So why make something that’s already challenging enough even harder by focusing on the trickiest aspect? The reasons for this were two-fold. Firstly, billboard sites have daily ‘opportunity to see’ (OTS ) figures based on car traffic data, while there was no such system in place for buses. And secondly, while having a share of the billboard and airport markets, iSite owns 98 percent of the bus-advertising market— meaning that in investment in this department could be made without the consent of competitors and all benefits would be delivered directly to iSite.
If the ‘Highly Targeted Outdoor’ initiative was a success for bus advertising, then the company could also roll out a similar system applicable to billboards. Once this was done, the success of the bus project could be used as a bargaining tool to persuade competitors to join the measurement system, at a cost of course.
At the outset, it would’ve been much easier and cheaper to develop a system based on the assumption that high OTS figures automatically translated into sales. However, the iSite team demanded more. They wanted a system that was based on valid assumptions, had passed an external independent review and gave advertisers an accurate means by which to measure ROI. At the time, a single company, acting independently of its industry, had not put such a sophisticated measurement system into effect anywhere in the world—an insight made even more troubling by the fact that there was no silver bullet in the shape of a provider that could establish a solution that met all of iSite’s requirements. This, it became evident during early consultation, was a project that demanded collaboration.
So, in an effort to develop a solution that ticked all the boxes, iSite worked with a trio of companies to bring the project to life. First, Critchlow geospatial data analysts were commissioned to measure 1,500 buses in 35 depots on 22,000 routes and the traffic on 220,000 road segments. This loaded information was then overlaid with mesh block data taken from census results and the debit and credit cards of residents living along the bus routes. To make this dense data more accessible to customers, iSite instructed Datamine to build a tool that could compare and rank each depot based on all the factors and product outputs contained within the data.
Information Age, a website programming consultancy based in Auckland, then graphically showcased this information through a series of simple maps, which could be used to show clients the routes and buses that would be best suited to their businesses.
Before unveiling the system, iSite handed everything over to a collection of data companies for final approval. Once satisfied that the information was an accurate reflection of the data, these companies gave the go-ahead and iSite Media launched its ‘Highly Targeted Outdoor’ offering on 15 August to 250 stakeholders and media planners.