New OOH trade association replaces COMB and OMAC in Canada

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Canadian Out-of-Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB) is a new trade body that replaces both COMB (former OOH measurement arm) and OMAC, the Out-of-home Marketing Association of Canada.

I spoke to Rosanne Caron, President of newly formed COMMB.

Why did you decide to merge COMB and OMAC into one industry body?

The change was imminent. The evolution started a couple of years ago when I took over the helm of COMB in addition to my role as President of OMAC. We developed an OOH Certification program which integrated OOH planning resources and knowledge from both associations. Marketing and measurement go hand in hand, and it seemed like the right time to make the organizational change.

What are your new association’s immediate plans?

Our first big initiative is a large-scale pilot research of OOH audience data planned for 2018 and funded by COMMB members. The study will integrate mobile data, municipal traffic counts and travel surveys to provide a wealth of audience data that was not previously available. This is phase one of a three-year plan to obtain granular audience information at the location level for outdoor and street level advertising.

The pilot study will be conducted in Toronto and Vancouver, surveying over 16,000 OOH faces.

Our goal is to collect both quantitative and qualitative audience data at the location level that shows how out-of-home advertising reaches a specific target demographic. Mobile data will be used to create audience profiles (demos, social values, income bracket info) of people going by an actual location. The new dataset will include speed and audience by daypart for digital OOH and more comprehensive information on travel patterns within a market.

The changes in Canada’s OOH trade body structure reflect the dramatic transformation of the out-of-home advertising industry. New measurement methodologies and planning tools are now required to support its continued growth.

In the past few years a wealth of data have become available that can help us better measure and understand OOH’s audience. The measurement of OOH advertising will become much more granular which will allow the industry to better compete in a digital world.

How is out-of-home media is bought today and what must change to make OOH advertising a core media buy?

Total audience numbers are still important but there seems to be a shift to more demographic profile-based planning. For example, a billboard location may not have a high circulation but the profile of the people going by the location are desirable. In the past, that billboard might not have been considered because of its low circulation but today, with new audience information, it might be more valuable than previously thought.

Better audience measurement is essential – it will help to demonstrate the value of OOH.

In addition, COMMB is working with its members to streamline the communication with planners to make it easier to plan OOH.

About COMMB.

COMMB is the national organization for the Canadian OOH industry comprised of advertisers, advertising agencies and OOH companies. COMMB is responsible for developing and verifying audience measurement methodologies, providing audience data and planning resources, marketing and communications, government relations and member services.

Logo of COMMB - Canadian OOH Marketing and Measurement Bureau

Canadian Out-of-Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau