Spend Your Way Out Of A Recession

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Lance O’Neill, MediaZest plc’s chairman, makes some interesting points in his statement with regard their final results for the year ended 31 December 2007.

First he says “It is our belief that in the current economic climate, the ability of a high street retailer to attract customers more effectively, being able to react quickly to market conditions whilst cutting costs will be invaluable. An increasing amount of our client contact is taken up with these issues”

I think within the industry all of those who work in retail agree with him there – “spend your way out of a recession” is oft quoted in retail circles and big screens in windows to attract customers, better ambience (including music of course) in store, better shop fittings and an increased use of technology to help customers spend (wisely) is all the order of the day.

The Chairman further stated “management recognises there is much that still needs to be done in turning these losses into profits” – oh how private investors in other AIM listed companies in our sector such as Avanti, i-design Group, Venue Solutions hope that their management teams too heed these words.

Talking to a group of corporate investors yesterday we were told that “like a grown child going cap in hand to his / her parents for money” it has been far too easy to use AIM as a parent substitute whenever mis-management has meant that the child has run out of money.

Mediazest plc is not solely relying on one niche to ensure it makes money. The Group continues to focus on both its brands; Touch Vision and MediaZest Ventures, to good effect.

Touch Vision is a well established audio-visual engineering business with a number of long term clients, especially in the education sector where performance has been strong. The marketing strength of the MediaZest team has helped to revitalise this business.

MediaZest Ventures is a creative marketing business which brings innovative audio-visual technology to the retail sector with delivery and installation provided by Touch Vision.

We have spoken many times about MediaZest Ventures and their exciting work in retail – folks such as Cisco and 3M have singled them out to try and help them understand the creative, content and merchandising aspects of the retail sector.

MediaZest, we think also, should be applauded for its advertising, marketing and branding efforts – one of the few AIM listed companies in our sector to bother doing any of this. It’s important – bottom line. You need to market yourself and have a brand. It amazes us just how few companies do this.

Lance O’Neill continued “The year 2007, for both brands, was one of considerable change. The Group’s board adopted a more market driven approach … revamps of both companies’ websites led to considerable increases in customer traffic and corporate interest … the Group engaged actively with the marketing community and brand managers … through direct mail and also through trade press”

One of the things that MediaZest truly seem to have done in the retail sector is make, in the Chairman’s words “a compelling case to clients in terms of their return from investing in our services and thereby justifying the commitment they make in adopting our ideas and technology”

Lance O’Neill also made a good point when he talked about “delivery credibility” when he talked of MediaZest’s partnership with Cisco and he hinted also that they have been courted “as a potential partner by a range of corporate entities from outside of our own market sector”

Lance finished with some words on the future and stated that “we believe there is an acceptance now of digital technology in the retail market and an increasing awareness of its attributes” and also said “Our clients are benefiting from improved aesthetics, increased footfall, better targeting of sales messages, reduced traditional point-of-sale costs and improved in store compliance”

2 Responses to “Spend Your Way Out Of A Recession”

  1. Tim Godwin Says:

    Just noting all of the companies reporting losses in the digital OOH sector. It occurred to me I actually could not think of one profitable operator in the UK. The general view seem to be that Titan’s transvision operation makes money but any other nominations???

    Our vested interest is that Insight Media (UK) Limited actually reported £87K Ebitda on £350K revenues for the year ended 31st Marxh 2008 and is on target to double those figures for 2009. Are we the only profitable company in this sector? Is there some industry award we should get for this!!!

  2. Bryan Crotaz Says:

    London Theatre Bookings. They lease their equipment from ICION systems, and the last numbers I heard showed a healthy 50% margin (ie weekly revenue was double the weekly lease cost). They sell ad space solely to their suppliers, theatre box offices.

    They’re tiny in the world of DooH, with only 8 sites, using a mixture of 50″ LCD and 70″ rear projection, all street facing in windows or entrances. But it shows the power of targetted advertising in retail and providing unique opportunities to suppliers. Of course, being an agency for their supplier, they not only make money from the advert itself but also from the uplift in sales it provides. And if it didn’t give an uplift in sales, the theatres wouldn’t bother booking space.

    The systems have been in place now for 6 years and have been continuously successful. Space is sold in parallel with the remaining poster sites around the stores.

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