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Durham’s Smart Media in screens deal to track passers-by

DURHAM-based Smart Media Group, which has a network of 300 screens across the UK,  has signed a new partnership with tech business Data Jam, that will allow it to count the number of passers-by at any given time.

Data Jam provides small boxes, known as Jam Boxes, that are fitted to Smart screens, that enable the company to more accurately count the audience of its digital OOH screens in real-time.

The Jam Boxes identify foot and vehicular traffic passing by the screens, and feed that data into reports that allow Smart Outdoor to help its customers understand the true reach of the ads it serves and create more targeted campaigns to reach its clients.

The deal represents Data Jam’s first UK partnership with a media owner. It is thought to be the first time an OOH provider has been able to gather such accurate data, with Smart Outdoor utilising the technology across a number of its large digital screens, including those at Felling, the Tyne Tunnel and Newcastle.

Mark Catterall, chief executive of Smart Media Group, said: “This is a brilliant partnership that represents a truly unique opportunity to understand the actual impact of the campaigns we deliver for clients.

“The ethos of all Smart Media Group businesses is to use accurate data and insights to help us deliver the best possible value for money for our clients, and innovation such as this will achieve just that.

“We’re proud to have struck up a relationship with a hugely innovative global firm that will allow us to demonstrate to clients the return on investment for their campaigns, and we look forward to building on the early success of this partnership throughout 2022.”

This is the first time Data Jam’s Jam Boxes have been used in this way.

Arran Javed, founder of Data Jam, said: “We are excited to be working with such a forward-thinking company. Our Jam Boxes will unlock the true potential of the Smart Outdoor estate, by not only giving them and their clients a better understanding of the true numbers their inventory delivers, but will also provide real-time live audience data.

“We live in an ever-changing world, and it has never been more difficult to understand the out-of-home audience, as no two days are the same. What is an average Tuesday these days?! With this partnership, Smart will fully understand the movement of those passing their screens.”

Use of the technology will allow Smart to tailor packages to clients, providing the opportunity for them to opt to place their ads at times of high impact, based on accurate insights provided in real-time.

Mr Catterall added: “This really does build on our commitment to be the smartest possible provider of outdoor advertising, giving our customers rich data and insight that allows them to achieve the greatest possible advantage from their campaigns.”

Smart Outdoor is one of five companies that are either fully or part-owned by Mark Catterall, who founded Smart Media Group in 2019. Connected by a commitment to support clients with insight-led solutions and a customer-focused approach, the group also includes Smart Media, which offers media buying services across the UK and internationally; Smart Vision, which provides digital screens for hire for events; Smart Communications, launched in 2021 and Smart Sanitiser, which integrates digital screens into sanitisation stations.


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