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‘Data-driven strategies are defining how OOH is planned, executed & evaluated’

By Rajiv Raghunath - March 18, 2024

Embracing the era of data-driven insights, Bruce Burgess, Director, IRL Consulting unveils ground-breaking strategies that are set to redefine the landscape of outdoor advertising

In an insightful session at the 1st WOO Africa Forum, Cape Town led by Bruce Burgess, Director, IRL Consulting, the future of outdoor advertising was brought into sharp focus. Addressing key industry professionals, Burgess shared that innovative data-driven strategies are poised to revolutionise the sector, particularly in how outdoor media is planned, executed, and evaluated.

Bruce Burgess

The core of Burgess's presentation revolved around leveraging vast datasets to not only measure but optimise the reach and impact of outdoor advertising campaigns. With a special emphasis on understanding the dynamics of both formal and informal markets, Burgess introduced a method to directly compare different sites in terms of their reach, dwell time, and audience demographics. This approach promises to greatly enhance the effectiveness of OOH advertising campaigns by allowing advertisers to make more informed decisions on where to place their advertisements.

One of the most notable revelations was the ability to quantify the informal market, a segment often overlooked due to its challenging nature for data collection. Through advanced analytics, Burgess and his team are now able to map out the movements of residents within townships like Soweto, revealing not only their commuting patterns but also their consumer behaviour outside their immediate communities. This insight is particularly valuable for understanding the inter-township economy, highlighting areas of high consumer activity that were previously under the radar of marketers.

Burgess also shed light on the untapped potential of the retail media space across the African continent. By profiling tens of thousands of locations, his team can provide detailed analyses on visitor demographics, enabling advertisers to target their campaigns more precisely. This level of granularity in data is instrumental in bridging the gap between the potential consumer reach and the actual impact of OOH advertisements.

The session concluded with a forward-looking perspective on the role of predictive analytics in outdoor advertising. Burgess emphasised the growing reliability of these tools in forecasting consumer trends and behaviours, suggesting that the future of OOH advertising lies in its ability to anticipate market movements and adjust strategies accordingly.

Burgess's presentation at the WOO Africa Forum marks a significant step towards a more data-driven and strategically informed approach to outdoor advertising. As the industry grapples with the challenges of reaching increasingly fragmented audiences, the solutions and recommendations put forth by Burgess offer a beacon of hope for advertisers looking to maximize their impact in a complex marketplace.

By harnessing the power of big data and predictive analytics, the OOH advertising sector is poised for a transformation that will not only increase its strategic relevance but also unlock new opportunities for engaging with consumers in meaningful and effective ways.

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