Rosie Merrell, marketing & communications director, Limited Space writes…
Many eyes in the UK are currently focused on the retail sector. As the most visible barometer of consumer confidence and a tangible indicator of the economy as a whole, the act of stimulating retail sales is key in times of recession. Another aspect of this sector is soon to attract eyeballs given a shopping centre is likely to be, for many, the gateway to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The combination of a struggling economy and numerous overseas visitors is likely to be an attractive one for the nation’s shopkeepers.
A Visa report has indeed suggested that consumer spending could increase by £750 million over the seven weeks of the Olympics, with international visitors alone expected to spend £709 million – 18% more than if they were simply travelling here for a typical holiday. Of this spend, high street and mall retailers are expected to cash in an additional £108 million. It is logical to expect that much of this spend will be concentrated around the Olympic site and central London, with major shopping centres poised to reap the rewards.
Which begs the question – how to best influence this spending? One answer, especially for transient shoppers like Olympics tourists, would be to advertise directly in those areas where people will be looking to spend, like the shopping malls themselves. For many marketers this platform often provides a “last chance to see” advertising boost to their campaigns directly in the space where shoppers are poised to spend and most consider their purchases. However during the Olympic weeks this space can also provide a valuable visual stimulus for campaigns to which overseas visitors may not have been exposed.
Recent Outdoor Media Centre research has found that Out Of Home advertising has the ability to influence each stage of the consumer purchase planning process, whether on its own or in conjunction with other media. Its ability to raise awareness and key placement location of shopping centres themselves can directly influence purchase decisions. The fact that Out-Of-Home by its very nature is often all around consumers during their physical shopping journeys is a central one: the last medium encountered before passing through the shop doors in an ideal position to influence purchase decisions.
However it’s also important to remember that Out-Of-Home is also influencing and informing other journeys, and this exposure can feed into other platforms including online search terms and multichannel retailing as well as physical store interactions. The influence of out-of-home eyeballs can be wide-ranging.
Looking specifically at the shopping centre environment, our findings have discovered that our mall campaigns can stimulate a 70 per cent increase in propensity to purchase, along with a 74 per cent increase in brand endorsement. In terms of stimulating an appetite to find out more about an advertised product or service, outdoor has been found by the OMC to increase consideration amongst 72 per cent of shoppers, while it directly increases propensity to buy amongst 59 per cent. Even in a crowded branding environment like the Games with 26 brands associated together as Worldwide Olympic partners, London 2012 Olympic Partners and London 2012 Olympics Supporters, not to mention 28 further Olympic providers and suppliers, creative executions and unique engaging platforms like our Adlift or interactive AdHD showcases have the potential for real, long-lasting impact with shoppers both homegrown and overseas.
As many eyeballs train on East London and the brands associated with the upcoming Games, I firmly believe it will also be outdoor advertising which takes centre stage. And for those retailers and companies looking to make an impact and access the additional money flooding into London this summer, a presence in the very place where these purchases will transact may set the gold standard.
Rosie Merrell, Marketing & Communications Director
Rosie Merrell started her career in Outdoor in 2000 as a media planner for Outdoor Connection, before moving to a position within Kinetic’s outdoor team at Mindshare, managing a £14m portfolio that included Ford, BP and Nike where she also gained valuable insight into agency planning. In 2006, Rosie joined Limited Space as Marketing & Research Manager where she created the company’s first phase media, product infrastructure and client handling policies, whist establishing the brand and marketing strategy that supported its positioning as a premium mall media owner.
As Marketing Director she is now responsible for overseeing all marketing solutions, branding, PR and client servicing. Another key responsibility includes the planning and implementation of Limited Spaces research strategy, where Rosie instigated a research plan that has resulted in a solid understanding of the company’s product performance, as well as wider media onsumption and the shopper journey within the mall environment.
About Limited Space
Founded in 2002 by Matt Gordon and Samantha Sida, Limited Space has grown into an established national media player in the out-of-home market. It offers a range of high-impact, premium advertising formats in over 80 of the UK’s most prestigious locations – including The Metro Centre, The Bullring, Highcross and Bluewater.
Limited Space has partnered with some of the top creative and media agencies and prestigious brands -including , 20th Century Fox, Dior and Sony Ericsson – to help deliver innovative, targeted and highly creative advertising campaigns with some of the longest consumer ‘dwell’ times and unprompted recall figures in the industry.