COMB and OMAC become COMMB

The new industry organization will embark on a year-long study of OOH data in Vancouver and Toronto.

The Out Of Home Marketing Association of Canada (OMAC) and the Canadian Out of Home Measurement Bureau (COMB) have officially combined to become COMMB, the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau.

The two organizations were already affiliated, serving as two separate arms –┬ámarketing and measurement, respectively – of the same trade organization. But Rosanne Caron, now president of COMMB, said the practices are so crucial to one another that it came time to combine them under a single mandate.

“In this industry, your measurement is your currency,” she said. “That’s what you’re traded on and what you’re marketed on.”

The two organizations’ various certification and education programs will be integrated under the new operation, as well as their research on effectiveness and ROI.

COMMB’s first major initiative as a combined organization will a year-long pilot study looking at more than 16,000 faces in Toronto and Vancouver to better measure OOH effectiveness.

On top of integrating municipal traffic counts (which the former COMB already used), the study will integrate travel surveys and mobile data.

“I think for the last 50 years, we’ve done a good job of providing quantitative information, and numbers will always be important,” said Caron. “But if you have a billboard at, say, Yonge and Dundas Square, you can maybe get demographic data from the people who live near there, but that’s not everything. We haven’t been able to give a full profile of the people passing by.”

Caron said if all goes well, the data provided will be far more rich and complex. “Everything is about location, but we’d like to be able to provide that data with respect to audience profiles. Who are these people? Do they rent or own their home? What’s their income? What’s their age? Are they fashion conscious? What are their social values?”

Results for the study are expected by the end of 2018.