Why the team behind the all-new City of Sydney Street Furniture network is smashing the idea that if you ‘build it and they will come’ and seeing the world more like a start-up.
Having spent the last 10 years in the start-up sector, the lure of building the all-new City of Sydney advertising proposition was too good to pass up. How often do you get a chance to reinvent something that has enjoyed strong demand, been built on well-established conventions and dominated a high value geography? How do you even approach reinvention of an already well-utilised product? The answer has to be, like a start-up.
While it could be argued that something with a valuable, validated market isn’t a start-up, the best innovative businesses, here and across the world, use the science of start-up and design thinking to innovate and grow their businesses. Finding the right connection point between desirability, feasibility and viability is the key to success. That science has played a key role in shaping the next horizon for the City of Sydney Street Furniture network.
You could say that right now, the out of home sector is in a renaissance. After the hardship spurred by the pandemic, we’re quickly starting to see years of investment in research and development come to fruition in the form of rapid advancement in digitisation and the connection of new data sources to inventory. Digital out of home already represents 61%* of the Australian industry and it’s moving fast, opening up significant opportunity for brands and out of home media companies.
For brands, digitisation that is underpinned by smarter data and insights means better targeting, greater transparency, improved measurement and advanced models of buying, including the increasing take up of programmatic. In other words, the eco-system is exploding with opportunity.
Boom. What cleaner pathway to opportunity is there than re-building the City of Sydney Street Furniture network from the ground up; predominantly digital, data-enabled, utilising the latest technology, and driven by the principles of sustainability and equal access for all?
But what is feasible today is only one lens. What is desirable is where the gold lies.
Desirability is almost more important than what’s possible. Spending time talking to customers is something start-ups excel at because not doing so can mean the difference between success and failure. Today, it’s true of every business bringing new innovations to market. We spent many months talking to agencies and advertisers about the City of Sydney to understand what was important and desirable.
Three themes came up repeatedly
- The importance of data intelligence
- Improved impact and effectiveness while being easy-to-buy, and
- Responsibility and sustainability
We are taking full advantage of the opportunity to deliver the City of Sydney network in a way that leverages the advancement of data, fully realised through a network that will have 10 times more digital and coverage across all City of Sydney suburbs, not just the 2000 postcode.
By integrating powerful new GPS and transactional spending data sets with our DYNAMiQ audience and insights platform, we are re-powering the way the City of Sydney can be harnessed by advertisers to better target the 2.6 million people the network reaches every week.
Having the data is good. Using it to ignite campaigns and drive momentum is better.
Data is key to how we deliver on the second most important need for advertisers and agencies; increased effectiveness through better targeting, optimised weights while being easy to buy.
We are delivering a suite of packs that utilise diverse data sets to deliver right across the marketing funnel. The process of analysing and curating the City of Sydney portfolio of sites is complex and time consuming. We are building a deep, comprehensive profile of every site and doing the work to make planning and buying the network seamless for advertisers.
Broadcasts Packs deliver awareness through strong reach and frequency. Activation Packs, including consecutive formats, digital panel takeovers and full network category domination deliver impact to drive consideration. Theme Packs, like our Socially Conscious Pack, delivers greater resonance in the right context, while our Category Packs get closer to key in-market segments and purchase moments.
Advertisers will also be able to enhance their campaigns programmatically on a scale that has never been seen before in this geography, something the market has strongly advocated for.
Most importantly, we must meet the expectations of today’s marketers and agencies for responsible and sustainable practices.
With the introduction of new industry standards, the first way we contribute responsibly to the industry is to align with the outcomes the industry defines in the spirit of transparency, simplicity and measurement accuracy across the eco-system. We will deliver to the truest interpretation of the industry standards because we believe that builds trust and a stronger out of home sector, poised for growth.
We’re also conscious that transparency and accountability extends beyond our industry. Equality, inclusion and sustainability are top of mind for us, our agency partners and Australian businesses – and we have ensured that the all-new City of Sydney Street Furniture network rises to this challenge.
Designed by world-renowned architects, Grimshaw, and built on a philosophy of equal access for all, the new network complies with the Disability Discrimination Act and the Inclusiveness Standards.
The infrastructure is built with sustainable materials and smart technology, like the inclusion of ceramic frits in transparent bus shelter ceilings which allows commuters to take in beauty of Sydney’s heritage buildings and green parks while cutting out 80% of the sun’s heat. The materials are responsibly sourced, utilise low energy LED lighting and other energy saving features and most importantly have been selected for their high recyclability.
Finally, new communications panels will be installed and enabled with interactive touch screens and ergonomic designs for the visually impaired to make way finding the easiest it has ever been.
Our City of Sydney network rolls out from December this year. We are approaching it with great excitement, but we can’t expect to ‘build it and they will come’ just because it’s been there before. To be ready for the future, and successful now, we need to respond to our customers’ needs today and tomorrow. We need to be ready to adapt and evolve, just like a start-up.
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