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69 agencies were recommended to be more aggressive and perhaps 1. Conduct qualitative research with media planners to more accommodating in order to get new technologies intro- explore several issues in greater detail: duced. Advertising sales contractors must do the same. Confirm the proposed positioning Advertising sales contractors must also now take advantage Inquire about the media planning tools, resources and of the data in this study that profile types of media planners. information about each city's transit media opportu- They can now apply the data about attitudes and beliefs, nities (for the searchable data base) they would find media "must haves," perceptions about what transit advertis- most useful ing does well and does not do well, and image perceptions of Explore dissatisfaction with sales representatives transit advertising to tailor their sales pitches by type of media Explore perceptions of high production costs planner, as follows: Explore media planners' perceptions of negative adver- tiser perceptions of transit media Out-of-home specialists are transit advertising's biggest 2. Establish the transit advertising trade association. fans. They just need to be given more reasons to use tran- 3. Develop and launch national advertising promoting sit as frequently as they use billboards. Presenting them the benefits of transit media (as expressed in the new with studies proving transit's effectiveness and providing positioning). better demographic data on transit advertising's audiences 4. Develop a sales brochure that expresses transit advertis- are both very important. Also, showing examples of partic- ing's new positioning and showcases transit advertising's ularly effective uses of transit media will be very effective best usage. with this audience. 5. Explore opportunities for transit's participation in out- Media generalists with national clients are also big fans of of-home industry events conducted for media planners transit. Most critically, this audience needs to be convinced and advertisers. of transit's effectiveness. Until such time as an audience 6. Commission multi-market research measuring the effec- measurement system is in place, studies proving transit tiveness of transit advertising. advertising's effectiveness will have to stand in. Also, bet- 7. Develop the national searchable data base of transit agen- ter demographic information is a critical part of the sale of cies' advertising opportunities. transit advertising to advertisers, so the transit advertising 8. Develop the transit advertising website, populated with industry needs to develop a standard and effective way to resources for media planners as well as for transit agencies portray this information. and sales contractors. Media generalists with local/regional clients, as we have 9. Establish an industry-level project team for development seen, are the least enthusiastic group. Almost two-thirds of of an audience measurement system. them claim to be very familiar with transit advertising, yet 10. Establish an industry-level work group to develop strate- this group's frequency of usage is the lowest of the three seg- gies for aligning transit agencies' and sales contractors' ments. This is the group of media planners that most fre- incentives to pursue new product and technology devel- quently puts transit advertising in competition with all other opment. media types for inclusion in the media plan, not just other 11. Encourage transit agencies to generate plans with their con- out-of-home media. In addition, these planners are working tractors to improve procedures for ensuring the cleanliness with the smallest media budgets. As a result, they are the most of their clients' advertising. skeptical about transit advertising's value for the money. 12. At the transit agency level, gain the explicit commitment They also score transit advertising the lowest of the three seg- of transit general managers, board members and other ments on the effectiveness of transit advertising. Again, decision makers to the efforts required to drive significant addressing the concerns of this segment requires presenting increases in advertising sales. data demonstrating transit advertising's effectiveness, as well as its value for the money. This last part will be hard to prove Further Research without an audience measurement system. The following recommendations are for additional research. Finally, sales contractors must discontinue any practices that disadvantage the promotion of transit media relative to Qualitative Interviews with Media Planners other media the contractor sells. A finer level of detail than the quantitative survey afforded Recommended Immediate Next Steps would be useful on several topics: Here is the short list of the most critical activities for the Drivers of overall satisfaction with media sales industry to pursue in the next six to nine months. representatives--From the survey was learned that lack of

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70 selling materials and lack of demographic data are deficits, needs to conduct a multi-city study quantifying the effec- but the degree to which these drive media planners' overall tiveness of transit advertising. The intent is that the results satisfaction with their sales representatives is not known. A become part of the selling information used by transit sales deeper exploration of even more factors that may influence representatives all over the country. This study should also satisfaction is warranted. explore the demographics of the transit advertising audi- Drivers of the mediocre pricevalue perception--The ence so that the industry can improve the quality and pre- research team has hypothesized that the lack of an audi- sentation of the demographic data it presents to prospective ence measurement system is a main reason that a mediocre customers. pricevalue relationship is perceived. However, there is likely to be more to it than that. The research team also rec- Survey of Advertisers ommends exploring the significant minority perception that production costs are not reasonable. More information about advertisers' images of transit Drivers of greater ease in working with transit media--It advertising would be useful, especially in shaping commu- would be useful to determine what kind of information nications. A fairly high percentage of media planners (44%) and resources media planners would find helpful and in are on the fence with respect to the statement "Clients' what type of format they would like to receive it. The ideas perceptions of transit media are positive" and 10% dis- that came from the research include a directory of which agreed. Our advertiser interviews were too small in number advertising sales contractor represents which transit agen- to draw any general conclusions; however, both very sup- cies' advertising. Another idea is to provide core facts on portive and unsupportive views were expressed by those the top 10 or 20 transit advertising markets. interviewed. Validation of the proposed positioning--The recom- The research team hypothesizes that advertisers' views of mended positioning was deduced from the research con- transit advertising will improve measurably upon encounter- ducted, but it was not presented to media planners in its ing positive messaging about transit media. This is the impor- complete form for feedback. The research team recom- tance of Recommendation 2 above, to initiate a marketing mends validating the benefit expressed in the positioning campaign with both media planners and advertisers as target as being something of value as well as differentiating this audiences. However, before that takes place, getting a sense of value proposition versus other media. advertisers' perceptions would be useful as a baseline from Exploration of perceptions held by many media planners which to measure improvement over time. that advertisers' perceptions of transit advertising are not Should measurement of advertisers' attitudes reveal that positive--It would be very useful to understand exactly media planners have too negative a perception of advertisers' what is driving this perception among media planners. How perceptions, this would be a very important message for media much of this perception is based on recent actual experience planners to receive. with advertisers, and how much is based on some story the media planner heard long ago? Gathering (alleged) adver- Tracking Study of Media Planners over Time tisers' objections would be useful for exploring the issue with advertisers themselves. Once the transit media industry begins investing in its growth, it will need to track the impact of its initiatives. The media planner survey was structured so that it can be used, Transit Advertising Effectiveness Study perhaps once every two to three years, to track improve- As discussed in Recommendation 8 previously, in the ment in perceptions of, usage of and attitudes about transit absence of a credible audience measurement system, transit advertising.