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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
out of home The last fi ve yards with Xip Media JohnSmallwood, GM– Sales, Xip Media, explains how they are keeping the tills ringing in the retail space. What is the Xip Media concept? We sell the advertising space on digital screens in retail locations. We are regarded as being a part of the out-of-home category, but it is not what you would call traditional by any stretch of the imagination. As far as retail is concerned, we are directly in that space as the screens we have are in close proximity to product or point-of-sale. There are a lot of screens out there – in pubs and clubs, screens in shopping malls, lifts and lobbies – but we are in the retail space. In terms of sheer numbers of screens, we are by far the largest. How does it fi t into an integrated communications strategy? An integrated communications strategy depends on the advertiser, but some advertisers are trying to reach consumers when they are in purchasing mode. It is pretty hard to get closer to people when they are in that spending frame of mind, than retail media. Can you give an example of a recent successful campaign? We have researched a few recent campaigns, but the advertisers tend to be a little guarded about the information they will release, particularly when you are talking about FMCG. They are really cautious about information that might get into the hands of their competitors. Some of our clients have done their own research, but what we are looking to do down the track, is to do regular pre and post-analysis of the campaigns, but we don’t have any specifi c tools in place. There is another opportunity for us that we have already trialled, which is to integrate mobile SMS into the advertising campaign so we can actually measure eff ectiveness through the number of interactions, but coming up with an actual measurement tool is a good way off yet. Is there any independent third party measurement being undertaken? I don’t think we are top of mind as far as the research companies are concerned. Most of the research that is being conducted is pretty ad- hoc. As we move forward and it matures more then defi nitely you are going to have advertisers 70 MEDIA Trends + Strategy demanding research demonstrating effectiveness. To a certain extent, when you are advertising in very close proximity to the product itself, you can expect that it will have an impact on sales, and we have certainly seen that. What sort of impact will the release of the new out of home measurement system from the Outdoor Media Association have on the industry? It will have a signifi cant impact in terms of credibility and I think that it has to be across the board. The problem with some of these measurement systems, is what or who they exclude, so it is either a real industry model or not. It is a long time coming so you would expect that it is going to be pretty special when it comes out. They have put a big investment into it and hopefully it will cover some of the issues they have had in the past but whether it will be the be-all and end-all I am not entirely sure. What sort of innovation will we see from Xip Media in the next 6-12 months? We extended the large format network significantly in 2007. We have gone from less than a thousand, and now we have 2200 large format screens. We are looking at the integration of mobile. We have already done the trials and have had a couple of campaigns, but this year, we anticipate that there will be a lot more campaigns that have the integration of a mobile element.