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Published on September 17th, 2021 | by Steve Nicklin

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Local Advertiser Focus: Maximizing Local Ad Agency Partnerships

Steve Nicklin SVP Marketing and Analytics, OAAA


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Last week’s Sales Tip focused on local advertisers’ sentiment, so this week’s follow up is Borrell’s Local Advertising Agency Survey, which was also fielded from April – June 2021.

The key takeaways from Borrell’s Local Agency Survey include:

  • In choosing a media company, agencies place highest value on one that presents a well-supported and transparent marketing plan
  • Nearly two-thirds see local media companies as partners, not competitors
  • 88% offer at least one type of digital marketing service to clients
  • 74% offer social media management as a service for clients
  • When it comes to marketing expertise and digital savvy, agencies have higher opinions of TV companies than they do of other local media
  • Most agencies that buy TV also buy advanced TV features such as OTT; 1 in 10 buys only traditional spots

The profile of Borrell Associates’ 701 respondents included:

  • Agency type:
    • 35% full-service ad agency
    • 24% advertising/marketing firm or agency
    • 15% media buying company
    • 8% media/publishing company
    • 7% marketing services company
    • 11% other
  • 74% “master marketers” (10,000+ hours of marketing/advertising experience)
  • Agency size ranges:
    • 38% = 5 to 24 employees
    • 32% = less than 5 employees
    • 30% = 25 or more employees
  • Average number of clients = 35
  • Average annual value of client bookings = $2 million
  • Length of time in business
    • 46% = over 20 years
    • 42% = 6 to 20 years
  • Geographic region:
    • South = 34%
    • West = 28%
    • Midwest 21%
    • Northeast 14%

According to MAGNA, digital media comprises the vast majority of overall ad spend (69%), with mobile accounting for 80 percent and social media comprising 31 percent of the digital media total.

Past OAAA Nielsen research has shown OOH is the most efficient channel at driving online search, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter activation. OOH’s ability to drive engagement and deliver as an impressions multiplier through social media is a strong value proposition. Therefore, it’s important to understand how agencies view various social media platforms and the Borrell survey reported the findings shown in the chart below.

  • Facebook continues to be the most popular platform with 58% of agencies rating it very or extremely effective
  • YouTube and Instagram remain solid choices, while Twitter is ebbing in usage among agencies and TikTok is rising
The Borrell survey findings indicate the best way for OOH media companies to enhance their position with local agencies is to:

  1. approach the agency relationship as a true partner
  2. provide thorough and clear ad marketing ideas and plans

Learnings from the OAAA agency road show revealed agencies don’t want to be buried in paper, so it’s important to respect the time of agency partners by ensuring all materials are relevant. Agency feedback from the road show tour also indicated summaries or one-sheeters are more likely to be reviewed and considered.
The Borrell agency survey findings have an important parallel to the local advertiser survey findings highlighted in last week’s Sales Tip. The top trait deemed very to extremely important by local advertisers when selecting a media company was a “high level of marketing expertise”.

Here are important OAAA marketing resources also shared in last week’s Sales Tip that can help OAAA members position themselves as marketing experts with local ad agencies and advertisers:
OAAA OOH Marketing Research – especially the recent Harris Poll and OnDevice studies reflecting the realities of the pandemic-altered economy
OAAA OOH Case Study Library – including the Local Case Studies section
OAAA’s July 28, 2021 Lunch Break Webinar on “The Importance of OOH Creative and How to Generate Client Buy-In”
OAAA OOH Creative Mockup Generator – help your clients create the most effective OOH creative
OAAA OOH Capabilities Presentation – showcasing top proof points for OOH
OAAA OOH Sellers’ Training Modules – from understanding client objectives to crafting client proposals
OAAA’s July 22, 2021 Sales Training Master Class with Lamar Advertising’s CMO, Tommy Teepell – excellent insights on finding potential leads, identifying competition in your local market, and anticipating and properly managing common objections.

Source: Borrell Associates, MAGNA, Nielsen



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