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The Critical Need for Competitive Spending Information

Date: April 02, 2004



 Guest Columnist: Monica Denney

What is the competition doing? What markets are they in? What outdoor forms are they using? These are common questions consistently asked by our clients, yet we often can’t provide them with concrete answers. As an industry we are falling short in providing outstanding service to our clients when we don’t give them accurate data to build their marketing plans.


As a media management company we are dedicated to providing quality outdoor planning and buying services to our customers. Part of that service is providing information on competitive activity. Our customers benefit from knowing what media forms, weight levels, markets, and rate card value their direct competitors are purchasing.


Competitive spending information is vital data. It can be used as a benchmarking tool as well as a guide when comparing marketing strategies to make critical decisions on outdoor advertising spending. This competitive information can help clients determine how much outdoor activity they should place to either stay competitive in a market or to be the dominate user in their category. Without this information, advertisers venture blindly into an unknown media landscape and this can cause them to eliminate outdoor from a plan. Incomplete competitive spending reports won’t entice advertisers to use outdoor, but it can motivate them to cancel their outdoor programs.


As an industry, we need to put forth a collaborative effort to give our clients the information they need to help them better evaluate outdoor opportunities. Every outdoor company should be providing revenue figures to CMR and Nielsen Monitor-Plus. It can be an arduous task and someone at each outdoor company needs to take responsibility making sure the reports are filed on-time. No company is too small because the revenue adds up. Whether a company offers billboards or other outdoor formats, reporting is everyone’s responsibility. Accurate competitive spending reports are something that advertisers expect from a mature and primary medium. Without this information, outdoor could be relegated to fringe media status. Don’t let that happen. Report!


Monica Denney is a Managing Partner with Outdoor Media Group (OMG), an outdoor buying and planning specialist organization.


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