Now, GPS tracking for Chicago outdoor
November 6, 2005
Out-of-home advertising may be the oldest way to get your message across, but for the longest time it is has struggled against newer media because it lacked modern measurement tools.
There just wasn’t a decent answer to the question: Who and how many people are seeing my message?
But that’s changing. Nielsen Outdoor earlier this week unveiled its first GPS-based data for the Chicago market. “This is a huge benefit to the outdoor industry,” says Matt Tatham, Nielsen Outdoor’s communications director.
“They’re finally going to have information to buy and sell off of.”
Here’s how the system works: A sample of some 750 volunteers representative of the city’s makeup carry around a Nielsen Personal Outdoor Device, or Npod, which tracks the person’s location. Each time a respondent passes by an outdoor facility that’s set up for tracking, the instance is recorded as an opportunity to see an outdoor display.
When these trackings are collated, Nielsen can deliver data much like those available for TV viewership: reach and frequency by day of week, time of day, and across multiple days and weeks for various demographics.
“That’s the key, providing demographic ratings for outdoor,” says Tatham. Nielsen began collecting data in Chicago in April 2004. The first round is now available to Nielsen’s charter clients for a 60-day period for using in planning for next year, then on Nov. 21 Nielsen will make the data available to all subscribers.
The research company has tested the system in Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Seattle and New York. It plans to roll the system out in other top U.S. markets but has yet to announce a timetable.
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