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Patrick Quinn, CEO
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Patrick Quinn, CEO's Blog

President/CEO of PQ Media, founded the firm in 2002 following a distinguished career as a media consultant, market analyst, and award-winning journalist.

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Good afternoon and sorry for my extended absence from the PQ Medianomics Blog.  My absence has been nothing more than a lack of time to make a good entry because of PQM's recent release of several exciting new syndicated reports (with several more to come this year) and the various invitations I've received from event marketers to present these findings at presitigious events, such as the Strategy Institute's Digital Media & Measurement Conference in NYC, ExpoNation's Digital Signage Expo in Vegas and this week's IPDI Political Online Conference in Washington.  Today, I will focus on the accelerating excitement building in the digital out-of-home media space, the challeneges this industry faces, and the focus this industry needs and is accepting for more and better data and measurement.  This will be one of the key drivers of the industry's growth going forward. 

First, the excitement building around the opportunities in the digital out-of-home media space was palpable in Las Vegas last week.  The sheer enormity of new technology presented on the trade show floor was evidence of that, and change is coming fast, as in just a couple years we've gone from new at-road digital billboards to touchscreen technology in bars & restuarants to wave technology in various retail and transit locations.  Another key trend: big technology companies have jumped into the sector full force, from Samsung and Sony to Microsoft and Cisco.  The excitement also has not been deterred by a slowing economy for several reasons, chief among them being that digital OOH advertising is becoming a last-mile, point-of-purchase sales tool for products, ostensibly placing it in the lead gen category - as opposed to the branding category - during an economic downturn.  What's more, major brands are pressuring their agencies to take a closer look at the digital OOH sector, particularly the new platforms reaching increasingly elusive consumers in retail outlets, transit hubs, offices, entertainment venues and theaters.  These are some of the key drivers behind PQ Media's exclusive digital OOH media research, which forecasts double-digit growth in the digital OOH segment over the next several years.  However, another key assumption behind our forecast (see "Alternative Out-of-Home Media Forecast 2007-11 in the research section of this site), was that this industry would address the challenge it faces with respect to demand from brands, and particularly their agencies, for more and better research, data and measurement on the effectiveness of DOOH advertising.  This will be key to the sector's growth going forward and, in my opinion, one speaker did a fantastic job of pointing out this reality during a session last Wednesday. 

During a session titled "OOH Research Results - New Insights and Trends," Jack Sullivan, SVP/OOH media director @ Starcom Worldwide, offered a poignant and honest perspective on the struggle this emerging industry faces in relation to the brand-agency-media relationship that has existed for decades.  In short, this industry, like other alternative media platforms, is up against entrenched business models and relationships that favor traditional media, particualrly broadcast TV, when it comes to allocating dollars toward a media mix. 

In his own words, Jack said: "Be patient with us agencies.  We've been in traditional media for a long time.  Our whole model is based on old media, and broadcast TV in particular.  But our clients are demanding changes.  It's not happening as fast as you would like, but I believe the tipping point is very near."

To this, one audience member replied with the query: "Why should we be patient with the agencies?  Why don't we just bypass the agencies and go directly to the brands?"  To which Jack replied: "It's likely that the agency is going to be at the table one way or the other, so you may not want to damage an agency relationship in your drive to reach the brand with your message.  So, I don't know how patient you should be, but be patient.  Clients are looking for escape plans from broadcast TV, but they need more info.  And this industry still has fragmented research and lacks standard metrics."

Bravo to Jack for this response.  His sentiments were echoed later during another session when a digital OOH media company rep asked panelists how important standards, metrics and new research technology, such as eye dwell, eye gaze and other engagement tools, were to the future of the industry.  To a person they said very important. 

Now, I put these questions to you: How important are standard metrics, new engagement tools and a strategy for pitching agencies and brands on the opportunities afforded by digital OOH media?  How long will it take agencies to break out of their traditional mass media mentality and begin to shift large swaths of ad dollars toward digtial OOH and other new media, besides Internet display and search?  How important will it be for digitial OOH networks to offer clustering options to advertisers going forward?  Let me know your thoughts on these and other issues you believe are important to the future of the alternative OOH media sector.  I look forward to hearing from you.  

Political Media Buying 2008

Thursday, January 3. 2008

: Media Industry

Media Cos. Were the Big Winners in the Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Caucuses just ended and chief executives at many media companies across the state have a wide grin. While spending on television neared $1 million a day, other media segments including cable, radio, newspapers, direct mail, public relations, and event marketing also saw dramatic increases in political media spending according to PQ Media's recently released report, Political Media Buying 2008, which will be updated in October with real-time campaign spending data.

Of note is the absence thus far of substantial Internet advertising expenditures. While some candidates did budget display and online video ads during the Iowa Caucuses, the Internet remained primarily a national ad medium that is not conducive to local political campaigns, with the online platforms of traditional media companies, such as newspaper websites, receiving the lion’s share of ad revenues. Instead, candidates are using the Internet to expand their fundraising capabilities and to gain exposure to niche audiences that are not heavy TV users, such as the youth market and influential political opinion leaders.

In January and February, media companies in other states with early primaries, such as New Hampshire and South Carolina, will begin to reap the fortunes of record-breaking fundraising. While broadcast television will remain the primary choice for all candidates, it will only represent a little over one-half of all political media buying according to analysis by our proprietary PQ Medianomics™ methodology and mapping system. For example, direct mail spending, the second most popular media option, was already reaching close to $500,000 a day by mid-December, with campaigns spending robustly on other marketing strategies like promotional products and event marketing. Concurrently, broadcast television ad inventories will become tight in these states, causing campaign managers to shift ad dollars to other traditional ad media, such as newspapers, radio, cable TV, and out-of-home. This phenomenon will continue during the next six to 12 weeks until each party has identified a clear choice for the November elections.

Do you think campaign managers will shift more dollars online? Will political media spending break $100 million during the primaries? Let us know your thoughts.

What's old is new again...

Friday, November 30. 2007

That's what our research analysts, myself included, now believe after months researching the first-ever PQ Media Word-of-Mouth Marketing Forecast 2007-2011.

Let me step back a minute. In May of this year, I returned from an off-shore marketing cruise where I met one-on-one with dozens of major brand marketers over two intense days of networking. Every one of them told me they needed to find a way to leverage word-of-mouth marketing to build their brands, but the key research to help their decision-making was nowhere to be found. While we had done some preliminary word-of-mouth research in the course of our work on the VSS Communications Industry Forecast, these collective insights convinced us the time was right to launch a major research effort in the word-of-mouth marketing space. In the process we discovered a dynamic and rapidly growing industry, grounded in research and technology, with enough size and structure to command real attention.


Continue reading "What's old is new again..."

Last week, it was my pleasure to deliver the kick-off presentation and to moderate an all-star panel of media industry opinion leaders at Media Magazine’s Forecast08 Conference in New York. The event at the Yale Club played to a full house of high-level execs at media companies, agencies and financial institutions. I shared with the audience my views on the reaction to recent TNS and Nielsen data indicating a decline in traditional advertising spending, which fueled various news reports and headlines like “Ad Industry in Recession” and “Media Industry Slumps into Recession.” When I asked the audience to raise their hands if they believe the media industry is in recession, I was struck when only two hands went up. I congratulated my audience on being so confident and for “not believing everything you read, because you’re absolutely right, we’re not in a media recession.” (Media Recession. Show Me The Data!) As the leading provider of custom media econometrics and the only firm to track the entire media landscape, PQ Media spots key trends, provides actionable data and forecasts outcomes, providing a strategic tool for industry leaders to navigate the rapidly changing marketplace. Millions of media dollars continue to migrate to unmeasured alternative media, a category PQ Media pioneered and has tracked for years. Our goal is to provide necessary strategic intelligence and to be forecast-accurate, not to be rear-view-mirror oriented and focused on snapshots in time.

With this in mind, I invite you to post to our blog. Share with our audience what you believe it will take to increase the speed of adoption and media spending in the alternative advertising and marketing sector. An entire industry wants to know.

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