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Thoughts

Award winners

Really happy that we have been judged as being one of the most innovative companies in all of Essex!

We have won a NOVO Award from the South East Business Partnership!!!!!

What a great start to the week.

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Thoughts

Books of the month

Good to see the two Booksellers Association ‘indie books of the month” on our Bookshop Screens.

This month it’s The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (fiction) and Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave & Tom de Freston (children’s).

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Thoughts

This or this?

I saw the poster on the left on the way home from work yesterday.

I’m pretty sure that they would have paid about double what would be needed to advertise on our convenience store screens for the same period.

The only difference would be that:

  • People would be able to buy the product there and then as it’s at the Point of Sale
  • There would probably not be a dead bird next to it
  • Our shopkeepers generally don’t let people scribble all over the screen, but if someone does we wouldn’t post another campaign on it until it was fixed – which would be a screen replacement within 48 hours (we’d then clean up and redeploy the other screen elsewhere in the network)
  • People see the bus stop screen when driving past at 30mph – 50mph apart from the 20 or so people who get on a bus at that stop each day, with our screens they see it while queueing to pay or while browsing the shelves
  • Our screens play HD full motion content and can be instantly updated

That’s it really. This or that.

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Thoughts

Welcome to mbcg

Just a quick one to show off a little install I’ve just finished for a very unimportant client – me!

I’m always banging on about how versatile and good digital signage is, so I thought it was only right to have some here in the office, so I have built a screen outside the entrance to the office using an 8″ tablet.

It’s really good value as well with the whole installation coming in at around £200 should you want one. This includes the tablet, bracket/mount, cables, me configuring the whole thing so it works with your chosen CMS. The only thing is doesn’t include is installation itself (if you’re local I can do this for you, if not I can supply detailed instructions – this took less than 15 minutes to do) and it also doesn’t include CMS licence (with our preferred CMS this comes in at £90 for a year’s licence.

It’s perfect for an entrance to an office or meeting room and can run full motion animated content as you would expect – it can even play audio if you want to really annoy everyone.

In this example it plays mbcg content Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and then content for my wife’s business (Julie Court Nutrition) on Mondays & Thursdays when she has our office and I work from home.

Drop me a line if you would like to chat about getting one or more for your business or home.

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Thoughts

What’s the point in having DOOH/Digital Signage?

I saw this the other morning when I was in the queue for McDonalds – yes it had been a heavy night the night before, I blame the England football team. Ignore my rubbish phone camera which has made the screen look like it’s got a big black line down the middle (it doesn’t have this in real life and is in fact a decent screen, as you might expect from a multi-billion pound corporation) but what’s the point of having digital signage when to make an announcement about something you stick a sheet of A4 over it?

Literally one of the main selling points of digital signage is its ability to put up temporary messaging quickly & accurately as and when you need it.

One of the things we love doing here is making the most of the reactionary possibilities that digital signage offers, whether that’s putting up temporary messaging from the venues/hosts, or quickly changing content from our advertisers. In fact, the quickest we’ve managed so far is 31 minutes from brief to the ad appearing (and that includes ad design!).

If you’re from McD’s and reading this, feel free to drop us a line if you need us to quote on managing your network/content – we’ll gladly offset some of the cost for a lifetime supply of Sausage and Egg McMuffins!!!

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Thoughts

The mbcg Ten cOOHmandments

Like everyone, I have found lockdown to be a bit of a rollercoaster both in terms of personal emotions and the metrics with which I measure mbcg’s relative success.

Both have had their ups and downs.

Of course we have been hit hard by the closure of our sports clubs and pubs, but we are lucky to be able to have other networks that have continued to deliver audiences for our advertisers. And while we’ve lost a couple of long term advertisers due to the challenges facing their businesses and respective sectors, we’ve been able to replace them with other advertisers.

But I have found myself having more time to think about what we do, why, and how, which has been incredibly useful.

One of the things I have been thinking about is how to make sure I continue to do things the ‘right’ way.

One thing led to another and I ended up making a list of ten rules that I am going to print out and make sure I and the business adheres to no matter what happens as a result of the business’ future growth.

And that led to me thinking they were kind of like commandments and as mbcg is primarily an Out Of Home (OOH) media company, cOOHmandments. Geddit?

I’ll get my coat and let the video take it from here…

Anyway, here’s the list and why I think each is important…

1. We should always try to do things the right way.

Pretty self-explanatory this one; like making sure you say your p’s and q’s it doesn’t cost anything to do things the right way.

2. We’ll make mistakes, but it’s how we react that’s the important thing

An old boss used to say to me “it’s not a mistake until you make it twice”. That’s very true and something I’ve lived by since. Mistakes are part of life; it’s how you deal with them that matters – if we make a mistake and it affects your booking or business we’ll let you know, at the same time offering a solution.

3. We only use real-world numbers and logical assumptions based on those numbers to create our audience figures

None of our networks are on Route (in my opinion Route works for roadside networks but not really for those indoors) but one could argue (and I think very easily win that argument) that our data is probably a little more accurate anyway (I have never been told, nor can find, the sample size for Route) even though we round everything down:

Post Offices: we use actual transactional data and assume one person per transaction. This doesn’t include people who go to the counter with another person (not likely), or people who go to the counter but just pick up a form or ask for information (likely). It also doesn’t count the traffic from the convenience store part of the shop (more than 75% of our shops are also convenience stores). Our OTS is worked out by taking a low estimate of average queue time (8 minutes) and assuming a person is within eye-shot of the screen for 75% of that period.

Sports clubs: we use actual fixture and footfall data from clubs to work out our numbers. Then we make the assumption that the average footballer goes in and out of the changing room four times per game and cricketers five times (both lowballing). We could, I suppose, include an assumption that they might look at the poster in the room while they are in there for up to 45 minutes, but we don’t.

So, I think at least, our numbers must be some of the most robust out there.

4. We won’t use mock-ups without telling you they are mock ups

I don’t like how big OOH companies sell a visual medium with fake imagery. There can only be two possible explanations:

1. They can’t be bothered to go out and take some photos, or

2. They want their kit to look better in photos than it does in real-life

5. We will always try to over deliver for you

Underpromise, overdeliver. Simples.

6. We aim for the highest possible levels of service

It doesn’t cost anything most of the time, and on the occasions it does then I see it as an investment on our part.

7. We’ll offer you the right solution for you, not the right solution for us

I want to be able to sleep at night knowing that I have done everything right for the client, and also if I sell what is right it’s more likely to work for the client so they are more likely to come back – it’s not altruism.

I have worked at other media owners where there has been pressure to sell a particular thing, not the right thing, and I just don’t like it 🙁

8. We’re fair with landlord and partner payments

Without them we don’t have a business. It makes sense to me to treat them with respect and give them their dues.

9. We will always work hard to be as quick and creative as possible

10. We aim to pay not by invoice due dates, but in advance

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Matthew (not me), 7:12

Categories
Opportunities

Advertising bingo sites in post offices

As you may know, we have a network of big HD 55-inch portrait screens in post offices (75% of which are also convenience stores) that are classed as providing essential services to the public (so are allowed to stay open for the duration of the coronavirus crisis).

Why are they allowed to stay open, and why are they still busy? Simply because the audience uses post offices not so much to post things, but to pay for things and withdraw cash – they don’t tend to ‘do’ direct debits and prefer to use the post office counter to withdraw cash instead of the local ATM.

You can see more about the screens and shops here and our audience here.

In an average week more than 275k adults see our screens, but as you would expect we do have some post offices that have closed due to staff shortages etc. leaving us with 80 venues and an estimated weekly footfall of 160k.

Our usual audience is made up of older than average women, and we think there is an opportunity for bingo brands to target this audience who love to go to the bingo in person, but can’t right now for obvious reasons.

How do we know they usually play bingo? TGI research tells us the audience indexes at:

I have gambled in the last year: 119

I have visited a bingo hall regularly in the last year: 167

I have visited a bingo website in the last year: 135

I am interested in reading about bingo: 113

Source: TGI
Click image above to download our one-pager

Here are some examples of the screens so you can see what we’re on about – as you can see our screens not only serve post offices, but convenience stores, too (over 75% of our post offices are also convenience stores/CTNs):

And here’s a document we’ve got together explaining the opportunity: click here to view/download.

We can get campaigns live within a couple of hours of receiving artwork (which can be full motion, so perfect for trailers etc.).

We’re also able to get campaigns down more or less instantly should you need us to.

If you think it could be useful please get in touch with Mat on the contact details below.

Categories
Opportunities

Charities in post offices

As you may know, we have a network of big HD 55-inch portrait screens in more than a hundred post offices (75% of which are also convenience stores) that are classed as providing essential services to the public (so should stay open for the duration of the coronavirus crisis).

You can see more about the screens and shops here and our audience here.

In an average week more than 275k adults see our screens, but as our shops tend to be outside of major city centres we are expecting footfall to increase from people working from home and sending packages to other family members.

Our usual audience is made up of older than average people, and we think there is an opportunity for charities to get increased donations from this audience group (as they are proven to donate already, so may be up for donating more).

Here are some examples of the screens so you can see what we’re on about – as you can see our screens not only serve post offices, but convenience stores, too (over 75% of our post offices are also convenience stores/CTNs):

And here’s a document we’ve got together explaining the opportunity: click here to view/download.

We can get campaigns live within a couple of hours of receiving artwork (which can be full motion, so perfect for trailers etc.).

We’re also able to get campaigns down more or less instantly should you need us to.

If you think it could be useful please get in touch with Mat on the contact details below.

Categories
Thoughts

OOH are you new round here?

New to Out Of Home?

First let’s clarify what Out Of Home is as these days it can mean many different things. Out Of Home advertising is pretty much anything that you see on something that isn’t yours outside of your house. So, even though you see your mobile phone outside of your home it isn’t Out Of Home, it’s classed as ‘Mobile’. And while you may see the telly while at work or out and about, that’s still bought and sold media-wise as TV not OOH.

And why am I saying OOH? How about DOOH? What are these OOH’s and DOOH’s all about that you see on our (and likely our competitors’) website? Well it is ‘Out Of Home’ and ‘Digital Out Of Home’ and descriptors of what is sometimes simply called Outdoor (although that has fallen out of fashion a bit as much of Outdoor was, confusingly, indoors).

So OOH refers to any kind of media outside your home, on something not owned by you. It has many forms, or more accurately formats. Here are some examples:

1. Big landscape posters on the side of the road (called ‘roadside’) usually in 48 or 96 sheets size (48 sheets being the most common form and the 96 sheets being the wider format mega-billboards you might have seen). These can be both digital or paper (often called ‘classic’ or ‘static’).

2. Large format portrait, or ‘Mega6’s’. Usually found roadside or inside malls and airports.

3. Smaller portrait posters usually called six sheets. The kind of posters and digital screens you might find at a bus stop, in a shopping centre or inside an airport.

We’re not going to go in to the pro’s and con’s of each one. We see it as the other media owners’ jobs to sell their own stuff, so what we’ll do is focus on ourselves a bit instead; And I am certainly going to take the opportunity to give ourselves a little plug – after all we’ve written this and not them. What we do is specialise in delivering hard-to-reach audiences in hard-to-access environments. This gives us some advantages over other less controlled environments…

CONTROL & CONQUER?

NO, IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL & CONTEXT

Since the TV audience fragmented as multi-channel became more mainstream, and press lost sales & readers to online, some people call OOH/DOOH/Outdoor the last broadcast media. We couldn’t really disagree with that, but to think that OOH/DOOH/Outdoor is a direct replacement for the old broadcast options is wrong. And nor is being ‘broadcast’ its best feature. It can be much, much cleverer than that if we think hard about it.

Likewise, to think all OOH/DOOH/Outdoor should be used in the same way is wrong. And this is where we get to the real benefits of Outdoor, or at least a large chunk of it: context.

This really comes in to its own when you think about how controlled we all are, whether knowingly or not, when we move inside a public area. Don’t worry, we’re not going to get all Minority Report on you just yet (although that time will likely come in the not too distant future), but where we feel advertising money is best made use of, or at least is used in a more efficient way, is indoors.

Why indoors? Simply because we know why people are there. In our specific examples: why are people stood in a Post Office queue? You can make a few guesses and you’re likely correct. Why are people in a golf club lounge? Again make a few guesses and you’re probably right. Why are people in a convenience store? Why are people in a football club changing room? I’ll stop there as you’ve hopefully got the idea.

So we know why someone is there, and that means you can make sure, or at least try, to make your advertising more relevant to them. What we’re doing is effectively taking a wide-ranging medium and breaking it down in to a more efficient chunk. In the same way as you would when buying a page in a magazine. It’s quite unusual for the same advertiser to buy a page in a football magazine and also a women’s weekly, and it’s the same with us. At the very least you would be running very different advertising in both the football and women’s mags. Just how you should be doing in outdoor.

DOOH vs. non-D-OOH

And that brings me back to the oohs and aahs of DOOH and OOH. What does this extra D really mean? For the sceptical it means the media owner doesn’t have to send out a person in a van with a ladder and a load of posters to stick up on the wall. It means we can just press a button and the ad is live. Or Not. So it means we can as reactive and flexible than any other media out there. It used to be that newspapers were the king of this kind of thing, now that crown has very much been taken by DOOH.

But instead of using it for the ‘wow’ factor, you can use that flexibility simply to make your money work harder. When are young mums likely to be using the convenience store? Either side of the two school runs. So if the convenience store is more likely to be full of young mums then why spend money advertising to them at other times in the shop? Yes I know it sounds like we’re playing the role of a turkey voting for Christmas here, but our idea is that you won’t reduce overall spend, just stretch it out longer. And you’ll come back for more when it delivers a higher ROI.

Add to that the fact you can use our screens to run full motion video and again it makes your money work harder. The theory here is that a moving image attracts attention more than a still one. If nothing else you relatively easily can use video content you have spent money on developing for use online, again making that creative investment work harder.

But beware, not all DOOH can let you do this. Because of the distractions it would pose to drivers you are not allowed to anything with full motion video within sight of a road.

LET’S DWELL ON IT

It’s really simple, we try to focus on putting posters and screens in places where people are going to be hanging around (called dwell time). Whether that’s getting changed before or after a game of football or cricket, having a couple of drinks after a round of golf, or being in a queue in a Post Office, we think it’s better to have an advert in a place someone is stood in for a while as opposed to walking or driving past.

We’ll leave It there for now, as we more or less could go on forever on all of this, and there really is plenty more to talk about, but that’s just because we love what we do. If you want to hear more then please feel free to get in touch by using the details at the bottom of this page, or drop us a line via social media.

Categories
Opportunities

Charities in post offices

As you may know, we have a network of big HD 55-inch portrait screens in more than a hundred post offices (75% of which are also convenience stores) that are classed as providing essential services to the public (so should stay open for the duration of the coronavirus crisis).

You can see more about the screens and shops here and our audience here.

In an average week more than 275k adults see our screens, but as our shops tend to be outside of major city centres we are expecting footfall to increase from people working from home and sending packages to other family members.

Our usual audience is made up of older than average people, and we think there is an opportunity for charities to get increased donations from this audience group (as they are proven to donate already, so may be up for donating more).

Here are some examples of the screens so you can see what we’re on about – as you can see our screens not only serve post offices, but convenience stores, too (over 75% of our post offices are also convenience stores/CTNs):

And here’s a document we’ve got together explaining the opportunity: click here to view/download.

We can get campaigns live within a couple of hours of receiving artwork (which can be full motion, so perfect for trailers etc.).

We’re also able to get campaigns down more or less instantly should you need us to.

If you think it could be useful please get in touch with Mat on the contact details below.