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"GOR Best Practice Award": APG|SGA and LINK receive the 2017 European research prize for their innovative online market research project using beacon technology


Together with the LINK Institut, in the autumn of 2016 APG|SGA Market Research carried out a digital pilot project to research the advertising impact of poster campaigns using beacon technology. On 17 March 2017, this work was awarded the European Research Prize for General Online Research (GOR) by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Online-Forschung e.V. (the German Society for Online Research, DGOF). The "GOR Best Practice Award" recognized the pioneering market research approach: a combination of poster locations, beacons and a proprietary app enabled the impact of poster campaigns to be analysed. Furthermore, for the first time, it was possible to measure the impact of a campaign across the whole media mix.

General Online Research (GOR) is the title of the annual conference organized by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Online-Forschung e.V. (DGOF) to discuss new developments, applications and concepts in online research methods. The "GOR Best Practice Award" is the established highlight of the programme and is presented annually to an outstanding market research concept. The projects are reviewed by an expert jury and assessed for various factors including innovativeness, practical relevance and methodology. The shortlist always features international research projects by renowned institutes, universities and businesses. This year, the joint competition entry "Innovative out of home advertising research using beacons" by APG|SGA and LINK took first place: on 17 March 2017, the "GOR Best Practice Award" was presented to the digital pilot project using beacon technology by Christof Hotz (Head of APG|SGA Market Research) and Beat Fischer (Business Development Manager Digital, LINK Institut). Beacons enabled the investigation of location-specific data on the impact of poster locations and poster campaigns. "The digital results are very promising. The market research findings so far obtained through the Poster Performance Index (PPI) have already been usefully supplemented with the survey at the point of truth. This means we will have an even better understanding of advertising impact in the future," said APG|SGA's Christof Hotz of the pilot project. 

Survey at the point of truth
The pilot project took place between August and November 2016 in the greater Bern area. 550 beacons were erected at poster locations along streets and in stations. 500 test users then downloaded the "LINK Move" app to their smartphone. This app enabled statements to be made as to when and how long somebody stayed in the vicinity of one of the selected poster locations. Subsequent surveys were carried out on the users' smartphones at the point of truth. A total of four poster campaigns were analysed, for CSS Versicherungen, Migros Genossenschaft, Salt Mobile and Swisslos. The measurement provided over 40,000 contacts during the investigation period for each campaign. 
The final evaluation shows that the advertising impact for poster campaigns depends partly on, and is increased by, the contact frequency of passage. There were positive effects in particular on various key performance indicators (KPI) such as recognition, image, purchase intention or purchase for the campaigns and products investigated. For example, the higher the number of poster contacts, the greater the willingness to participate in the advertised lottery (+47%) and the greater the spontaneous recognition of the advertised mobile phone subscription (+66%).

Cross-media effect demonstrated
In a world first, in the test setting it proved possible – by further combining measurement data from other channels such as online and TV – to measure out-of-home campaign impact in the whole media mix. The new research facility provided proof of concept: in reality, as a passive measuring system, beacon measurement provides similar impact data to cookie tracking for online and Internet advertising. In other words, the impact of out-of-home advertising in cross-media use can be accurately demonstrated and proven. Mediaplus Managing Director and project partner Christian Meier is impressed: "Beacon measurement confirms the prominent place of out-of-home advertising in the media mix." The four advertising customers covered in the pilot project were also delighted with the results. 

GOR website:
Move explanatory film:
APGISGA market research

Christof Hotz, Head of Market Research, APG|SGA Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft AG
Giesshübelstrasse 4, 8045 Zurich, T+41 58 220 78 45,

Beat Holenstein, Head of Partner & Product Management APG|SGA Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft AG, 
Giesshübelstrasse 4, 8045 Zurich, tel. +41 58 220 70 51,

APGISGA, Allgemeine Plakatgesellschaft AG, Media Office
Giesshübelstrasse 4, 8045 Zurich, tel. +41 58 220 70 71,


Press release