Giving a much needed boost to the outdoor industry is the news of the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) extending the Indian Outdoor Survey (IOS) this year. IOS is the first ever audience measurement system for outdoor media in India and is designed to provide audience-led research at par with other media in order to establish traffic, cover and frequency estimates. The first phase of the IOS was launched in June, 2009.
MRUC also conducts the Indian Readership Survey (IRS).
Joseph Eapen, chief executive officer, MRUC, says, "Outdoor advertising has shown promise to break the clutter of advertising on traditional media. Through IOS, MRUC aims to build a common currency for the Indian outdoor media industry for planning, buying, selling and evaluating advertising investment in the medium."
He adds that the IOS not only provides a reach and frequency model for media planning/selling but also gives insights into the quality of an outdoor site through a visibility index. It will also serve as a comprehensive, credible and up to date inventory of OOH (out of home) sites by market and by format.
Eapen tells afaqs!, "The main challenge for the IOS was taking stock of the outdoor space in terms of conducting a census of the inventory available and making the database available for media planning purpose."
MRUC is set to invite fresh bids from research agencies to cover these markets. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is to invite bids to commission and partner with a research agency to conduct the survey as per the objectives laid forth by MRUC. The timelines for the research will be indicated by the participating/qualifying research company, along with MRUC.
Eapen says that with the addition of these new markets, the industry can quantify and qualify the OOH medium in these markets and media planners will have robust media planning tools based on the research to make informed recommendations to their clients.
He adds, "This will definitely help the outdoor media grow as audience measurement is available and ROI (in terms of quantifying audience) is now possible. This will help both buyers and sellers of the outdoor medium."