Travel data analyst ForwardKeys and its longstanding partner PSI Advertising are combining to present a session at the Summit of the Americas this week (6 April) which will give insights into the travel recovery of the region and the opportunities to target native audiences with OOH advertising. The VP of Insights from ForwardKeys, Olivier Ponti, and Ben Milne, the MD of PSI OOH Agency were interviewed in the lead-up by Mark Lane from The Moodie Davitt Report. 


 1. What stands out for you about ForwardKeys as a travel data analytics company?

Ben Milne: PSI has been on a long journey to develop a global intelligence platform that will provide our clients with increasing levels of insight on what people think, do, and feel when navigating the media landscape. The need to work with partners who are able to provide accurate, scalable, and up-to-date data has never been more vital in demystifying the way that diverse audiences travel the world.

ForwardKeys is a partner that is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in travel intelligence and audience understanding. Their flexible and collaborative nature means that they offer market-leading products and services that are customised to PSI’s challenges and which has resulted in a successful four-year partnership.

2. How do you see the data being generated by ForwardKeys being useful in the context of out-of-home advertising and generating opportunities and targets for the PSI business? 

ForwardKeys’ data gives us a view of what we can expect in terms of the recovery in audiences in the airport environment and in travel. This is useful in the context of OOH advertising as it highlights which countries, cities, airports, and even terminals are going to be most valuable to reach the growing travel audience. It helps inform our targeting choices and investment strategies.

It also helps us understand which origin/destination pairs and nationalities of travellers are viable and valuable in terms of media opportunities throughout the entire global travel corridor including at OOH touchpoints in the origin and destination markets.

3. Can you tell us about something you are keen to see take off in the Americas in terms of advertising?

This is a difficult one to answer as each market in America is quite different and there are different sets of challenges. The work the OAAA and Geopath are doing in the US for example is fantastic at driving forward the cutting edge in OOH, especially in the areas of regulation and measurement.

In less developed markets there are more fundamental challenges to crack still like standardisation and audience measurement. One uniform challenge being addressed across the Americas right now is the issue of how to ensure successful implementation of automation and programmatic technologies to bring the benefits that these can deliver to brands looking to access audiences in different ways in the medium.

We are very excited about the potential that this area has to grow – there is a lot of noise out there in this arena but so far the work hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, although it is getting there. I would expect at some point we will be seeing headlines like “202X is the year of programmatic OOH” as we did with mobile a decade ago – it’s definitely one to watch.

1. When looking at your data at ForwardKeys for this presentation on the Americas, did anything take you by surprise?

Olivier Ponti: During the research phase of this presentation, I was impressed by the continued resilience of Florida. From turbulent national elections, the rampage of COVID-19 through the US, and travel restrictions – Florida has held on to its position as the top domestic leisure haven. Miami is still doing well for international departures too.

2. What three things would you share as “hot tips” to travel retailers and brands looking at the Americas for new business opportunities? 

The pandemic can be seen both negatively and positively. What we once knew, does not apply anymore. It’s time for travel organisations and businesses to think outside the box and replace intuition with data. That’s tip one.

Tip two is that the passenger profile is evolving just like the crisis. For instance, did you know that solo travellers are now travelling more frequently to the Dominican Republic, not honeymooners? Or that in the Maldives a growing number of families flying in business class or first class are landing from Russia and the UAE? Are you equipped for these changes?

Lastly, ask yourself, is your outdoor advertising located in the right place for the right audience?

3. What can we expect from your joint presentation with PSI at the Summit of the Americas? 

We hope to leave our audience optimistic and allow them to take away new business ideas that soon become actions. In our presentation not only will we be revealing new pockets of opportunities in domestic US travel but also regional travel, particularly to the Caribbean.

Yes, we have a global pandemic, which is absolutely challenging, but we also can see improvements made by some governments and airlines in terms of seat capacity and travel restrictions.

Read the full story on The Moodie Davitt Report website and register to attend the presentation at 8 pm GMT, April 6.



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