Movement and its impact on Outdoor advertising

Google's analysis of movement data in Australia's Capital City CBDs shows movement levels are well below those seen earlier in the year in all six State capitals.

Movement in Perth's and Adelaide's CBD is closest to the pre-COVID-19 levels. Movement in late July has returned to an average of 71% of the levels earlier in the year during January and February. Brisbane is ranked third with movement levels in the CBD at 61% of the pre-COVID-19 levels just ahead of the Hobart CBD at 59%.

However Australia's largest cities are those most impacted by the second wave of COVID-19. Movement in the Sydney CBD has dropped to just under half of the pre-COVID-19 levels at 48% while the Melbourne CBD, which entered Stage 3 lock down in early July, was at only 27% in late July.

Melbourne's CBD has certainly seen an increase on its CBD's movement since the Stage 4 lock down was recently introduced. Retail and recreation movement is down by -87%, supermarket and pharmacy movement -56%, parks -73%, public transport -84%, workplaces -46% while residential movement has increased by +22%.

What does movement mean for advertisers using outdoor?

Outdoor still has a significant role to play within the advertising mix during COVID-19 lock downs and the effects of outdoor advertising on the consumer can still be strong. But particular attention needs to be paid to the location or area where the advertisement is located and the type of outdoor advertising you utilise.

The ability to utilise broad 'brushstroke' research to make your decisions about outdoor advertising is now benign. Hyper targeting using outdoor movement patterns is key to success right now in a COVID-19 advertising environment.

As an example, overall, mobility trends for places such as supermarkets, food warehouses, farmers markets, speciality food shops and pharmacies is down by -11% compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline. Using this trend as a benchmark, a marketer about to employ a traditional in-store campaign might decide to cancel all advertising running in supermarkets or pharmacies. However, movement research shows that this may only be the right strategy for Victoria (-32% below baseline) where a switch to target online shoppers might be the better strategy to employ.

Markets like the Northern Territory (+21% above baseline), Queensland (+2%) and South Australia (+3%) are generally experiencing buoyant shopping patterns in supermarkets and pharmacies across the board. Employing an in-store strategy in these markets would be a wise move.

While New South Wales (-9% below baseline), Tasmania (-8%), Western Australia (-4%) and ACT (-5%) have experienced mobility declines within supermarkets and pharmacies, hyper targeting is an essential consideration in the mix. Within New South Wales alone, areas like Bankstown, Blue Mountains, Griffith, Burwood and Camden are all experiencing increased supermarket shopping patterns as high as +18%.

All of this means that using movement and other forms of 'hyper data' helps marketers to determine the correct strategy in Sydney's Lane Cove versus Sydney's inner west, bringing alive the value of truly understanding hyper targeting to the fore.

About Glenda Wynyard

Glenda Wynyard is an advertising veteran with over 25 years industry experience. Glenda leads the Media Precinct's research and insights team.