York firm measuring up for global success

21 Mar 2013 @ 5.16 pm
| Business

One of Austrian firm Gewista’s billboard ads. Beacon Dodsworth helps to measure its impact
A York-based data and mapping consultancy has helped create the world’s most advanced system for measuring the impact of billboards and other outdoor advertising.

It is notoriously difficult to gauge the effectiveness of adverts carried on billboards, giant screens and the like. Although they have great presence – just think of the recently repainted old Biles Beans ad on Lord Mayor’s Walk in York – it can be very hard to measure their impact.

So the leading outdoor advertising contractors in Austria, EPAMEDIA and Gewista, turned to York’s own Beacon Dodsworth Ltd.

It has helped media agencies map out and measure their audience for 15 years. In 2009 Beacon Dodsworth, in partnership with Simon Cooper Associates (SCO), worked on a research study in the Netherlands that conformed to the latest European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) international guidelines.

EPAMEDIA and Gewista were so impressed by that study that they turned to SCO and Beacon Dodsworth to adapt the system for their work in Austria.

Using their Trip Trax software, developed during the Netherlands campaign, Beacon Dodsworth rolled out a series of web surveys. These measured where, when and by what mode of transport respondents had travelled the previous day.

Based on a version of MapVision, the company’s sophisticated GIS mapping and analysis system, the software tracked people’s routes, while logging points of interest such as shopping centres and public transport information.

This allowed for accurate measurement of the effectiveness of outdoor advertising, enabling more precise campaign modelling and better targeting.

Another Austrian billboard ad, this one promoted by EPAMEDIA
Another Austrian billboard ad, this one promoted by EPAMEDIA

“It was the best decision we made to assign Simon Cooper Associates and Beacon Dodsworth for our audience measurement system called Outdoor Server Austria,” said Markus Bickert, Project Manager at OSA.

“It took some time to develop this complex system, but now it bears fruits for us. The media agencies are very satisfied with the system, because they are now able to analyse the various data and tailor the use of outdoor advertising, according to different criteria.

“Only by the precise conducted groundwork of Beacon Dodsworth and SCO we currently have the world’s most advanced planning platform with integrated efficiency measurement.”

Simon Perry, commercial director at Beacon Dodsworth said: “The software is designed to be simple to use, so no user training is needed but is intuitive, and thanks to extensive checking, testing and the availability of relevant help, even the most devout technophobes got to grips with the TripTrax software.”