How Intersection, an Out-of-Home media company, responded to changing commute patterns using Near’s data on people and places

Situation

In early 2021, Intersection, an Out-of-Home media company, faced unprecedented waves of changes in commute patterns in the wake of the pandemic. In the past, traffic on buses, train stations and other hubs of commuting had been predictable, with a consistent range of people showing up at certain times every day. However, during the pandemic, it became harder to predict and report on the traffic volume that might see an ad at any time, with fluctuations due to company policies, Covid case volume, and more.

The team needed additional insights and data in order to adapt to the continually shifting daily travel patterns with pandemic lockdowns and re-openings. The team reached out to Near looking to improve their understanding of where audiences are coming and going.

Challenge

The Out-of-Home (OOH) industry relies heavily on good location data because campaign strategies require a solid understanding of where audiences are coming from, where they’re going, and how to qualify the demographics of those audiences. The pandemic created ongoing disruptions to regular traffic patterns that made it challenging to understand the audiences and whether Intersection was serving the right advertising units on behalf of their clients.

While some of the transit locations where Intersection ads were showing had data on traffic patterns, often the data was very old (sometimes years old) and irrelevant in the midst of a time of rapid changes. Even as commuters showed up in higher volumes, it was hard to pin down exact numbers, which made it harder to close deals with potential advertisers.

Solution

Intersection used Near’s Vista to get data, analytics and insights on places their audiences visited, visitor demographics, and pathing their audiences took before and after they visited a location. 

Some key features the Intersection team used include: 

Visitor Demographics

Visitor demographics
based on Census Data

Time of Day Visitation

Visitation by
time of day

Pathing

Where visitors are seen before
or after a visit to a place

Vista reports were used across the Intersection sales, marketing and sales support teams, giving them tools they need to better serve their clients.  Vista’s intuitive user interface allows sales coordinators, marketing managers and more to build reports and conduct analysis without the help of data analysts.

Examples of the timely insights the marketing and sales teams found:

Visitation to specific stations and transit hubs to help clients buying “station domination” ad takeovers


Well-informed daypart placements were able to help clients make the most out of every placement


Market-specific rises in activity when audiences began to venture out more were presented to clients as timely opportunities


In one case, an advertiser was interested in buying a “station domination” to take over the University Street Station in Seattle. The advertiser wasn’t located near Seattle, so they were concerned that they didn’t know whether the station was busy enough to make the investment worthwhile. With Near’s visitation report, Intersection was able to see and share the significant rise in traffic over time to the station, which gave the advertiser the confidence to move forward.

Intersection used Near’s data in two major ways. First, to provide insights about their media assets, which span the entire country in most major markets, to give prospective clients a sense of the audience demographics, travel patterns, business affinities, and more.  This might range from a roadside wallscape to a major transit hub in a big city to an airport terminal.  

Second, as a component of new business pitches, to showcase how their media intersects with the commute patterns and habits of a prospective client’s audiences.  An example of this might be a casino looking to build loyalty among its customers, where they would leverage Vista research to show how OOH media can be used to target those specific audiences.  

These solutions were critical to Intersection’s business during a time of significant and ongoing change in traffic and demographic patterns.

Results

30+ end users on the sales and marketing
teams trained in only one hour to run reports,
serving 100+ team members across the company

500+ unique report templates run repeatedly
by the Intersection team, with data and reports to help optimize and advise clients in real time

More successful sales efforts,
driving new business and building
upon existing business

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