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MapMechanics Street-level mapping and software helps produce more accurate drivetimes

Clear Channel Outdoor, the UK’s market-leading outdoor media owner, has been able to fine-tune the packages of poster-based advertising it offers clients and meet their requirements much more precisely by introducing a range of digital maps, demographic data and software from MapMechanics.

Clear Channel Outdoor frequently has to find out which poster sites fall within a given catchment area, and this is often defined by driving time. For instance, in order to identify sites of interest to an advertiser such as a motor dealership, it might be necessary to identify all posters with half an hour’s driving time of the dealer’s premises.

Using detailed NAVTEQ digital data in conjunction with GeoConcept, the powerful geographic information system supplied by MapMechanics, Clear Channel is able to calculate the drivetimes to individual poster sites or customer locations much more reliably and accurately than in the past – and it is also completing the process more quickly, which means the calculations can be made more frequently, and can be re-run more readily to consider what-if scenarios.

By running drivetime calculations in association with Personicx behavioural segmentation data (again supplied by MapMechanics), Clear Channel has also been able to identify "hot-spot" clusters of selected consumer categories within reach of given poster sites. This helps the company to select groups of suitable poster sites for advertisers on the basis of criteria such as lifestyle and age.

The introduction of GeoConcept has brought Clear Channel a further benefit, too. It is the GIS of choice for running analyses with Experian Goad retail occupancy data, and Clear Channel is using it for managing its advertising sites within shopping centres and even multi-level malls.

Richard Bon, the head of sales support and planning for Clear Channel Outdoor, says this flexibility is invaluable. "It means we can use the same software for running analyses in areas that cover hundreds of square miles and local retail analysis in areas measured in square yards. Our operators don’t have to keep switching between software packages. This makes the work quicker and more consistent for them."

From a practical point of view, Clear Channel reports that GeoConcept is proving highly popular among its users. The company has tried many GIS products over the years, but says GeoConcept is particularly effective. "It’s cost-effective and super-friendly to use," says Richard Bon, "and once you understand how it works, it’s very logical and quick."

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