Finger on the Pulse: March Edition

Welcome to our first edition of the Pulse Blog, providing you with the latest news and audience insights.

Keen for more? Download oOh!media’s Quarterly Pulse Report which takes a closer look at audience volumes trends across the quarter, plus much more!

March Audience Volumes Summary

Audience volumes in March showed an upward trend and for the most part, continued to increase Week on Week(WoW) compared to the 52-week rolling average. Recent figures for Road and Retail have shown averages of 104% and 99.5% respectively across the reporting period, with Enterprise (Office) and Youth (Study) assets reaching averages of 110% and 130% respectively as well.

Interestingly, the week ending 21st of March showed strong peaks across all products with Roadside delivering upwards of 269mil weekly contacts for that week alone (1).

Out of Home Audience Volumes Summary - March

 

It bodes well as we lead into the second quarter, with various public and school holidays on the horizon. Historical data has shown an increase in audience volumes across key holiday periods, however with such significant numbers showing already across March we are excited to see where audience volumes go from here (2).

Victoria is on the move

If it’s felt a little busier on the roads in Victoria, it’s because it definitely is!
March figures are showing significant growth across Road, reaching 119% compared to the 52-week benchmark. The growth can be attributed to CBD audience volumes which have increased 43 percentage points since the beginning of the year (86% w/e 10th Jan vs 129% w/e 28th March).

Speaking of CBDs, Office audiences in Victoria since the beginning of the year have also shown significant growth – as restrictions have continued to ease and vaccination rates have risen, indicating a strong return of office professionals. In fact, recent figures show Victoria office audience volumes reaching a peak of 138% for week ending 28th March – an increase of 62 percentage points alone since the week ending 10th Jan 2022.

Turning to Study, figures for March are showing the highest level of audience volumes since June 2021 (142% compared to the 52-week benchmark for the week ending the 7th of March) and have continued to remain significantly high across the month, reaching an average of 139.75% (3).

A view on consumer spending

Inflation has been making headlines and is a shared concern for Australians. According to Deloitte’s Global State of Consumer Tracker, 78% of Australians are concerned about inflation and that prices for everyday items are going up (4).

ABC Online reported that The Reserve Bank has been trying to lift inflation during the pandemic to stimulate the economy, however, economists are now predicting that Consumer Price Index (CPI) will rise too much over the next quarter. ANZ said, overall, inflation could rise to 5 per cent in the next quarter, or 3.75 per cent if you remove the outsized price moves — a measure called trimmed inflation.

So, what does this mean for consumer confidence and spending?

Generally speaking, inflation and consumer sentiment share an inverted relationship. That is when inflation soars, consumer confidence in the economy often drops. So, we can expect consumers to become more discerning with their spending.

In a recent podcast “The impact of inflation on the cost of living and consumer behaviour”, host Andrew Davidson and Toby Clark, Director of EMEA Research at Mintel, emphasized that during this volatile period, brands will need to stay nimble and adjust to changing consumer needs. It’s more essential than ever to understand your customers and how economic conditions are influencing their everyday lives. Companies must focus on developing products and marketing campaigns that align with shifting consumer needs (5).

Travel Plans

Over four million Australians are planning a trip away this Easter with $7.1 billion to be spent on holidays (6). Research released by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in conjunction with Roy Morgan has found that:

  • Of the Australians going away this Easter, 63% will be travelling within their own state, 34% will be going interstate and 3% overseas (6)
  • Those aged 35-49, and the most likely to have a family in tow, are set to spend an average of $2,000 on their Easter holidays, totalling $2.6 billion overall – more than any other age group (6)

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said “This is the first holiday period in two years that many people will be taking advantage of the time off and getting away with family and friends, which is great to see. Travel plans were discarded in 2020 and 2021 due to the various snap lockdowns, and last Christmas was disrupted by Omicron. With minimal Covid restrictions in place and Australia’s high vaccination rate providing safety and confidence, people are now starting to go back to living their lives as normal” (6).

With airports experiencing unusually long queues, it’s clear that our appetite for travel is only going to go up from here. According to Deloitte, 65% of Australians will likely travel for business within the next 3 months and 84% don’t feel that technology has replaced the travel that they might normally do (3).

Planning Ahead

It’s never been clearer that audiences are well and truly back and there’s nothing like Out of Home’s ability to quickly reach audiences at scale. As we look ahead to the coming months, there is a significant opportunity for brands to capitalise on growing audience numbers to drive brand awareness and trust whether they are on the road, shopping, working, studying, or travelling.

So, when planning Out of Home media, it’s best to remember the proven fundamentals for driving your ROI.

  • Maximise 1+ reach to drive mental availability, plan by category buyer, and take a multi-channel Out of Home approach.
  • Remember that creative drives 41% of your ROI and an outstanding creative idea with a minimal budget will be more powerful than a poor creative idea with maximum budget. (7)
  • Lastly, take a blended approach. Campaigns that include a blend of classic and digital formats deliver 43% higher ROI than digital alone, due to the ability to reach more audiences and increase share of time (7). Additionally, recent OMA research found that both classic and digital locations deliver comparable impact to a 15 second TV ad or 30-second radio ad. (8)

Sources

  1. DSpark & oOh!, aggregated weekly audience volumes across oOh! Road and Retail locations Vs Rolling 52-week benchmark. Reporting period week ending 7th March – week ending 28th March 2022.
  2. Dspark data, weekly volumes, 3,200+ Roadside and 500+ Retail locations, Week ending 21st March 2022 vs. average weekly contacts, rolling 52-week non-lockdown/restricted period.
  3. Dspark data, weekly volumes 3,200+ Roadside
  4. Global State of the Consumer Tracker, Deloitte, March 2022
  5. Mintel Podcast, The Impact on Inflation on the cost of living and consumer behaviour, 2 March 2022: https://www.mintel.com/blog/podcast/podcast-the-impact-of-inflation-on-the-cost-of-living-and-consumer-behaviour
  6. Australian Retailers Association, Australians to spend billions on holidays, food and chocolate this Easter, 27 March 2022: https://www.retail.org.au/post/australians-to-spend-billions-on-holidays-food-and-chocolate-this-easter
  7. Analytic Partners, oOh! 4.0 Study 2021, benchmarked to single OOH format
  8. The Neuro Impact Factor Study 2021, Outdoor Media Association

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