of bill- media planners and 21% to 25% according to out-of-home boards provide a sense of transit media's growth opportunity. specialists. Among the entire sample, 73% "always" or "frequently" rec- · Bus exteriors are the most popular form of transit adver- ommend billboards vs. 50% who do so for transit media. tising used by all three segments. Out-of-home specialists Among the out-of-home specialists, 86% "always" or "fre- use bus wraps, bus stations and station dominations much quently" recommend billboards vs. 71% who do so for tran- more frequently than generalist media planners. sit media. Among all generalist media planners, 67% "always" · The most frequently cited obstacles to recommending or "frequently" recommend billboards vs. 39% who do so for more transit media were budget limitations, lack of a good transit media. (See Table 3.)
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29 Frequency of Recommending Out-of-Home Media out-of-home specialists said that the out-of-home budget they typically deal with is more than $1 million. In contrast, Respondents were asked for the percentage of clients to 22% of generalists with national clients and 7% of generalists whom they recommend out-of-home media. This question with local/regional clients said that their typical out-of-home was asked to get a sense of the prevalence of out-of-home in budget is $1 million or more. The generalists with local/regional media plans. As expected, this percentage was very high for clients tend to have the smallest out-of-home budgets to work out-of-home specialists: 73% of out-of-home specialists said with: 43% said that their typical out-of-home budget is under that they recommend out-of-home media to 100% of clients. $100,000. The comparable percentage for generalists with In contrast, only 8% of generalist media planners (both types national clients was 19%, and for out-of-home specialists was combined) recommend out-of-home to 100% of clients. 14%. (See Table 3.) Only 43% of generalist media planners recommend out-of- home to more than 50% of their clients. (See Table 4.) Frequency of Recommending Transit Media Out-of-Home's Percentage of Total Media Budget Respondents were asked for the percentage of clients to whom they recommend transit media. As expected, this per- Generalist media planners were asked for their best guess at centage was higher for out-of-home specialists than for gener- a representative percentage of media dollars allocated to out-of- alist media planners. Fifty-three percent of out-of-home spe- home media. The question was phrased this way in recognition cialists said that they recommend transit media to more than that most media planners work on multiple clients' plans. Two- 50% of clients. In contrast, only 21% of generalist media plan- thirds of generalist media planners said that between 5% and ners (both types combined, no statistical difference between 20% of a total media budget is typically allocated to out- the two) recommend transit media to more than 50% of clients. of-home media. As expected, the range of percentages skews (See Table 6.) higher among the out-of-home specialists. (See Table 5.) Transit's Percentage of Out-of-Home Media Budget Size of Out-of-Home Budget Respondents were asked for their best guess at a representa- As expected, out-of-home specialists tend to work with tive percentage of out-of-home media dollars allocated to tran- larger out-of-home media budgets. Thirty-one percent of sit media. The question was phrased this way in recognition Table 4. Frequency of recommending out-of-home media. TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ Clients (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) <5% 5 .2 - 11.9 5.0 5-10% 6.5 2.0 4.8 11.7 11-20% 5.9 2.0 4.8 10.0 21-30% 6.5 - 9 .5 10.0 31-40% 6.5 - 9 .5 10.0 41-50% 9.2 2.0 14.3 11.7 51-60% 5.2 - 11.9 5.0 61-70% 5.9 2.0 4.8 10.0 71-80% 9.2 7.8 11.9 8.3 81-90% 5.9 2.0 4 .8 10.0 91-99% 4.6 9.8A 4.8 - 100% 29.4 72.5A 7 .1 8.3 >50% 60.2 94.1 45.3 41.6 A= Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B= Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 3 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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30 Table 5. Typical percentage of total media budget used on out-of-home media. OOH Budget TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ (% of Total) (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) <5% 8.5 5.9 7.1 11.7 5-10% 20.3 13.7 23.8 23.3 11-15% 19.6 15.7 19.0 23.3 16-20% 18.3 11.8 23.8 20.0 21-30% 11.8 9.8 14.3 11.7 31-40% 5.2 2.0 7.1 6.7 41-50% 1.3 2.0 - 1.7 51-60% 3.3 3.9 4.8 1.7 61-70% - - - - 71-80% 2.0 5.9 - - 81-90% .7 2.0 - - 91-100% 9.2 27.5A - - A= Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B= Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 5 of the survey (available in Appendix A). Table 6. Frequency of recommending transit media. TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ Clients (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) 0% 3.3 2.0 2.4 5.0 1-4% 9.8 3.9 21.4B 6.7 5-10% 9.2 7.8 2.4 15.0B 11-15% 7.2 2.0 4.8 13.3 16-20% 5.9 2.0 7.1 8.3 21-25% 9.2 7.8 11.9 8.3 26-30% 5.9 3.9 11.9 3.3 31-40% 7.2 3.9 9.5 8.3 41-50% 11.1 13.7 7.1 11.7 51-60% 4.6 7.8 2.4 3.3 61-70% 3.9 5.9 2.4 3.3 71-80% 9.8 17.6A 7.1 5.0 81-90% 6.5 13.7A 2.4 3.3 91-100% 6.5 7.8 7.1 5.0 A= Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B= Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 13 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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31 that most media planners work on multiple clients' plans. The Finally, branded stations (also known as "station domina- majority of generalist media planners (60%) said that between tions") were recommended by 71% of out-of-home special- 0% and 15% of an out-of-home media budget is typically ists, but only 41% of generalists with national clients and only spent on transit media. The majority of out-of-home special- 15% of generalists with local/regional clients. For some of ists (61%) said that between 16% and 50% of an out-of-home these, like bus wraps and branded stations, the smaller out- media budget is typically spent on transit media. The median of-home budgets might be a factor in explaining lower usage for out-of-home specialists was 21% to 25%. The median for among the generalist segments. (See Table 8.) generalist media planners was 11% to 15%. (See Table 7.) Obstacles to Recommending More Transit Media Most Recommended Transit Media Respondents were asked to state, in their own words, what Among 13 different transit advertising formats, bus exteri- was keeping them from recommending more transit media. ors are used by the highest percentage of respondents across The most often cited reasons were these: all three segments. Eighty-eight percent of out-of-home spe- cialists, 79% of generalists with national clients, and 83% of · Budget restrictions generalists with local/regional clients recommended bus exte- · Lack of "good transit" in the desired market(s) riors in the past year. The similarities end here. Three transit · Lack of fit with the advertiser's brand objectives formats are also highly used by out-of-home specialists, but · Not among the media the client prefers are only moderately used by the generalists: bus wraps; bus · Too expensive in general/production costs too high benches, shelters and stations; and branded stations. Bus wraps, out-of-home specialists' second most popular Section 3: Effectiveness format, were recommended by 82% of out-of-home special- of Transit Advertising ists, but only 55% of generalists with national clients and only 57% of generalists with local/regional clients. Bus benches, To understand the media selections of media planners, shelters and stations were recommended by 82% of out-of- how they view transit media's best uses needs to be under- home specialists, but only 60% of generalists with national stood. The research team explored assumptions about appli- clients and only 67% of generalists with local/regional clients. cability by presenting 14 common media and marketing Table 7. Typical percentage of total out-of-home budget used for transit. Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ Transit Budget TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists National Clients Local/Regional (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of OOH) (% of 42) (% of 60) <5% 14.4 7.8 11.9 21.7 5-10% 19.6 13.7 26.2 20.0 11-15% 15.0 5.9 11.9 25.0B 16-20% 11.1 11.8 16.7 6.7 21-25% 8.5 13.7 4.8 6.7 26-30% 7.8 9.8 7.1 6.7 31-40% 7.2 9.8 9.5 3.3 41-50% 6.5 15.7A 2.4 1.7 51-60% 4.6 7.8 2.4 3.3 61-70% - - - - 71-80% 3.9 3.9 4.8 3.3 81-90% 0.7 - - 1.7 91-100% 0.7 - 2.4 - A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 14 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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32 Table 8. Transit media recommended in past year. Transit Media TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalist w/ Recommended in Past Year (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) Bus exteriors 83.7 88.2 78.6 83.3 Bus benches, stations, shelters 69.9 82.4 A 59.5 66.7 Bus wraps 64.7 82.4 A 54.8 56.7 Rail platforms and stations 44.4 54.9 A 40.5 38.3 Dioramas, clocks, other back-lit displays 43.1 60.8 A 40.5 30.0 Bus interiors 41.8 39.2 54.8 B 35.0 Branded stations 40.5 70.6 A 40.5 B 15.0 Digital displays 39.2 43.1 42.9 33.3 Rail interiors 36.6 52.9 A 31.0 26.7 Transit TV 19.0 13.7 31.0B 15.0 Rail exteriors 16.3 35.3 A 9.5 5.0 Railcar wraps 16.3 31.4 A 11.9 6.7 Tickets, passes, route maps 10.5 9.8 19.0B 5.0 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 11 of the survey (available in Appendix A). objectives (e.g., enhances brand image, extends reach and fre- · Bus and subway forms of transit advertising are perceived quency), and asking respondents to select the objectives that to differ in terms of the breadth of audience each reaches: transit media is highly effective at achieving. Instead of asking bus exteriors reach a mass audience best, and subway about transit media in general, the survey asked about the two forms reach a captive audience best. most commonly used transit media--bus exteriors and sub- · Billboards are viewed very similarly in terms of media and way trains, platforms and stations--separately from each marketing objectives achieved to both bus exteriors and other. This separation was to explore whether the different subway, but especially subway. formats that are often, if not always, grouped together under · In the one-answeronly test, transit was awarded the most the name "transit media" were not in fact discrete product "best at" votes of any medium tested for "reach a captive lines serving different purposes. For comparison, the survey audience." This was the only one of the 14 objectives for also asked the same applicability questions for billboards and which transit received the most "best at" votes. place-based media. · Among out-of-home specialists, transit holds its own against After asking for all the media and marketing objectives billboards on the four media and marketing objectives for that each media type could achieve, the survey asked which which transit receives its greatest number of "best at" scores: media was the best at achieving each objective. For this one- "build/extend frequency," "reach a captive audience," answeronly test, six options were offered: transit (as a group), "build/extend reach," and "achieve market saturation." billboards, electronic billboards, place-based media, televi- · Among generalist media planners, transit outscored bill- sion and the Internet. The last two media are of course not boards on three of the four objectives for which transit considered out-of-home media. The intent was to explore received the most "best at" scores. Transit outscored bill- whether, and against which objectives, transit media could boards on "reach a captive audience," "break through clut- compete with these "major" media. ter," and "create a buzz." Billboard outscored transit on "achieve market saturation." Headlines Media and Marketing Objectives Most Effectively · The marketing objective most frequently seen as being Met by Each Medium effectively achieved by both bus and subway is "build brand awareness." Respondents were given a list of 14 media and marketing · In the second tier of objectives achieved by bus and subway objectives, and asked to select any and all objectives that bus are "build/extend reach" and "build/extend frequency." exteriors, subways and billboards are very effective at achieving.
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33 Bus exteriors received the highest ratings (the highest per- cialists than for generalist media planners. Among general- centage of media planners selecting this objective) for "reach ist media planners, the ratings levels were higher for gener- a mass audience" (80%) and "build brand awareness" (78%). alists with national clients than for generalists with local/ Overall, all three media planner segments agreed with these regional clients. selections. In addition, an exceptionally high percentage of generalists with national clients (81%) selected "create a Unique Capabilities of Transit Media versus Other buzz." Bus exteriors received a low rating for "reach a captive Out-of-Home Media, Television and the Internet audience" (34%). (See Table 9.) Subways, platforms and stations received their highest Table 12 shows the results of a separate exercise in which ratings for achieving the objectives "reach a captive audi- respondents were asked to indicate, for the same 14 media and ence" (78%) and "build brand awareness" (77%), as shown marketing objectives, which one medium did the best job at in Table 10. Billboards also received their highest ratings for each objective. (In the previous exercise, respondents could achieving these objectives: "reach a captive audience" (75%) select as many of the 14 objectives as they thought the medium and "build brand awareness" (82%). (See Table 11.) was highly effective at achieving.) The media options given The ratings for "reach a mass audience" were softer for both were transit (not separated into bus and rail), billboards, subways and billboards (64% and 65%, respectively) than the digital billboards, place-based media, television, and the ratings for buses (80%). (See Tables 8, 9 and 10.) Internet. Transit was awarded the most number one votes After building brand awareness and reaching a captive/mass (43%) for only one objective: "reach a captive audience." It audience, the next highest scoring media objectives for is interesting to note that this objective was highly selected bus exteriors, subways and billboards were "build/extend in the previous exercise in reference to subways, but not to reach" and "build/extend frequency." "Create a buzz" was bus exteriors. more highly selected for bus exteriors and subways than for In addition, transit was recognized for its ability to "achieve billboards. market saturation," with 24% of media planners giving In general, the level of ratings (percentage of media plan- it their "best at" vote, albeit less than billboards' 33% and tele- ners selecting an objective) was higher for out-of-home spe- vision's 38%. For "build/extend frequency," transit was second Table 9. Percentage of media planners who consider media and marketing objectives to be very effectively met by bus exteriors. TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ Media/Marketing Objectives (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) Reach a captive audience 34 39.2 28.6 33.3 Achieve market saturation 48.4 58.8 A 42.9 43.3 Build/extend frequency 67.3 76.5 A 64.3 61.7 Build/extend reach 73.2 80.4 71.4 68.3 Break through clutter 25.5 29.4 35.7 B 15 Create a buzz 67.3 66.7 81.0 B 58.3 Be close to point of purchase 25.5 19.6 21.4 33.3 B Reach a mass audience 79.7 88.2 A 81 71.7 Reach a specific demographic segment 40.5 52.9 A 38.1 31.7 Launch a new product or service 58.8 68.6 A 64.3 B 46.7 Build brand awareness 78.4 88.2 A 83.3 B 66.7 Communicate news 30.1 31.4 40.5 B 21.7 Trigger action by consumer 17 23.5 14.3 13.3 Enhance brand image 35.9 43.1 28.6 35 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 17 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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34 Table 10. Percentage of media planners who consider media and marketing objectives to be very effectively met by subway trains, platforms and stations. TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists w/ Media Generalists w/ Media/Marketing Objectives (% of 153) (% of 51) National Clients (% of 42) Local/Regional (% of 60) Reach a captive audience 77.8 86.3 A 71.4 75 Achieve market saturation 34 45.1 A 38.1 B 21.7 Build/extend frequency 64.7 68.6 59.5 65 Build/extend reach 65.4 76.5 A 61.9 58.3 Break through clutter 32.7 31.4 40.8 28.3 Create a buzz 65.4 72.5 64.3 60 Be close to point of purchase 26.8 23.5 23.8 31.7 Reach a mass audience 64.1 74.5 A 59.5 58.3 Reach a specific demographic segment 57.5 72.5 A 45.2 53.3 Launch a new product or service 54.2 32.7 47.6 51.7 Build brand awareness 77.1 80.4 83.3 70 Communicate news 42.5 52.9 A 47.6 B 30 Trigger action by consumer 21.6 31.4 A 19 15 Enhance brand image 47.1 58.8 A 42.9 40 A= Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B= Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 18 of the survey (available in Appendix A). Table 11. Percentage of media planners who consider media and marketing objectives to be very effectively met by billboards. TOTAL SAMPLE OOH Specialists Media Generalists Media/Marketing Objectives (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of 102) Reach a captive audience 74.7 82.1 A 70.6 Achieve market saturation 41.8 53.6 35.3 Build/extend frequency 64.6 67.9 62.7 Build/extend reach 67.1 78.6 60.8 Break through clutter 36.7 21.4 45.1 Create a buzz 62 53.6 66.7 Be close to point of purchase 24.1 21.4 A 25.5 Reach a mass audience 64.6 67.9 62.7 Reach a specific demographic segment 57 75.0 A 47.1 Launch a new product or service 57 67.9 A 51 Build brand awareness 82.3 82.1 A 82.4 Communicate news 41.8 46.4 39.2 Trigger action by consumer 19 25.0 A 15.7 Enhance brand image 50.6 50 51 A= Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B= Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 20 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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35 Table 12. Results of all respondents (153) voting for the medium considered best at achieving media/ marketing objectives. Digital Place- Media/Marketing Objectives Transit Billboard BB based TV Internet Reach a captive audience 43% 6% 3% 28% 13% 7% Achieve market saturation 24% 33% 2% 1% 38% 1% Build / extend frequency 23% 40% 1% 3% 19% 14% Build / extend reach 22% 33% 1% 1% 35% 7% Break through clutter 18% 23% 24% 24% 8% 4% Create a buzz 18% 16% 14% 7% 23% 22% Be close to point of purchase 12% 36% 1% 35% 3% 14% Reach a mass audience 11% 29% 3% 0% 52% 5% Reach a specific demographic segment 10% 13% 2% 14% 24% 37% Launch a new product or service 7% 18% 0% 2% 69% 5% Build brand awareness 5% 29% 1% 1% 59% 5% Communicate news 3% 5% 6% 1% 54% 32% Trigger action by a consumer 1% 8% 1% 20% 31% 39% Enhance a brand's image 0% 17% 4% 8% 67% 4% No significance testing was performed across media types. Data compiled from responses to Question 21 of the survey (available in Appendix A). only to billboards (23% of best votes vs. 40%, respectively). tives. It is only for reaching captive audiences that transit is seen For its ability to extend reach, transit received 22% of "best to be the best media option among those tested. at" votes, behind billboards (33%) and television (35%). Table 13 shows the variation in how the three media plan- Transit Media versus Billboards ner segments awarded "best at" scores. "Reach a captive audi- ence" received a high percentage of "best at" scores across all Billboards were voted the best at building/extending fre- three segments. But out-of-home specialists give transit more quency and building/extending reach. Billboards virtually credit for building/extending reach and frequency than it tied with digital billboards and place-based media for break- appears the generalist media planners do. The generalists see ing through clutter. transit as stronger at achieving market saturation and breaking Among out-of-home specialists, transit media were better through clutter. than, equal to, or just a bit behind billboards for each of the An important question is: what happened to "build brand top four objectives that transit was rated best at achieving. awareness" and "reach a mass audience" in the "best at" exer- For transit's top score, 41% of "best" votes for "build/extend cise? These were the strengths of transit coming out of the frequency," billboards also scored 41% of "best" votes. For first exercise where media planners could select all media and the ability to "reach a captive audience," transit got 39% of marketing objectives very effectively achieved by transit. For "best" votes (the second highest ranking for transit) and bill- "build brand awareness," transit received only 5% of the "best boards received 12%. For the ability to "build/extend reach" at" votes. For "reach a mass audience," transit received only (transit's third highest ranking), transit got 35% of "best" votes 11% of the number one votes. to billboards' 39%. For the ability to "achieve market satura- The explanation is that the questions asked were completely tion" (transit's fourth highest ranking), transit received 31% of different from each other. The first question asked, "What are "best" votes and billboards received 37%. (See Table 14.) all the things that transit media is good at?" The second ques- From the fifth rated objective that transit was voted best at tion asked, "Is there anything that transit is the best at?" While achieving to the end of the list, transit falls significantly behind transit is highly effective at building brand awareness and billboards in percentage of "best" votes. Notably, on "reach a reaching mass audiences, other media are better at these objec- mass audience," transit's fifth highest scoring objective, transit
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44 Table 21. Transit image ratings among generalists with local/regional clients (60). "Describes "Describes extremely well" + slightly" + "Does Image "Describes "Describes very "Describes not describe at "Does not Descriptors extremely well" well" Somewhat" all" describe at all" Effective 10.0% 38.3% 46.7% 15.0% B 1.7% Reliable 6.7% 43.3% 33.3% 23.3% 8.3% Efficient 3.3% 28.3% 40.0% 31.7% B 8.3% Expensive 8.3% 33.3% 38.3% 28.3% 10.0% Intrusive - 23.3% 25.0% 45.0% B 26.7% Hip 1.7% 11.7% 20.0% 68.3% B 41.7% B Clean - 10.0% 33.3% 56.7% 26.7% B Sexy 1.7% 6.7% 16.7% 76.7% B 45.0% B Innovative 5.0% 23.3% 31.7% 45.0% B 16.7% Complicated - 5.0% 21.7% 73.3% 58.3% B Downscale 1.7% 13.3% 38.3% 48.3% 23.3% B = Significantly higher than media generalists w/ national clients @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 24 of the survey (available in Appendix A). It can target specific areas or demographic groups. being immune from technology that permits consumers to It has a credible audience measurement system. skip viewing an ad, offering 24-hour exposure, and having It has comprehensive demographic data. standardized ad sizes. These features are "nice to haves." · The three media planner segments largely agreed on the relative desirability of the features. Notable Differences Among the Segments A significantly higher percentage of generalist media plan- Desirability of Media Features ners stated that having comprehensive demographic data is The 17 features listed in the survey, and the percentage extremely desirable versus out-of-home specialists (77% of of respondents that said the feature was "very desirable" or out-of-home specialists rated it "very desirable" or "extremely "extremely desirable," are listed in Table 22. desirable" versus 91% of generalists with national clients and The top five features, i.e., those rated "extremely desirable" 90% of generalists with local/regional clients). Also, a signifi- or "very desirable" by more than 85% of respondents, should cantly higher percentage of generalist media planners (both be considered "must haves" for any medium trying to capture segments) than out-of-home specialists stated that delivering the attention of media planners. These top-rated features con- metrics for ROI evaluations is extremely desirable (59% of sist of delivering exactly what was bought, being a good value out-of-home specialists rated it "very desirable" or "extremely for the money, having the ability to target audiences or geog- desirable" versus 91% of generalists with national clients and raphies, having a credible audience measurement system, and 85% of generalists with local/regional clients). (See Table 22.) offering comprehensive demographic data. These findings most likely reflect that generalist media The next six features, because their ratings are 75% or planners are used to working with television, radio and print, more, should be considered "really should haves." These fea- all of which have been delivering data--both demographic tures consist of providing flexibility with flighting, having and proof-of-performance data--for many years. The out- knowledgeable sales representatives, delivering metrics for of-home specialists, on the other hand, are more accustomed return-on-investment calculations, offering innovative prod- to working with media that, at least until now, have been ucts, facilitating multi-city media buys, and having reason- unable to provide good quantitative data. able production costs. The next three features, with ratings exceeding 65%, should Section 7: Rating of Transit's and Competitors' be considered "should haves." These features consist of having Abilities to Deliver Media Features the ability to get the creative team excited, being simple to exe- cute a campaign in, and being easy to learn and stay on top of. The previous section of the survey asked the respondents Finally, of the 17 features presented, these three were the to rate the desirability of the 17 media features. In this section, least desirable (note that this is not the same as not desirable): they were asked to rate how well each feature describes transit
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45 Table 22. Percentage of media planners who indicated the following media attributes are "extremely desirable" or "very desirable." Media Generalists Media TOTAL OOH w/ National Generalists w/ SAMPLE Specialists Clients Local/Regional Attributes/Benefits Tested (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of 42) (% of 60) Delivers exactly what was bought 95 90 95 98 Is a good value for the money 92 88 95 93 Can target specific areas or demographic groups 89 84 91 92 Has a credible audience measurement system 88 80 91 93 Has comprehensive demographic data 86 77 91 90 Is flexible on flighting 84 82 82 87 Has knowledgeable sales representatives 84 84 86 82 Can deliver metrics for ROI evaluations 78 59 91 85 Offers innovative products 77 73 83 77 Is easy to execute a multi-city buy in 76 71 88B 72 Has reasonable production costs 75 67 81 78 Has the ability to get my creative team excited 73 75 76 68 Is simple to coordinate and execute a campaign in 71 75 79B 63 Is easy to learn and stay on top of 71 71 64 75 Cannot be "TiVo'd" 54 67A 41 53B Offers 24-hour exposure 53 59 55 47 Has standardized ad sizes 50 53 55 43 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Questions 25 and 26 of the survey (available in Appendix A). media. Half of the sample was also asked how well each feature · Out-of-home specialists gave billboards higher ratings describes billboards. The other half of the sample was also than they gave transit media. asked how well each feature described place-based media. · The place-based media ratings were as low overall as tran- sit media's ratings. Headlines Transit Media's Ratings · Overall, transit media's ratings are very low. That is to say, the majority of media planners do not think that transit Table 23 shows the ratings for transit media on all the fea- media delivers very well on most of the features given. tures listed in the survey. · Transit advertising's strongest features are mostly found Ratings for transit media are weak overall. Typically in an within the least desirable/"nice to have" tier of media exercise like this one, solid-performing entities score in the 70 features. and 80 percentile on many features, and even in the 90 per- · The differences found between out-of-home specialists centile on the features ranked as most important or desirable. and generalist media planners are of minor significance. Fewer than 50% of media planners rated the most desirable
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46 Table 23. Percentage of media planners who indicated the following media attributes are "extremely desirable" or "very desirable" and describe transit "completely" or "very well." DESIRABLE Q 25 & 26 Describes TRANSIT Q 27 & 28 Media Media Media Generalists Media Generalists Generalists w/ Generalists TOTAL OOH w/ National w/ Local/ TOTAL OOH National w/ Local/ SAMPLE Specialists Clients Regional SAMPLE Specialists Clients Regional Attributes/Benefits Tested (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of 42) (% of 60) (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of 42) (% of 60) Delivers exactly what was bought 95 90 95 98 47 45 55 43 Is a good value for the money 92 88 95 93 37 37 45B 32 Can target specific areas or demographic groups 89 84 91 92 45 51 48 38 Has a credible audience measurement system 88 80 91 93 14 12 17 13 Has comprehensive demographic data 86 77 91 90 20 26 21 13 Is flexible on flighting 84 82 83 87 40 35 43 42 Has knowledgeable sales representatives 84 84 86 82 54 53 64B 48 Can deliver metrics for ROI evaluations 78 59 91 85 16 8 26B 15 Offers innovative products 77 73 83 77 33 29 43B 28 Is easy to execute a multi-city buy in 76 71 88B 72 41 41 52B 33 Has reasonable production costs 75 67 81 78 20 22 24 17 Has the ability to get my creative team excited 73 75 76 68 33 31 36 32 Is simple to coordinate and execute a campaign in 71 75 79B 63 45 47 50 40 Is easy to learn and stay on top of 71 71 64 75 61 65 60 58 Cannot be "TiVo'd" 54 67 A 41 53B 86 90 88 82 Offers 24-hour exposure 53 59 55 47 58 49 71B 57 Has standardized ad sizes 50 53 55 43 39 35 45 37 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Questions 25 through 28 of the survey (available in Appendix A). features as describing transit media "completely" or "very Table 24 arrays the features in a matrix that facilitates focus- well," which indicates that this entity, transit media, cannot ing on transit media's performance on the most important be performing with a great deal of strength. Transit media's (according to the target audience) features. The most important ratings are especially weak on features relating to data: "has a features are in the top row. Within the top row, the features are credible audience measurement system," "has comprehensive then sorted by those on which transit media perform very well demographic data" and "can deliver metrics for ROI evalua- (the left-most column) and those on which transit media's per- tions" are all rated extremely low. (See Table 23.) formance is weakest (the right-most column). Table 24 makes The features related to the cost of transit media are also rated clear that there are no features considered of top importance to low. Only 37% of media planners said "a good value for the media planners on which transit is perceived to perform well. money" describes transit "completely" or "very well." A sizable A common practice is to promote a product (in this case, portion of respondents said that "a good value for the money" a set of media) using the features that cluster in the top left- describes transit "somewhat." On "has reasonable production hand boxes. These features are the most compelling to the costs," only 21% of respondents thought it describes transit target audience and are done very well--perhaps better than media "completely" or "very well." Again, a large group (44%) competitors--by the product. The top right-hand boxes are said "somewhat." the issues to be addressed--and addressed fast--before they Aside from issues with data and perceived value, transit undermine the positive messages about the product. One of media are not widely believed to deliver exactly what was the starkest findings of this study is that transit would be bought--media planners' most desirable feature. Nor are commencing any communications with its target audience transit media widely believed to target very well or be flexible from a deficit position. There is a vacuum where the positives on flighting. should be, and it needs to be filled immediately.
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47 Table 24. Transit ratings matrix. % of respondents who said the attribute "Describes transit media completely or very well" Attributes >75% 50%-74% 25%-49% <25% CRITICAL / Delivers exactly (47) Aud. measurement (14) MUST HAVE Good value for $ (37) Comp. demo data (20) Can target (45) REALLY SHOULD Know. sales reps (54) Flexible flighting (40) ROI metrics (16) HAVE & Easy to learn (61) Innovative prods (33) Reas. prod. costs (20) SHOULD HAVE Multi-city buy (41) Simple to execute (45) Creative team (33) NICE TO HAVE Can't be TiVo'd (86) 24-hr exposure (58) Standardized ad sizes (39) Percentages are of all respondents (153). Transit vs. Billboards and Place-Based Media satisfaction was affected by whether the representative was dedicated to transit or not. Table 25 compares media planners' ratings for how well the media features describe transit, billboard and place-based media. Billboard was rated higher than transit and place-based Headlines media on several of the most highly desirable features. Table 26 · 52% of media planners have sales representatives who sell is the billboard matrix that is comparable to the transit matrix them transit as well as other media. in Table 24. The top left box of the billboard matrix is empty of · Of these, only half said that the transit selling tools are as features, as well. However, billboards are clearly perceived to good as selling tools for the other media sold by the same perform better than transit on the most important features: representative. instead of having features appear no earlier than the 25%49% · Also of these, less than half agree that the representative column, as the transit matrix does, the billboard matrix has two spends as much time with them on transit as on the other features in the 50%74% column. So billboard is perceived to media being sold. perform pretty well on "delivers exactly what was bought"-- · The respondents with transit-dedicated sales representatives the number one most important feature--and "can target spe- (48%) are more satisfied overall than their counterparts. cific areas or demographic groups"--also among the top five. · Among these media planners, more than one-third of the generalists rated transit representatives below average for delivering useful demographic data and effective selling Section 8: Satisfaction with tools and materials. Sales Representatives To a significant degree, whether media planners select Media Planners with Multi-Media transit media for their plans can be influenced by their inter- Sales Representatives actions with their transit media sales representatives. All of the planners in the study work with sales representatives for Respondents with sales representatives who sell multiple transit media. Some of the planners have representatives who types of media, including transit, rate their representatives as sell them transit media only. Others have representatives who knowledgeable about transit, with 73% agreeing or strongly sell multiple media. It was important to explore media planners' agreeing. However, a much lower percentage of media plan- overall satisfaction with sales representatives and whether ners (51%) agree that the selling tools they get for transit are
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48 Table 25. Percentage of respondents who indicated that the following media attributes are "extremely desirable" or "very desirable" and describe transit, billboard and place-based media "completely" or "very well." Desirable Describes TOTAL Place- SAMPLE Transit Billboards based Attributes/Benefits Tested (% of 153) (% of 153) (% of 79) (% of 74) Delivers exactly what was bought 95 47 59 15 Is a good value for the money 92 37 41 18 Can target specific areas or demographic groups 89 45 59 23 Has a credible audience measurement system 88 14 21 56 Has comprehensive demographic data 86 20 22 44 Is flexible on flighting 84 40 38 30 Has knowledgeable sales representatives 84 54 64 15 Can deliver metrics for ROI evaluations 78 16 7 59 Offers innovative products 77 33 26 32 Is easy to execute a multi-city buy in 76 41 56 27 Has reasonable production costs 75 20 28 35 Has the ability to get my creative team excited 73 33 35 34 Is simple to coordinate and execute a campaign in 71 45 62 17 Is easy to learn and stay on top of 71 61 77 8 Cannot be "TiVo'd" 54 86 80 5 Offers 24-hour exposure 53 58 77 23 Has standardized ad sizes 50 39 73 20 Significance testing was not performed across media types. Data compiled from responses to Questions 25 through 30 of the survey (available in Appendix A). as useful as the ones they get for other media (23% disagree). sales representatives at or above average on "takes time to Also, only 42% agree that the sales representative spends as understand my needs and my clients' objectives." The much time on transit as on other media they are selling (29% importance of this was very clearly expressed in several of disagree). (See Table 27.) the media planner interviews conducted prior to the quan- titative study. The lowest scores of transit-only sales representatives Media Planners with Transit-Only were related to providing effective selling tools and provid- Sales Representatives ing useful demographic information. Thirty percent of Transit-dedicated sales representatives received somewhat media planners rated their sales representatives below aver- mixed scores from their media planners, as well. The highest age on these two attributes. Among this subset of media score was for the percentage of media planners agreeing with planners, larger percentages of generalist media planners the statement, "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit than out-of-home specialists give their sales representatives rep is reliable for following up after the pitch." Eighty-two below average scores on providing demographic infor- percent of these media planners rated their sales representa- mation, effective selling materials and reliable follow-up, tives at or above average on follow-up. Another positive is and keeping planners current on new media options. (See that the majority of media planners (85%) scored their Table 28.)
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49 Table 26. Billboard ratings matrix. % of respondents (79) who said the attribute "Describes billboards completely or very Attributes well" >75% 50%-74% 25%-49% <25% CRITICAL / Delivers exactly (59) Good value for $ (41) Aud. measure. (21) MUST HAVE Can target (59) Comp. demo data (22) REALLY SHOULD Easy to learn (77) Know. sales reps (64) Flexible flighting (38) ROI metrics (7) HAVE & Multi-city buy (56) Innovative prods (26) SHOULD HAVE Simple to execute (62) Reas. Prod. costs (28) Creative team (35) NICE TO HAVE Can't be TiVo'd (80) Standard. ad sizes (73) 24-hr exposure (77) Overall Satisfaction with Transit Media were "somewhat" or "not at all" satisfied with their sales rep- Sales Representatives resentatives compared with 34% of media planners with ded- icated transit sales representatives. (See Table 29.) A little more than 60% of all surveyed media planners reported being "satisfied" (38%), "very satisfied" (19%) or "extremely satisfied" (5%) with their transit sales representa- Section 9: New Media tives. That means that almost 40%--a very large number in the experience of the research team--of media planners Respondents were presented with seven new media options reported being only "somewhat" or "not at all" satisfied with and asked to indicate which, if any, of the options would their transit sales representatives. significantly increase the likelihood of their recommending The dissatisfaction is heavier on the side of the media plan- more transit media. The media options presented came from ners with multi-media representatives. Among these, 43% new technologies that are being discussed in the press as well Table 27. Media planners' ratings of multi-media sales representatives. General w/ General w/ TOTAL SAMPLE Out-of-Home National Local/Regional Statements of Satisfaction (% of 79) (% of 35) (% of 40) (% of 39) Strongly agree/Agree 43 44 39 42 "My media sales rep spends as much time selling me Disagree/ on transit as on other media" Strongly disagree 31 17 35 29 Strongly agree/Agree 71 83 69 73 "My media sales rep is as knowledgeable about transit Disagree/ as other media" Strongly disagree 11 6 12 10 Strongly agree/Agree 60 44 42 51 "My media sales rep provides selling tools and materials Disagree/ for transit that are as effective as those for other media" Strongly disagree 23 17 27 23 Total sample = media planners with sales representatives who sell multiple media including transit (79) Data compiled from responses to Question 32 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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50 Table 28. Media planners' ratings of transit-only sales representatives. OUT-OF- General w/ General w/ TOTAL SAMPLE HOME National Local/Regional Statements of Satisfaction (% of 74) (% of 16)* (% of 24)* (% of 34) "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep takes time to BIC/AA 43 50 58 29 understand my needs and my clients' objectives" WIC/BA 15 13 4 24 B "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep is knowledgeable BIC/AA 51 50 58 47 and prepared" WIC/BA 12 6 8 18 "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep provides useful BIC/AA 32 31 42 27 demographic information" WIC/BA 30 6 21 47 B "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep provides effective BIC/AA 39 31 58 B 29 selling tools and materials" WIC/BA 24 6 25 32 BIC/AA 61 81 A 67 47 "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep is reliable for following up after the pitch" WIC/BA 18 6 13 27 BIC/AA 45 38 63 35 "Relative to other media sales reps, my transit rep keeps me current on new media options" WIC/BA 24 6 13 41 B Total sample = media planners with transit-dedicated sales representatives (74) *Caution: small sample size BIC/AA = Best in Class or Above Average WIC/BA = Worst in Class or Below Average A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 33 of the survey (available in Appendix A). as experimented with by select transit agencies both in the · A very small percentage of respondents said that none of the United States and abroad. options presented would affect their use of transit media. Headlines Transit and New Media · Digital media generate the greatest potential for increasing The majority of media planners indicated that digital dis- media planners' use of transit media. plays on platforms and in stations, as well as digital displays Table 29. Overall satisfaction with sales representatives. Planners with Planners with Total Sample multi-media reps transit-dedicated Response (% of 153) (% of 79) reps (% of 74) Extremely satisfied 5 4 5 Very satisfied 19 13 26 Satisfied 38 41 35 Somewhat satisfied 29 30 28 Not at all satisfied 9 13 5 Extremely/very satisfied 24 17 31 Satisfied 38 41 35 Somewhat/not at all satisfied 39 43 34 Note: Significance testing not performed in this instance. Data compiled from responses to Question 34 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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51 on rail and bus interiors would "significantly increase the Section 10: Final Suggestions likelihood" of their recommending transit advertising. These options were the two highest scoring of the new media options The final question of the survey asked respondents to report, presented, with scores of 61% (digital displays on platforms in their own words, what could be done to make transit more and in stations) and 58% (digital displays on rail and bus inte- attractive to them and to their clients, the advertisers. Almost riors). Among out-of-home specialists, the top most popular 100% of survey takers wrote in a response. new media options were digital displays on platforms and in stations (71%) and exterior station wallscapes (67%). Among Headlines generalists with national clients, the two most popular options were digital displays on platforms and in stations (57%) and · The top two suggestions for making transit media more plasma screen TVs in railcars and buses (57%). Among the attractive were (1) to develop a credible audience measure- generalists with local/regional clients, the two most popular ment system along with tools for measuring ROI and (2) to options were digital displays on rail and bus interiors (67%) innovate/add new formats. and digital displays on platforms and in stations (55%). · Improving the pricing of the media, lowering the cost of Overall, plasma screens in buses and rail cars made 51% of production and increasing flexibility of how formats are respondents interested in using more transit media. Exterior bundled were high among the suggestions of generalist station wallscapes were motivating to 49% of media planners. media planners, but not nearly as evident among out-of- Blue-toothenabled (i.e., interactive) posters were of interest home specialists. to 39%, and the glow-in-the-dark displays that are currently being contemplated by some advertising sales contractors Suggestions for Making Transit were motivating to only 35% of media planners. Finally, in- Media More Attractive tunnel subway advertising was motivating to only about 27% of respondents. (See Table 30.) The most frequently offered suggestions for improving the Several out-of-home specialists had other options in mind. attractiveness of transit media were (1) to develop an audi- The only alternative actually written into the survey responses ence measurement system and tools for measuring ROI and was interactive digital displays that react to being stepped on or (2) to add innovative media opportunities, such as digital waved over by moving or changing the image on the screen. formats. Each of these was mentioned by roughly 20% of Table 30. Percentage of respondents who indicated new media would significantly increase their likelihood of recommending more transit advertising to their clients. Media Generalists Out-of-Home w/ National Media Generalists Total Sample Specialists Clients w/ Local/Regional Descriptor (% of 153) (% of 51) (% of 42) (% of 60) Digital displays on platforms, in stations 61 71 A 57 55 Digital displays on rail/bus interiors 58 59 45 67 B Plasma screen TVs in railcars/buses 51 43 57 53 Exterior station wallscapes 49 67 A 45 37 Blue-tooth enabled posters 39 29 48 42 Glow-in-dark displays on rail/bus exteriors 35 45 A 31 30 In-tunnel subway advertising 27 29 29 23 None of the above 7 2 5 12 Other 6 14 A - 3 A = Significantly higher than all media generalists @ 90% confidence level B = Significantly higher than the other media generalists @ 90% confidence level Data compiled from responses to Question 35 of the survey (available in Appendix A).
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52 respondents, both among out-of-home specialists and gener- several out-of-home boards for a relatively low cost, alist media planners. when we have purchased transit advertising, the pro- Other respondents' suggestions touched on the cost of tran- duction costs are often higher than two months of the sit media, the production costs associated with transit media, space costs." sales, the image of transit media, and the topics of availability "Smaller production fees and turnaround times." and flexibility. The following comments, in respondents' "Roll up production costs into buy; quit nickel and words, are samples from each of these suggestion areas. dime-ing us." "Most of our clients love the concept of transit media and · Audience Data and Measurement it's exclusively the production costs that turn them off." "Better demographic targeting. Better accountability "Lower cost to actually create the wraps." metrics." · Sales "More updated and available data. Being able to more "More productive sales team that understands my accurately measure impressions is very important." business." "More specific demographic data along with data that "Friendlier, easier to work with knowledgeable sales correlates ad exposure with product sales." force." "Provide more demographic analysis and definitely "Need to be able to speak to my overall campaign goals provide a more obtainable means of tracking success and objectives instead of trying to change the cam- and ROI." paign's objectives to fit transit media's strengths." "Reliable, third party verified delivery metrics." "Need to be in front of the agency to tell us what is new." "ROI is not easily informed with this media, therefore "[Show us] case histories from branding as well as direct hard to sell." response clients." "Effective ROI metrics/measures; clients want to know "Let the client know how this medium can be used to if it works to deliver sales." increase their presence in a market. Offer case studies on "Having a measurement system would be extremely how this form of advertising has worked for other clients." helpful, as clients are always demanding ROI." "I think it's just a matter of educating the advertisers and "Provide effective and believable research and not just the agencies of the advantages of using transit media." · Image ridership numbers." · Innovative Products "Classier." "Get rid of the perception that it is downscale." "Innovate. Right now, one of the big buzzwords is "Keep it clean, uncluttered." place-based advertising because it is really innovative · Availability and Flexibility and new. Transit in comparison is very old school." "More transit opportunities even in mid-size cities. The "As with all OOH media platforms, transit needs to more a client is exposed to the media the better oppor- merge with new media formats. . . . Making this tech- tunity for this type of advertising to be recommended." nology married with transit and EASY to buy would "Flexibility in choosing geographic areas or specific bus make transit more attractive." lines/garages." "More digital capabilities for using elements of TV com- "Shorter production lead times . . . less overall stipula- mercials and online creative [advertising]." tions." "It's true that most planners look to billboards first prior "More accessibility = I have to go out of my way to coor- to targeting transit media. As long as transit continues to dinate such a buy." stay innovative and sales reps come in with creative and interesting ideas and technologies, we will continue con- Summary of Media Planner sidering the media as part of our media plans." Quantitative Research "Bring something to the table that is new and different." · Cost The key high-level findings from the media planner quan- "While most transit is very efficient, I think if the overall titative research are summarized here. costs were lower the clients would be more receptive." "[Offer] multi-city rates." Finding: Familiarity with transit media is widespread. "Cost based on efficiencies compared to other mass media." Three-quarters of the media planners in the study reported · Production Costs being either extremely or very familiar with transit media. "We have found that production costs can be quite This appears to be a strong number, though there is certainly costly. Whereas we buy a vinyl that can be utilized on room for expansion.
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53 Finding: Most media planners report being comfortable rec- Finding: Generalists with national clients are also very posi- ommending transit media to clients. tively disposed toward transit media. Ninety-three percent of respondents agreed with the state- Statistically higher percentages of generalists with national ment, "I'm comfortable recommending transit media to clients than out-of-home specialists gave high ratings to tran- clients." Only 4% disagreed. sit on several media features. These features include "good value for the money," "can deliver ROI metrics," and "offers Finding: The majority of media planners reported having had innovative products." Generalists with national clients also a good experience using transit media. rated transit higher than out-of-home specialists on some image ratings, most notably "hip" and "sexy." Overall, their More than three-quarters of media planners agreed with ratings and perceptions of transit were not far behind those of the statement, "I have had a good experience with transit the out-of-home specialists. Their usage, however, was con- media." Only 2% disagreed. siderably behind out-of-home specialists: only 45% indicated that they recommend transit "always" or "frequently" versus Finding: Transit media are not as widely recommended to 71% of the out-of-home specialists. Also, a much smaller por- advertisers as the previous findings suggest. tion of generalists with national clients (55%) view transit advertising as "effective" than out-of-home media specialists Seventy-five percent of out-of-home specialists recommend (82%). The combination of mostly positive perceptions and transit frequently, but only 40% of generalist media planners low usage makes this segment of media planners a highly do the same. Moreover, the percentage of out-of-home special- attractive target. They have their skepticisms, but stand ready ists who recommend billboards frequently is 86%. to be convinced of transit advertising's benefits. Finding: Significant numbers of media planners suspect that Finding: Of the three segments of media planners, generalists advertisers do not perceive transit media positively. with local/regional clients are the least positively dis- posed to transit. Ten percent of media planners disagreed with the state- ment "Clients' perceptions of transit media are positive." Relative to the other two segments, the generalists with Another 44% could neither agree nor disagree. local/regional clients are just as familiar with transit media, but are not as likely to be frequent recommenders of transit Finding: Out-of-home specialists are transit's biggest fans. (only 35% "always" or "frequently" recommend). This group of respondents gave transit advertising the lowest ratings on Out-of-home specialists are the biggest fans of transit its ability to very effectively achieve 14 media and marketing media. They "live" in the world of out-of-home media and objectives. On the media features they said were most highly therefore have the opportunity to get very familiar with tran- desirable, e.g., delivering exactly what was bought, they gave sit (53% are "extremely" familiar vs. 11% of generalist media transit some exceptionally low scores. planners), see or hear of it being deployed successfully, and use The generalists with local/regional clients tend to work it themselves (71% "always" or "frequently" recommend it vs. with smaller media budgets and tend not to view transit as a 40% of generalist media planners). They have a more positive good value. On image ratings, they gave transit the lowest view of the usefulness of transit media than their generalist "effective" score, the lowest "efficient" score, the lowest "inno- counterparts. This positive view was seen in the significantly vative" score, the lowest "intrusive" score, the lowest "hip" higher scores given by out-of-home specialists than scores score and the highest "expensive" score. This segment will be given by generalist media planners on eight out of 14 media the hardest to convince to increase their transit media usage. and marketing objectives. Any approach must start by addressing the value of transit Because the availability of demographic information, audi- media, as this segment is the most cost conscious. ence measurement, and ROI metrics is significantly less important to out-of-home specialists than to generalist media Finding: Transit media's strongest perceived function is reach- planners, transit's deficiency in these areas bothers them less. ing captive audiences. Consequently, compared to generalist media planners, signif- icantly greater percentages of out-of-home specialists view When asked to select the medium, from among billboards, transit as "effective" (82% vs. 46%) and "strongly agree" that place-based, television, internet and transit, that best accom- they are comfortable recommending transit media to clients plishes each of 14 different media and marketing objectives (57% vs. 30%). (for example, "enhance a brand's image" and "break through
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54 clutter"), transit was number one only once: for "reach a cap- get specific areas or demographic groups" are also signifi- tive audience," which received 43% of media planners' votes. cantly higher than transit's ratings. Transit media received a decent share of votes for being best at achieving market saturation, extending reach, and extend- Finding: Transit media are not viewed as efficient. ing frequency. Only 38% of respondents said that "efficient" describes Finding: Transit media are not homogeneous. transit "very" or "extremely well." An interesting finding is that reaching a captive audience, a Finding: Views are split on transit advertising's effectiveness. media objective often associated with transit media in general, is seen as a capability of rail, not bus. Conversely, the objective Eighty-two percent of out-of-home specialists said "effi- of reaching a mass audience is highly associated with bus, but cient" describes transit advertising "very" or "extremely well." not rail. There seems therefore to be a case for regarding the Among generalist media planners, only 46% said the same. two arms of transit media as distinct products. They both build brand awareness through increasing reach and frequency, but Finding: Transit advertising is not viewed as innovative. bus is more appropriate for a mass audience, and rail is more Seventy-seven percent of media planners said that offering appropriate for a captive audience. innovative products was highly desirable in a medium. Only 33% of respondents said that this statement describes transit Finding: Transit advertising is regarded as supplemental, and completely or very well. This finding was corroborated in the therefore discretionary. image ratings, where only 25% of respondents said that "innovative" describes transit very or extremely well. The majority of media planners in the study regarded transit advertising as supplemental. This categorization Finding: Transit advertising is not viewed as clean. makes it a "nice to have" as opposed to a "must have" medium, and therefore one that is high on the list to be cut Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that "clean" describes when budget pressures hit, as they often do. The media transit advertising "slightly" or "not at all." objectives that media planners most associate with transit are extending reach and extending frequency--both incre- Finding: Transit media have additional significant image defi- mental benefits. Consequently, use of transit media appears ciencies, but "downscale" is not among them. very much at the mercy of the size of the media budget. If there are leftover dollars once the primary media have been In addition to the image descriptors already discussed, the put in place, then transit is an effective way to bolster reach majority of media planners did not find transit "hip," "intru- and frequency. sive," "sexy" or "clean." On the positive side, they did not find transit "complicated" or "downscale." Finding: Transit is second to billboards as an advertising medium. Finding: Transit advertising is perceived to be weak in deliver- ing the media features that are most important to The survey revealed that the respective strengths of transit media planners. and billboard advertising, in terms of ability to deliver on spe- cific media and marketing objectives, are highly parallel. The five most important features of any medium are Among the 14 media and marketing objectives presented, that it (1) delivers exactly what the media planner bought, both scored highest for their abilities to achieve market satu- (2) offers good value for the money, (3) is able to target specific ration, extend reach and extend frequency. The research team areas or demographic groups, (4) offers a credible audience concludes from this result that transit media and billboards measurement system, and (5) offers comprehensive demo- must be thought of as substitutes and therefore must be in the graphic data. None of these was perceived to be among transit same consideration set for media planning. advertising's strengths. However, billboards consistently score higher than transit where both were measured. Billboards' scores are much Finding: Overall, the media features on which transit scored stronger than transit's on meeting the specific media and best were among the least in demand. marketing objectives mentioned above. Also, media planners' ratings of billboards' ability to deliver highly desirable media Transit media's best score was on "cannot be TiVo'd." features, like "delivers exactly what was bought" and "can tar- This feature ranked as number 15 in desirability out of the