The Problem: How to help advertisers plan and buy OOH ad campaigns more effectively
When advertisers come to Clear Channel Europe, they’re often looking for creative ways to broadcast their marketing messages and engage with potential customers via the out-of-home channel in the most targeted, relevant, and cost-effective ways possible.
A big part of this requires having a deep understanding of the exact location as well as the surrounding area of every OOH ad unit within the company’s inventory. What are the demographics? What other stores are nearby? How much do consumers spend in that trade area? What are the customer profiles for those that live in the area as well as passers-by? And the list of questions that advertisers ask when planning their OOH ad campaigns goes on.
To address these advertiser needs, Clear Channel Europe launched a proprietary mobile data and campaign planning platform called ‘Clear Channel RADAR’, which taps into powerful digital insights around audience groups—including demographics, location and/or point-of-interest (POI) visits, brand affinity, and online browsing behaviors—to promote more effective, flexible and data-driven campaign planning. This technology provides invaluable data to help brands better understand how consumer behaviors change in real-time, thereby allowing them to build more nuanced and effective OOH campaigns that drive stronger consumer engagement.
When it comes to POI data, however, most available data sources are quite disparate and tend to exist at only the local level. There is rarely ever a global “source of truth” to tap into. While publicly available postal code data was sufficient in the past, it wasn’t updated regularly and often had taxonomical inconsistencies. Additionally, it did not provide detailed information about specific locations to help answer questions about proximity, driving time, etc. Even high-quality datasets were difficult to work with because the data itself wasn’t structured in the way the team needed in order to provide customers with actionable analytics and insights.
The Problem-Solver: Clear Channel Europe
Clear Channel Europe is one of Europe’s leading OOH media and infrastructure companies with 280,000 advertising sites across 17 European markets. On a bold mission to “create the future of media,” Clear Channel Europe is committed to striking the right balance between delivering effective and targeted advertising solutions for brands and businesses while also being a platform for good that aims to make a positive impact on the environment and within the communities in which Clear Channel operates.
When the dataset is good, we can trust it to make business decisions. Working with SafeGraph data has made our jobs much easier in this regard.
The Solution: SafeGraph Places
“We have a lot of experience working with open source and competitor datasets as part of our ‘Clear Channel RADAR’ platform,” explained Andy Stevens, Chief Data Officer for Clear Channel Europe’s European operations. “Over time, we realized we needed a better data source solution to help our customers run more targeted, brand-safe, and high-performing out-of-home advertising campaigns.” This prompted Clear Channel to start working with SafeGraph data.
With the launch of the SafeGraph Places global dataset, SafeGraph has become one of the only companies to offer a fresh, comprehensive, and accurate (updated monthly) POI dataset in a unified schema for almost any place worldwide. This powerful dataset captures accurate location-based data for thousands of brands and categories—from large corporations to mom-and-pop stores and industrial locations. It is the only dataset to combine proprietary machine learning techniques with real-world verification (by humans) in order to maintain high accuracy at all times.
“After testing a sample of the SafeGraph Places dataset, we found it to be far more accurate than other data sources we’ve used in the past,” continued Stevens. “Not to mention, the way the data was packaged was user friendly; its taxonomy simply made sense.”
While having access to accurate and precise POI data was the top priority for the Clear Channel Europe team when evaluating potential new data providers, what stood out most was SafeGraph’s high-touch approach to customer success. “We never expected the dataset to be turnkey with our existing systems and datasets from day one—there’s always a bit of work to get it to where you need it to be,” reiterated Stevens. “But we’ve been blown away by SafeGraph’s proactiveness in helping us work through any issues we’ve encountered.”
The Result: Equipping advertisers with better campaign planning insights
“Working with SafeGraph, we now have a more accurate and consistent dataset for our planning platform, Clear Channel RADAR, which empowers our campaign planners to help our customers execute more effective out-of-home advertising campaigns,” emphasized Stevens.
Clear Channel RADAR is equipped with many different filters such as POI proximity (powered by Safegraph) and near-real-time behavioral profiles, allowing the company’s campaign planners to pinpoint the correct OOH ad placements based on their customers’ marketing goals. Within the platform, selecting individual ad units opens up instant access to all sorts of actionable insights– helping advertisers make more informed media buying decisions.
The Future: Weaving SafeGraph data into other parts of the business
“The success we’ve seen by adding SafeGraph data into Clear Channel RADAR has given us ideas about moving other departments and markets to a single source of information,” said Stevens.
One immediate use case would be for the teams in charge of acquiring or building new OOH ad units. It will have a direct impact on making smarter investment decisions by allowing teams to go into pitches with a deeper understanding of local market dynamics, including customer demographics, potential reach, and foot traffic.
“At the end of the day, we are moving towards an audience-based approach in everything we do as a business,” underscored Stevens. “The more we can make all aspects of the out-of-home buying experience like digital, the more we can grow our customers’ businesses—and ours as well. We just need to harmonize all of the data sources first.”