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