Brands require high accountability and return on their advertising investment. oOh!media Chief Commercial & Product Officer Robbie Dery discusses the increasing requirement for media operators to use data to substantiate the value of the audiences they deliver for brands.

Increasingly, we’re talking and thinking about how we can use data better to understand the audience we deliver and monetise that for our commercial partners. This also defines how we can enhance a brand’s campaign targeting and performance and contribute to a better customer experience.

Media operators have traditionally used qualitative data to understand who was in an airport, how often, at what time and what kinds of things people do. These insights have traditionally been captured by face-to-face or online surveys asking people what they think they did, along with their purchase or behavioural intentions.

In the Out of Home sector, which encompasses the airport media environment, these insights provide a level of targeting using basic demographics and travel timetables to a somewhat qualified ‘many’.

While basic metrics have done the job, multiple data overlays, which go far beyond generic targeting, are necessary to compete and ensure relevance in an increasingly complex and disrupted media landscape. The need for stronger audience targeting is here, and data is absolutely key to delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.

So, if everyone has data, how do you know what to use to ensure you maximise the effectiveness of your campaign? We believe the first place to start is understanding whether the data is based on claimed behaviour or actual behaviour.

Claimed behaviour data captures some real behaviour, but also everything in between, including people’s view of themselves and their own aspirations. For example, while they may like to buy a $100,000 luxury car in the next three months, the reality is, that they will continue to drive their family wagon for another three years. They may think they are a business decision-maker when in fact they are in entry-level management and really don’t have a heavy influence on the current course of their employer, a multi-national corporation.

Some recent examples of claimed data include the exit polls for the US Election, the referendum for Brexit and the Australian federal election. Based on what people said they would do, Hillary would now be the first female President of the US, there would be no Brexit, and locally, Bill Shorten would have won the ‘un-loseable’ election and become Prime Minister.

When considering the huge disparity between claimed and real data, the direction of the oOh!media business became very clear. Without understanding what people do, we don’t understand people. This led us to transactional data, which allows us to look at what brands and products people are buying.

This shift meant we could map every one of our 35,000 site locations against the actual audience based on their buying behaviour. Instead of targeting ‘Occupation Group 1’ – high-income earners, we could target ‘Premium Car Drivers’.

Through analytics partners ROI Study – The Foundations of Market Mix Success demonstrates that Australian clients who are using a category buyergraphic approach to their targeting for campaigns are getting +91% better returns than when they use a demographic targeting approach.

As part of our data journey, we have been analysing the impact of multiple datasets that work together to enhance the audience insight.

Combining buyergraphic data with movement and anonymised mobile data now allows for even further enhanced insights and audience targeting capability.

Australia is Alipay’s ninth most lucrative market globally amongst the Chinese traveller during Golden Week, with China contributing 30% of tourist spend; this meant understanding the inbound Chinese audience was critical for us when talking to brands looking to reach and influence this audience.

By overlaying buyergraphic, transactional and mobile data sets, we could see not only the quantity of the Chinese audience but very distinct audience sets who behaved, moved and purchased differently.

Mapping these audience insights to specific locations provides much stronger, smarter targeting capability, proven to drive a significant uplift in campaign effectiveness.

With advertisers often being tasked to deliver greater results with smaller budgets, the importance of the data smarts of media suppliers has never been more important. Having multi-dimensional quality data is the enabler for delivering advertising to a more relevant audience and delivering a better return on advertising investment.

NOTE: This partner content first appeared in Sight Lines,  a new bi-monthly publication dedicated to airport advertising. If you would like to take part in Sight Lines, please contact Martin Moodie (Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com) and Liam Coleman (Liam@MoodieDavittReport.com) for editorial and Irene Revilla for advertising and sponsorship (Irene@MoodieDavittReport.com).