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Delivering unbeatable targeted experiences with JCDecaux

With innovative digital technologies and real-time creative, Out-of-Home can offer more targeted and engaging experiences. Here, Mike Watkins, New Zealand country head of JCDecaux, talks us through their growing Out-of-Home landscape, and what 2020 has in store for the New Zealand market.

Mike Watkins,

What has changed since JCDecaux acquired APN Outdoor?

The company values of JCDecaux and APN Outdoor were very complementary, which allowed for a very smooth transition. Both organisations are driven by ensuring premium quality and unparalleled experience is paramount. Uncompromising quality in the location of our sites and state-of-the-art technology, experience in client engagement with our teams and the positive public experience of engaging with our assets are our most important drivers.

APN Outdoor always had a strong innovative edge, launching New Zealand’s first digital site to market in 2013 and launching Calibre, a true data driven Audience Measurement System, in 2018.

Now, as JCDecaux, we continue to focus on being an innovative market leader. As part of the world’s largest Out-of-Home advertising company, our team and clients can now tap into a wealth of global knowledge, insights, technology, creative excellence and innovation. The resources we now have access to are completely unrivalled in this industry.

What does the network look like?

Currently, JCDecaux New Zealand operates large format (digital and static) Out-of-Home advertising solutions, as well as partnering with Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport as their exclusive media partners. We have the largest format assets in the country with coverage nationwide. We have premium assets in all the major cities, but where we differ is our very extensive regional presence that ensures advertisers can reach highly valuable, and often hard to reach, audiences in and out of the city hubs.

Is JCDecaux all about digital or will some sites remain traditional

The majority of our sites still remain static (500+). Traditional media still has a very important role to play in the communications mix and will continue to do so. JCDecaux’s strategy is to focus on quality locations, sometimes classic or traditional sites make more sense in certain locations.

We currently have 30+ digital sites and will continue to develop more throughout the year and into the future. However, developing new sites, or converting static sites to digital, is a strategic decision based upon the premium quality of the location and the audiences it captures. We are very selective about the sites that we digitise, and for this reason, have built a digital portfolio of premium sites that we believe are market-leading. Digital sites also offer advertisers a wealth of creative, real-time and interactive opportunities.

What are the creative opportunities with roadside digital sites and what are the rules around them?

There are a multitude of creative opportunities that agencies and clients can execute across our premium digital screens.

These include:

  • Real-time weather and time sensitive creative
  • Live RSS feeds
  • Destination specific creative
  • Mobile and screen interaction
  • Precinct messaging
  • Vehicle recognition software

What we are unable to deliver at present, due to Council and Transport restrictions, is movement of any kind.

What does 2020 have in store for JCDecaux?

This year we will significantly enhance our data offering to deliver more accountability and insights for our clients. We are extending the depth of
our data insights delivered by Calibre as well as launching an Audience Measurement System for our airport partners.

The introduction of automated and programmatic planning and buying is gaining traction in overseas markets and is an area we are hoping to introduce to the New Zealand market late 2020.

Outside of this, we will continue to develop our product offering and service to our clients and landowner partners and partner with our clients and agencies to deliver innovative creative and effective Out-of-Home solutions.

 Is consumer research still important in the Out-of-Home market?

A: Intelligence is one of the key pillars of JCDecaux – whether this be data intelligence or human intelligence. One of the expectations in a digital world is more accountability and being able to report on the effectiveness of marketing.

Advertiser effectiveness is crucial to the long term sustainability of our business and we take this expectation very seriously. Our audience-first model ensures that we sell solutions not panels; each year we commit considerable budget to evolve our understanding of how people interact and engage with our assets.

We were the first company in NZ to commission eye-tracking research to look at the effect location and panel orientation has on attention and brand fame. More recently, we partnered with research agency FiftyFive5 to look at the effect including JCDecaux assets in a campaign have on brand sentiment, in particular ‘feeling’ metrics including interest, trust, preference, and consideration.

We are excited to take these results to market over the next few weeks. On a smaller, everyday basis, we rely heavily on our range of research tools including Calibre, Orbit and Nielsen CMI to pull audience insights that form the basis of our client campaign recommendations.

Calibre is a JCDecaux developed planning and measurement tool that we are constantly evolving, from a data integrity and usability point of view. Calibre is offered to all outdoor brands to utilize to ensure that robust data and insight are being used to develop campaigns and that our industry can offer the accountability that advertisers demand.

What are JCDecaux’s strengths globally?

As the world’s number one out of home media company, there are many. The JCDecaux business was founded on street furniture, and this continues to be the backbone of the business globally. Jean-Claude Decaux created this media platform in France in 1964 and has continued to innovate and drive its growth globally.

Airports are a core element to the business, with partnerships with key airports around the world. JCDecaux also has a division called ‘One World’, a service that works directly with brands to achieve global reach through the airport network. We have seen the benefits of this in New Zealand within the first year.

Design and innovation is also a key pillar. JCDecaux has a long history of working with renowned designers when developing assets, ensuring that the asset itself delivers to the public as well the effective and innovative advertising messages. A hero example is The Kensington in London, designed by Zaha Hadid. This design approach extends through to bus shelters, rubbish bins, public toilet facilities, public phones and kiosks, utility that adds to a city’s aesthetic.

JCDecaux has a substantial innovation team globally, and a central innovation hub in Plaisir, Paris which houses more than 200 staff focused on R & D alone. We can now directly access this resource, and many others, for New Zealand.

What role does airport play in JCDecaux’s portfolio

Airports are a fundamental element to the JCDecaux New Zealand business and this is supported by JCDecaux’s global airport partnerships.

In New Zealand we partner with Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport. For clients they offer high and valuable audience numbers and long dwell times which, combined with the mindset of the traveller and visitors to airports, delivers a highly receptive audience. Working with three of the four leading airports in New Zealand makes it highly efficient for clients to buy.

Globally we partner with 172 airports including the likes of JFK, LAX, Heathrow, Dubai, Changi and Charles de Gaulle, and closer to home Sydney and Perth. This enables brands wanting to ‘top and tail’ travellers’ trips by reaching them at the departure and arrival destinations to do so across our global network.

You mention quality and experience are paramount, how is your team delivering this?

Quality and experience takes many forms and it starts with the team we have. Ninety per cent of our sales team come from media agencies, so they understand the challenges and requirements they are facing on a daily basis.

And while they are a ‘sales team’ we train and develop our people to take a wider business perspective and approach their roles as providing business solutions. We sell audiences rather than assets – our assets deliver audiences brands want to reach. We encourage interrogation of briefs and working as partners, not simply suppliers.

This audience-first, client centric approach has led to the development of our Audience Measurement System Calibre, and is at the forefront of our ongoing research and insights projects led by Victoria Parsons, our in-house strategist. We actively engage third party research companies to undertake major projects for the New Zealand business with a recent example being an eye tracking study which tracked the public’s eye movements when exposed to Out-of- Home media in a real world environment.

Being part of a global company allows us to tap into research undertaken in other countries across multiple categories. This is an invaluable resource that we and our clients benefit from

Contact your JCDecaux sales representative for more information. www.jcdecaux.co.nz

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