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2015 Forecast: Positive Outlook for Experiential

Michael Brown, MD psLIVE, spoke to Event Magazine about his predictions about experiential in 2015. 
Is there a positive 2015 outlook for experiential marketing?
psLIVE is looking at 52% growth on last year’s performance as we come to the end of the year. If I couple that with significant approved projects in 2015, the outlook seems very positive at this stage.
Big trends for the next 12 months?
The thing that most enters our sphere of influence is big data. All experiential agencies are striving to make what they do as relevant and as measurable as possible. The near future will see more and more experiential agencies invest more in this. Without such weaponry, an agency can only operate as an event producer as opposed to a genuine experiential marketing business.
Another marker for us in 2014 that looks set to grow next year is the deployment of live content from the experiential activity to the paid, digital out-of-home campaign. We have an increased number of case studies, including Center Parcs, Very Beauty and Littlewoods, in which the live experience has been created to inform the DOOH campaign with compelling content. We have used a proprietary tool called Liveposter to implement these new initiatives, which allows the deployment of live data and content to change the creative on digital panels either singularly, nationally geo-targeted.
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Tapping in to better insights from big data

James Davies, CSO Posterscope,  appeared in EE feature  ‘Tapping in to better insights from big data’ in the Daily Telegraph Business section.  Davies discussed how Posterscope and EE are using mobile data for location-based OOH advertising.  The article, written by Chris Price, can be read below or accessed online.
” Why Surbiton station is a massive fashion hotspot” 

It may not be a name you are familiar with, but chances are that you will have seen one of Posterscope’s ads on your way to work this morning.
Bus stops, tube stations, even petrol pumps and shopping trolleys are just some of the locations where Posterscope buys advertising space on behalf of its clients, which include ZenithOptimedia, and brands such as KFC and Coca-Cola.
The company was behind the recent campaign to turn the iconic red London bus black, on behalf of Adidas. “It’s one of the few times where you can be walking down the street and you will overhear someone saying ‘look at that bus’,” says James Davies, Posterscope’s chief strategy officer.
The company claims to have around a 30pc share of the out-of-home (OOH) advertising market. With such a vast selection of OOH places to advertise, a large part of Posterscope’s job is to provide intelligence to clients.
“As a client you need specialist businesses to guide you because there are so many options,” explains Mr Davies. “Should I be on petrol pump nozzles or on the side of a bus? Once you’ve decided on the medium, you need to pick the location because with thousands of bus stops out there, you’re not going to choose all of them.”
Traditionally, when planning campaigns Posterscope has relied on proprietary research and industry level data to give some demographic information about a poster site. However, it has now gone one step further and added a “third level” — that of mobile data (mData) in partnership with EE.
Here insights based on anonymised and aggregated mobile network usage data is shared by EE to Posterscope to provide more accurate locationbased information for planning advertising campaigns on behalf of a client.
“mData allows you to go one step further than demographics so you can tell what groups of people are actually doing on their phones at a particular location,” says Mr Davies.
In a recent campaign for computer/tablet manufacturer Lenovo, for example, Posterscope was able to select sites where it knew people were more likely to be looking at technology websites. “As a result, people’s awareness of the campaign was twice as high in these hotspots,” says Mr Davies.
Since it started the mData partnership with EE last October, Posterscope has also used mobile research to uncover a few surprises. Says Mr Davies: “We were looking at places to advertise for one fashion client and were researching where people were looking at ASOS and Very’s websites on their mobile. We discovered that Surbiton station is a massive fashion hotspot.”
 
Source: The Daily Telegraph 

James Whitmore, MD of Route, Discusses the Growth of Complex Data

There is a seesaw in the media playground. On one side sits creativity, judgement, knowledge and experience. On the other sits mathematics.
The dynamic has shifted occasionally over the years. One would say that the long-term trend has been for the right brain (creativity) to dominate the left. There have been fleeting moments when the equilibrium has been disturbed but there haven’t been any really wild shifts.
That is, until now.
After a period of pussyfooting, there is, increasingly, evidence that the siren call of data is seducing more than just the visionaries and early bullshitters. It’s more than a feeling. It’s everywhere. Take two random examples from the past week.
Sky IQ’s recent survey suggests that three fifths of agency respondents do not agree that creativity is more important than data in making a successful TV campaign.
ABC’s Interaction 2014 event conducted a poll of the auditorium, which suggested that by two-to-one, “big data” management outscores reaching the right audience as the key concern of our industry.
Exciting times, scary times, changing times.
Let’s start with a caution. It is often easier to see the comedy of error in other areas of life.
It is reported that in personality tests, Paul Flowers the Crystal Methodist, outperformed the other candidates for the non-exec Chair at the Co-operative Bank. It cannot be that the selection board ignored the merits of the competing track records, CVs and interviews in favour of a “neutral” set of statistics. Can it?
In their new book, “Where Historical Figures Really Rank”, Skiena and Ward order the relative importance of historical figures, artists and literary figures by dint of an algorithm. The computation relies on what can be found on the internet, principally from Wikipedia.
Volume of coverage is a key criterion. Would Aristotle move up from number eight if more verbose contributors had written his entry? And what would happen if Wikipedia gave due reference to his tablet use that pre-dates Steve Jobs by more than two thousand years?
In a normal experiment based on the laws of physics, one would expect the heavier character on the seesaw to prevail. But what if one player simply expands by dint of hot air? It grows and grows and has yet to pop. It is not heavier, just bigger. Do you cower in awe before the mighty blob? Or do you stand up for equilibrium whilst others simper in acquiescence?
We’ll go back to the ABC event. The audience witnessed a presentation on the mysteries of “viewability” for online ads and within an hour managed to vote the same medium as the most accountable. It was all a bit of fun and people’s guards were down, so we should not take it too seriously. On the other hand, it perhaps hints at a broader truth that for some, the presence of data is often enough in itself.
But that is to carp. There is a huge amount of creativity and experimentation in data aggregation and agglomeration. The opportunity to identify sources of information and make inspired choices about how and when to employ them is immensely liberating.
The warning for an audience research body, such as the one I represent for the out-of-home medium, is that it cannot just go out and bang data together. Livelihoods depend on a robust, consistent and rigorous currency.
In many ways, Route is already a pioneer in combining complex sets of census data with equally labyrinthine survey results. For example, we know every click of every gate of every tube station for every quarter hour of every day of every week for every month of the year and we combine them with second-by-second GPS statistics for known individuals as a start point (!) to understanding who sees what in an underground station.
On the other hand, seemingly easy wins take an age to even get into first gear. Figures such as those of mobile phone operators would appear to offer a compelling source for location information. They may, but first one must overcome obstacles such as what the data truly represent and how representative they are.
Understand what is to be found, and what is lost, in an aggregation of data points. Learn of the consistency and accuracy of the readings. And then determine the value of the gain to the industry’s understanding of how the population conducts its day-to-day business and finally judge if it is a price worth paying.
I’ll finish with a cautionary tale. One very late night about twenty-five summers ago, I found myself squashed in the back seat of an overcrowded, overheated car, circling a village near Ely in search of a “blinding party”.
We were definitely in the right place but could not hear a single beat or sight a flashing light of any kind. What was not discovered until the following day was that our trusted guide and driver had misspelt the name of the location. The similar sounding village that we ought to have sought was over twenty miles away in another part of Cambridgeshire. In research terms, the “fusion hook” – the ability to spell, was wonky.
Via: MediaTel

Outdoor hopes big data is key to success in 2014

The outdoor industry hopes that 2014 will be a transformative year as it uses big data to sell brands access to audiences with the accuracy, relevance and timeliness of TV, radio or the internet.
Last year saw the introduction of Route, which claims to be the biggest and most accurate consumer research study ever undertaken in the UK. Route offers unprecedented levels of data about how the public move around and which billboard sites they look at. Costing the industry £19 million, the movements of nearly 30,000 people were tracked via GPS.
Media owners and agencies are now busy overlaying Route with additional data – for instance, from Tesco Clubcard and EE – as they compete to outdo each other by offering brands the most powerful insights.
JCDecaux is poised to launch SmartScreens – digital billboards backed by data – at 400 Tesco stores, which will fuse Route data with the retailer’s information gleaned from its Clubcard. This will allow brands to run poster campaigns at the most appropriate time of day, day of the week and location, according to which audiences are most likely to respond to them.
As Dave McEvoy, JCDecaux’s marketing director, says: “We are not offering poster sites. It’s a channel where you buy an audience.”
Meanwhile, Carat’s out-of-home media agency, Posterscope, has tied up with EE to use the data it has on how its customers use their mobiles in different locations.
The EE data will be fused with that from Route to enable Posterscope to locate, for instance, bus stops where people tend to play a lot of mobile games – thus making the shelters attractive to computer-game advertisers.
Posterscope’s chief strategy officer, James Davies, says: “2014 will be a year when data creates a step change in outdoor planning. It comes down to what data agencies can get their hands on.”
Davies believes it is important to have the right tools to get the most out of Route. While using its standard off-the-shelf system “will only get you so far”, fusing Route with other data helps uncover value “that would otherwise be overlooked”.
The outdoor industry has fared well over the past few years, exceeding its goal of becoming a “10 per cent medium” (its aim to capture a tenth of all display advertising revenue), according to figures from the Outdoor Media Centre. These show 2012 revenues hit £971 million, bolstered by the Olympics. Figures for 2013 are expected to be even higher. Digital screens now account for about 23 per cent of revenues.
Some believe that data is helping the industry become more professional and improve its offer to brands after a concerted push to escape its downmarket reputation.
Boosting the use of data is a key part of outdoor’s attempts to rival other media. According to Gideon Adey, the business development director at Kinetic Worldwide, Route has shown the industry where target audiences actually see billboards, getting media owners and agencies “addicted” to data: “It propels us into having to get very savvy at handling vast amounts of data. Once you start getting data, you start focusing on the bits you don’t know, which is why people are bringing more data to the party.”
Via: MediaWeek