Roadside billboards have stood the test of time, gracing our highways and byways for decades as one of the earliest formats of out-of-home advertising. Through the years, this medium has undergone significant transformations. What was once static-only inventory has evolved into a dynamic digital screen media proposition, revolutionizing the way messages are conveyed to passersby.
MAGNA and Rapport’s global survey on out-of-home (OOH) trends for 2022 reported that roadside billboards represent over half of total revenue in OOH and expect them to remain the dominant OOH format in the next few years. This is because roadside digital OOH can reach huge audiences to build brand awareness and target incremental audiences in specific locations.
i-Media, an OOH media owner based in the United Kingdom, can testify to the popularity of its screens, which can be found throughout the Motorway Services Area (MSA) network across the UK. To support demand, they have transformed sites into a substantial digital network. This wouldn’t have been possible without the right technology stack that is capable of growing with their business.
To better understand i-Media’s success, we sat down with their Head of Digital Delivery, Martyn Perrie, whose department is responsible for all campaign deliveries, on how using the Broadsign Platform – and Salesforce integrator Brysa – allowed them to increase their operational efficiency by 40%.
Providing advertisers with mass visibility to a diverse audience
Founded in 1995, i-Media is a leader in the motorway advertising space and provides advertisers with unique, innovative and sustainable OOH solutions. Present in over 130 MSAs, advertisers can target a diverse set of audiences on the move that stop to refuel and recharge.
With extensive amenities on-site, many franchises use i-Media’s screens to drive traffic to their restaurants and shops. National and regional advertisers also benefit from their network to promote their services and products to target customers on the move.
Audiences have been growing consistently in recent years and the business is thriving. In recent months, a notable way i-Media is pioneering how advertisers can target their audiences on-the-go is by leveraging ANPR (automated number plate recognition) cameras on entry to the MSA to dynamically deliver ads to pre-selected target audiences.
How the Broadsign Platform allowed i-Media to rapidly scale their network
Over the past year, i-Media went from having 50 full-motion D48 screens to 120, and soon to reach 130, a large-format screen at every location. They have also installed over 500 digital 6-sheets, large-format DOOH posters, meaning a total collective digital inventory of 650 screens.
With just 50 screens initially, campaigns were managed manually through an oversized spreadsheet. However, this was no longer feasible as the network grew significantly from 50 to over 600 screens within a year and a half. Requiring a robust system that could automate the content schedule and management of campaigns for their vast network, i-Media onboarded their full network onto the Broadsign Platform.
Primarily using Broadsign’s campaign planning and content & network management solutions, i-Media has been able to automate key operational processes that have not only helped them maximize the fill rates of their screens, but also optimize the use of their entire network.
One feature they heavily rely on is Broadsign’s Dynamic Rebalancing which modifies the pace at which a campaign is delivered. It will speed up or slow down campaign delivery to help under- or over-performing campaigns to stay on target to meet the campaign objective.
As Martyn Perrie, Head of Digital Delivery at i-media confirms, “When our inventory was managed through a spreadsheet, we were continually reshuffling campaigns manually to try and maximize our digital inventory. With Broadsign, everything is done automatically. We add the screens and campaign parameters, and everything is organized for us at the click of a button.”
Another useful feature they use is Screen Reallocation. This is particularly useful when an incoming request for an advertiser requires a screen that is already booked by another campaign. Broadsign will automatically reorganize how screens are allocated to each campaign, whilst ensuring that newly allocated screens still fit campaign requirements.
How Brysa seamlessly connected i-Media’s technology stack to boost efficiency
Using Salesforce for its customer relationship management (CRM) system, i-Media’s sales team typically book and manage all of their customers’ campaigns directly through the Salesforce platform. Once booked, the campaigns would then have to be manually scheduled onto the Broadsign Platform. As their network grew, scheduling the campaigns manually was no longer feasible. So they enlisted the help of Brysa, a UK-based Salesforce partner specializing in management services, to connect their CRM to the Broadsign Platform.
By leveraging Broadsign’s API capabilities, Brysa was able to seamlessly integrate Salesforce with i-Media’s campaign management workflow. This integration enables i-Media’s sales team to build campaigns within the CRM, which are then simultaneously booked and scheduled directly within the Broadsign Platform. Cutting down the work that previously took three people to implement, i-Media was able to increase its operational efficiency by 40%. The real-time sync between Salesforce and Broadsign also gives sales teams immediate insight into what inventory is available, allowing them to reduce turnaround time for briefs to advertisers and agencies.
While Broadsign has enabled i-Media to automate most processes, the added synchronisation between the Broadsign Platform and Salesforce has allowed i-Media to use their technology stack at its full potential. As the MSA media owner continues its transformation, it can do so with confidence as its technology stack seamlessly scales with their business.