Clear Channel debuts system to track response to billboards
- Clear Channel Outdoor Americas has unveiled a system that tracks consumer response to outdoor advertising.
- The company’s RADAR system accesses mobile signals in the vicinity of a billboard to determine if people in the area buy or research the product advertised.
- Clear Channel analyzes the resulting data in partnership with AT&T Data Patterns and analytics companies Placed and PlaceIQ. The RADAR system anonymizes data to protect consumers’ identities.
Analytics are coming to outdoor advertising with Clear Channel’s development of a tool that can tell when consumers near a billboard buy the product, research it on their phones or discuss it with friends by analyzing mobile signals. Clear Channel says that data is aggregated and anonymized so that it can’t discern specific consumers’ locations and activities—only conversion information.
The outdoor giant, a division of iHeartMedia, is partnering with AT&T Data Patterns, Placed and PlaceIQ to track the consumer data. Testing with the socially conscious shoe company Toms indicated that viewers of a digital outdoor ad were 44% more likely to buy a pair of shoes.
Such granular data, however, raises the question of how far mobile-assisted tracking can reach before it becomes surveillance—or just how “creepy” companies using that data can be. Media companies are researching a number of futuristic ways to measure interest and intent, including the BBC’s facial response technology and Facebook’s eye tracking.