Keeping TABs

A weekly update from TAB on ratings, membership, and TAB's transitional process to meet the needs of an evolving media landscape

Ambitious Goals For New TAB Out of Home Ratings

This week’s KeepingTABs is an update on important plans to chart a new, more future-focused vision for TAB.
The TAB Board of Directors appointed a Leaders Taskforce made up of advertiser, agency, and OOH media company executives to lead this effort. The Taskforce retained Sequent Partners to assist in the development of that vision and reach out to leading research companies to explore how their services might enhance OOH ratings. Sequent Partners has conducted similar projects across the broader advertising industry.
The Taskforce has identified five areas of consideration. Recognizing that current TAB OOH ratings are a strong foundation for moving forward, the following five areas represent ways the current measurement system can be enriched to meet the evolving needs of both the OOH industry and the advertising community as a whole.
1. Maintaining and Developing OOH Data Standards
TAB currently maintains an extensive industry database that includes more than a million OOH displays. The data includes inventory locations, traffic counts, visibility adjustments, and other information required to produce standardized and scalable OOH ratings in markets throughout the country.
TAB’s leadership recognizes the need to protect and enhance these industry assets. Now it’s time to refresh these core assets to meet changing industry needs. Specific priorities for development include increased speed and frequency of data updates and delivery, ratings for both mass and targeted audiences, further leveraging of the data to increase the fundamental value proposition, and potentially connecting TAB ratings to mobile device data to drive better understanding of consumer movement.
2. OOH Ratings and Data Platforms
Today, TAB provides strong measurement of the OOH medium comparable to that used by other major media, using similar market and demographic audience definitions. In fact, TAB ratings go beyond other media measurement by reporting those who actually see the advertisements.
New technologies offer new opportunities to measure variations in audience delivery by week, day, and even hour. While some of these innovations have already been integrated into the ratings system, a goal is to provide more information about audience delivery and its relationship with sales (ROI). Another goal is to expand the use of the ratings in planning and buying platforms. Therefore, TAB is reaching out to platform providers who want to integrate OOH ratings into their systems.
3. Data Integration Into Valued Third-Party Databases and Software
Ratings are a primary tool used by media buyers, but advertisers and media planners are often more interested in understanding how different media work together. Most of the syndicated databases have little or no information about OOH media. An important goal of the current investigation is to understand what can be done to position OOH ratings in the high-value, multi-media databases produced by major research and analytics companies. If successful, this will supply a missing context related to the value of OOH.
4. Education and Training
While much has been accomplished, the consistent and industry wide use of ratings will be enhanced by a greater commitment to education and training, which so far has been underfunded. Specific industry training needs include hands-on, real-world training for buyers, sellers, and planners as well as cross-media training.
5. Branding/Marketing Communications
The final area of consideration is branding. The Taskforce wants to understand how best to strengthen the adoption of OOH ratings through a strong branding and marketing effort and is seeking partners to help in this effort.
Each of these five areas of consideration was incorporated into an RFP that was developed by Sequent Partners and distributed to nearly 60 research, technology, and analytics companies earlier this month. Proposals will be received in early February and an evaluation process has been established. A report with recommendations will be presented to the TAB Board of Directors in early March, with following reports to the TAB membership and advertising community.
As TAB’s Chair Mary Sheehan has said, “We have very ambitious goals for OOH measurement and we have set up a process and plan to get there.”
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