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60 · Add bus benches or other street furniture to the available Web advertising inventory. Present solid data to support transit's viability · Help especially the junior media planners in the depart- Communicate in terms of cost per thousand audience ment who might shy away from transit because of its com- members (CPM) and positive demographics plexity (multiple products, different from city to city) and Allow more innovative approaches for vendors (e.g., also because of the lack of measurement system. sampling, in-station handouts) Introduce new bus design Transit TV Transit Agency Survey · Respondents from media markets ranked 11 to 50 Nineteen responses to the transit agency survey were Clearinghouse to connect with national advertisers received, from the roughly 300 invitations sent to transit Add electronics agency marketing executives. Of the 19, six were from top 10 Third-party media trades media markets, nine were from media markets ranked 11 to Wrapped trains 50, and four were in media markets beyond the top 50. It is LCD signs at bus shelters impossible to call such a small sample representative. With LCD screens on bus backs this in mind, here is a summary of responses to some of the Bundle transit with other media key survey questions. Use a national sales company--a regional one doesn't provide same access to national advertisers Light rail kiosks Attitude Toward Trying New Media Re-zone to permit bus shelter advertising Several advertising sales contractors the research team Sell reflective material for a premium spoke with had the perspective that transit agencies sometimes Offer free ad design help appear to have little interest in pursuing new products. There- Sell ads on tickets and passes fore this question was asked in the transit agency survey: "Are · Respondents from media markets ranked 50 you in favor of trying new media?" Of the 19 responses, 17 said Allow larger ads yes, one (from one of the top 10 markets) said no, and one Place advertising on ride guide (from one of the markets ranked 11 to 50) was not sure. Offer special deals, e.g., buy two get one free More displays and more promotion New Media Tried Obstacles to Selling More Transit Media Among respondents from top 10 media markets, the new media tried were wireless Internet on cars, in-tunnel adver- Respondents' perspectives on obstacles to increasing tran- tising, station domination, and on-board television. Among sit media sales are these: respondents from media markets ranked 11 to 50, the only new medium indicated was bus wraps. The same was found · Finite numbers of buses for the respondents from the media markets ranked greater · Limits on how much advertising consumers will tolerate than 50. Not surprisingly, the larger market agencies show · Limited understanding of potential customers: prefer- more advancement in the new media they have tried. ences, buying behaviors · Misperceptions: the audience is bus riders and an undesir- able demographic Ideas for Increasing Advertising Sales · Low perceived value The following list of ideas was offered by the survey respon- · Signage ban dents when asked: "What specific ideas do you have for · Transit not considered; when it is, it's thought to reach just increasing growth of advertising sales?" Their responses show transit riders an appreciation of media planners' desires for credible data; for big, breakthrough advertising canvases; and for electronic The array of responses above is a good reminder that there media opportunities. are many facets to the challenge of driving higher advertising sales. Public transit systems' advertising growth can be ham- · Respondents from top 10 media markets pered by governmental restrictions, rider complaint and even Wrap inside/outside of rail cars limited inventory. Addressing these obstacles falls beyond the Station domination scope of this study.
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61 Opportunities for an Industry-wide Resource · Have a way to connect transit agencies with advertisers, especially national advertisers. Respondents were also asked to state the opportunities they · Conduct market research into rider purchasing power. saw for an industry-wide organization like APTA to assist with · Present an information forum for contractors/vendors. advertising revenue growth. One theme in the responses is · Do an assessment of new media safety and appeal. connection: connecting transit agencies to national advertisers, · Provide a means for transit agencies to share experiences connecting transit agencies to their contractors and other ven- with each other. dors for improving business relationships, and connecting · Create a national database of transit agency advertising. transit agencies to each other for exchange of best practices and · Get involved with approving use of digital LCD screens. other strategies and insights. The responses are as follows: