This strategy involved increasing occupancy and yield on traditional sites as well as driving the market by putting in place a clear plan to pitch for business from other areas of media.
The strategy has paid off: the company is now number one in outdoor based on revenue for 2008, with an 8 per cent growth in business, against a backdrop of a 1.2 per cent decline in the market overall.
CBS Outdoor says that this has been achieved partly through a rise in Underground sales and National Rail sites. Bus advertising has also been a growth area after a project launched by the sales team called The Road To Enlightenment, a UK-wide survey on attitudes to bus advertising. The insights provided by this helped CBS Outdoor reposition the bus advertising proposition under the banner Up Everyone's Street and hence drive up revenues.
However, it was not just about maintaining occupancy and yield. Digital revenues have grown more than threefold, after investment in digital escalator panels, LCD screens and cross-track projection.
New clients to outdoor have included Fiat, Camelot and Orangina, while sponsorship has seen a rise in revenue as brands such as Ikea, thelondonpaper and Capital Radio have sought to reach commuters through innovations such as the busker sponsorship and branded Tube pass wallets.
The other way in which CBS Outdoor attempted to reach its goal of number one was by sparking the interest of creative agencies. This has been achieved through marketing initiatives such as the Underground Writer competition, which asked for long copy ads for TCP sites. The result was a £2 million increase in revenues from this type of site.
CBS Outdoor says that the growth achieved by its team has helped the outdoor market overall to avoid falling in to a sales decline. Instead of taking the fight to other outdoor contractors, it has focused on getting advertisers to shift budgets away from TV, encouraging FMCG and motor advertisers to invest in bus advertising, and using online and tactical press to build on the flexibility of the digital formats.
- Clear Channel Outdoor.