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Customer

Ocean Outdoor

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Overview

Ocean Outdoor is the United Kingdom’s premier digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising provider. The company’s presence stretches across the nation in large cities throughout the U.K. They have advertisements strategically placed in some of U.K.’s most heavily trafficked and iconic locales, including Piccadilly Circus, Waterloo Station, Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London to name a few. Prime real estate is just one key to Ocean Outdoor’s success, though. From its earliest days, the organization has flexed its deep understanding of the public’s response to advertising to inform and guide clients’ digital advertising.

Goals

Improve customer satisfaction

Accelerate innovation

De-risk decisions

Digital Advertising Views Dry Up After Lockdown

In March 2020, the U.K. government instituted a lockdown to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Ocean Outdoor’s strong business model is built on the knowledge that people visit high-volume areas like shopping centres, city centres and spend a considerable time out of home. When the UK's national lockdown was introduced, Ocean Outdoor knew consumers’ attitudes, behaviours and movements would considerably change. This is why they placed a strong focus on understanding these new behaviours and habits, to help continuously inform and further educate the industry as well as clients and contacts.

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Delivering More Value to Clients With Deep Customer Insights

In the face of this unforeseen situation, Ocean Outdoor double-downed on its customer insight strategy. If it couldn’t deliver as large of an audience to its clients, the company would focus on making every advertising interaction count. By providing in-depth insight into the potential customers who would view their advertisements, Ocean Outdoor is able to help clients create more targeted and effective digital advertisements. In taking this approach, Ocean Outdoor has been able to take what should have been a devastating blow to its core business and turn it into an opportunity to forge stronger relationships with clients.

Ocean Outdoor’s customer insights community, “@ The Local,” is the key to this strategy’s success. Launched April 2020, a month after the lockdown started, @ The Local couldn’t have come at a better time. The community has proven to be a phenomenal conversation starter between Ocean Outdoor and its clients’ most prized customer segments. 

From Day 1, Ocean Outdoor’s insights community focused on the public’s response to COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic had on their lives. Initial surveys covered members’ hopes for the future, how they coped with the disruption to their normal day-to-day routines, their attitudes toward public transportation, the abrupt shift to remote work, future travel plans, and more. These touchpoints gave the company a clear view of how people were handling living under extreme conditions.

With each new survey, Ocean Outdoor dug into different aspects of their members’ lives, checking in on their personal finances, retail shopping activity, use of technology, and outlook for the future. At a time when clients needed, more than ever, to understand how their audience was feeling, Ocean Outdoor had a direct line of communication with those same customer segments.

With those insights in hand, the company embarked on an aggressive six-week sales initiative driven by member surveys and community input. Each week, Ocean Outdoor’s team compiled the latest community research touching on everything from motor-buying trends to entertainment viewing behaviour to leisure activities like going out to restaurants and pubs. The finished reports then compared those findings with trends from before the pandemic to give sales teams — and, as a result, potential clients — a better understanding of how consumers have responded to COVID-19.

By arming its sales team with deep insights into the latest customer sentiments, Ocean Outdoor uplifts client conversations by pivoting from their original offer of high-volume advertising locations to focus on understanding customer behaviour. Ocean Outdoor helps clients de-risk their digital advertising investments, giving them a higher certainty that their message will reach the exact audience segments they want to target.

To date, the deep insights gathered through The Local community has fueled 400 client presentations, meetings, knowledge sessions, and calls. In addition, Ocean Outdoor saved £50,000 by reducing its use of external data to collect consumer insights.  

No matter what the future brings, Ocean Outdoor can adapt — and just as importantly, help its clients adapt — by staying directly connected to consumer sentiment through its insights community.

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“Our community members’ input provided us with multiple ways to engage with and educate the market, reach clients, tell our story, and show what’s happening in the U.K. at this point in time. The success of our six-week sales strategy proved that people were very hungry for the insights we were producing thanks to The Local.”

Monika Tomova, Ocean Outdoor

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