OOH Happenings with… POP Radio

One of our Consumer Exit Poll clients is POP Radio, an innovative Out Of Home (OOH) advertising network with whom we worked to measure audience, reach and frequency across the many retail stores that feature this unique audio platform. We checked in with Gary Seem, President/CEO of Pop Radio, to find out how they are using OOH media to provide value for advertisers:
Gary, tell us a little about POP Radio.
POP Radio delivers audio advertising to consumers at the point-of-purchase in Grocery, Drug and Mass Merchandiser stores. We reinforce the brand message moments before the purchase decision is made — in a captive media environment — no channel surfing or tuning out. Unlike shelf-based in-store advertising, POP Radio reaches every shopper in the store, acting as an audio aisle directory to steer the consumer to the advertised product. Since most shoppers do not use a shopping list or make many unplanned purchases, POP Radio can be used to remind consumers about these “forgettables” — which works great for products from dishwasher rinse agent to candy and snacks (other than Halloween, who has ever put candy bars on their shopping list?)
How are you able to show your advertisers a return on their investment?
POP Radio is measurable in two ways. First, we have “media-ized” our audience measurement by working with Edison Research to quantify who and how many people POP Radio reaches. This was accomplished by utilizing Edison’s entrance/exit polling expertise. Here’s the press release for the latest study. Second, we utilize scanner data based testing to measure the sales lift generated by POP Radio. On average, POP Radio delivers a 16% sales lift across a variety of products in Grocery, Drug and Mass Merch stores.
What were your main goals when you took over POP Radio?
We saw the incredible potential for reaching consumers at the point-of-purchase in a captive media environment with an audio message. Our “passive” delivery (i.e. the consumer doesn’t have to do anything to be exposed to the media) reaches every shopper in the store vs. shelf based programs that only reach their target when they are in front of that specific category at the shelf. When we bought POP Radio in 2003, we were slightly ahead of the curve for the media craze for non-traditional and out-of-home media. POP Radio is at the right place, at the right time.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Growing the network has been a primary goal and we have attained our targets with a current network of over 11,000 stores. We expect to continue bringing retailers into the network as the importance of reaching consumers at the point-of-purchase becomes even more critical. Also, convincing advertisers that in-store audio is effective and a useful tool for driving sales is challenging — but we have many of the “big guys” using POP Radio and see significant growth opportunities for ad revenue.
What are some of POP Radio’s biggest successes?
Fixing the business soon after we bought the company was very important. Our first major achievement was making the network 100% digital with no tape delivery and no store involvement in the delivery of messages. This gives us virtually 100% compliance and the ability to quickly change messages — down to the store level. Our second major success was measuring our audience in a manner that was accepted by the media world — including the major ad agencies. This resulted in several significant buys on POP Radio that were completely based on reaching target audiences and GRP’s.
What’s next for POP Radio?
That’s simple. Growth in retail coverage — including new classes of trade — and growth in converting advertisers to POP Radio. The combination of these two will result in very successful advertising campaigns for our advertisers, incremental sales of advertised brands for our retail partners and increased profitability for POP Radio.
For more information, check out the POP Radio Web site.

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