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Insight. Strategy. Implementation.
CASE STUDY
Putting Train Advertising Media Back on Track
Low quality perceptions and declining sales meant on-train advertising was
struggling to mature as an out-of-home media format.
Lucidity London
Inspiring Growth
Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 2 of 6
TURNAROUND DELIVERS 300% RISE IN MEDIA REVENUES
Executive Summary
In early 2005, KBH’s on-train advertising proposition was facing growing pains. A survey of customers showed
that product and service quality were low. To return the division to growth the company needed to deliver a
proposition that was more closely aligned to the needs and preferences of customers. Lucidity London helped
management engineer a turnaround in performance which produced a staggering 300% increase in revenue in
the first month, and continued to grow so dramatically that the division was earning 10 times more revenue
than before the turnaround began just 3 years later.
About KBH On-Train Media
KBH On-Train Media is an independent media contractor
which sells advertising space inside trains to Britain’s
biggest advertisers. The company employs 26 staff and
operates a network of over 50,000 poster sites on trains
serving the London and the South East population.
KBH's media proposition (commonly referred to as
‘traincards’) was launched in 2001 on South West Trains.
Three years later, the traincard network comprised some
24,000 advertising sites as KBH secured exclusive
contracts with 7 train operating companies.
Situation
In early 2005 KBH’s traincard revenues had begun to dip,
and KBH’s management team weren’t sure why. They
articulated numerous internal and external factors that
might have been detrimentally affecting sentiment
towards traincards. But they weren’t clear which issues
were the most urgent and important and, as a result
they were unable to prioritise the problems that needed
to be addressed immediately to boost consideration of
their proposition, and start generating higher levels of
sales.
Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 3 of 6
Task
Lucidity London was briefed to help the management
team at KBH isolate the key problems in the traincard
advertising product, and to make a series of strategic
recommendations to return the division to growth and
deliver a path to profit for the first time in its short
history.
Action
Primary research among media buyers identified a
significant number of weaknesses in buyer perceptions
around traincard advertising, each placing a constraint
on demand for a media still very much in its infancy.
The problems with buyer perceptions were further
exacerbated by important external factors:
1. fierce competition among large, well-resourced
outdoor advertising contractors
2. the introduction of freesheet newspaper’s to
London's advertising market targeting commuters
3. the digitisation of London Underground's advertising
estate, also targeting commuters
When we bought our primary and secondary research
findings together, we found a hyper-competitive media
environment driven by innovation and quality. And a
traincard proposition that lacked both!
But here KBH’s fortunes were looking a lot brighter. A £6
billion investment programme initiated five years earlier
by the government of the day meant that all 12 train
companies operating services into London from the
South East were about to start replacing their old
carriages. The new carriages would completely
transform the display environment for advertising inside
trains – quality was back on the agenda.
To capitalise on this structural change, and guided by
the findings from our own research, we reformulated
the traincard advertising proposition to new
specifications, with:
 larger packages of facings designed to reach a mass
commuter audience more frequently
 higher quality display frames in just 3 standard sizes
(previously there were 7)
 audience research to assist the media buying
community when selling into clients (we used TGI)
 campaign research to prove the effectiveness of the
traincard medium
 a quality-based company image for KBH; new
website, brochures and other promotional materials
Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 4 of 6
Communication Strategy
Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 5 of 6
1.2 1.2 1.1
2.6
2004 2005 2006 2007
Annual Traincard Revenues (£m)
2004 - 2007
Results
The results of our turnaround plan were immediate.
Sales tripled in the month following the re-launch and
continued on a growth trajectory for the remainder of
the calendar year. At year end, the train advertising
division returned a modest profit for the first time in its
short history, despite a calamitous first quarter.
Three years further down the line and KBH have been
weathering the storm that has been battering the
outdoor advertising market profitably. The company
now has exclusive contracts for in-train advertising with
all 12 of the Train Operating Companies providing rail
services into London from the South East. And, at the
end of 2009, KBH reported sales up by 17% on the
previous year, in an outdoor market that has declined by
24% year-on-year. A stellar performance !
Traincards are now firmly established as a quality
outdoor advertising proposition, chosen for inclusion
on media schedules on its own merits by some of
Britain's biggest advertisers. Hundreds of new
advertisers have been tempted to trial in-train
advertising, with a significant majority returning to the
medium time and again.
Source: KBH On-Train Media, Jan 2007
£0
£50,000
£100,000
£150,000
£200,000
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Traincard: Gross Media Revenues
Jan - Dec 2006
Relaunch
16 April
Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 6 of 6
About Lucidity London
Lucidity London is a marketing consultancy
which provides research, strategy and
programme implementation services to local,
national and international clients.
We combine in-depth customer insights with
practical expertise in marketing and operations
to help our clients evolve and grow.
Our home page is www.luciditylondon.com.
Copyright © 2014 Lucidity London
All rights reserved.
Lucidity London and its logo are
trademarks of Lucidity London.

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Kbh On-Train Media Case Study

  • 1. Insight. Strategy. Implementation. CASE STUDY Putting Train Advertising Media Back on Track Low quality perceptions and declining sales meant on-train advertising was struggling to mature as an out-of-home media format. Lucidity London Inspiring Growth
  • 2. Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 2 of 6 TURNAROUND DELIVERS 300% RISE IN MEDIA REVENUES Executive Summary In early 2005, KBH’s on-train advertising proposition was facing growing pains. A survey of customers showed that product and service quality were low. To return the division to growth the company needed to deliver a proposition that was more closely aligned to the needs and preferences of customers. Lucidity London helped management engineer a turnaround in performance which produced a staggering 300% increase in revenue in the first month, and continued to grow so dramatically that the division was earning 10 times more revenue than before the turnaround began just 3 years later. About KBH On-Train Media KBH On-Train Media is an independent media contractor which sells advertising space inside trains to Britain’s biggest advertisers. The company employs 26 staff and operates a network of over 50,000 poster sites on trains serving the London and the South East population. KBH's media proposition (commonly referred to as ‘traincards’) was launched in 2001 on South West Trains. Three years later, the traincard network comprised some 24,000 advertising sites as KBH secured exclusive contracts with 7 train operating companies. Situation In early 2005 KBH’s traincard revenues had begun to dip, and KBH’s management team weren’t sure why. They articulated numerous internal and external factors that might have been detrimentally affecting sentiment towards traincards. But they weren’t clear which issues were the most urgent and important and, as a result they were unable to prioritise the problems that needed to be addressed immediately to boost consideration of their proposition, and start generating higher levels of sales.
  • 3. Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 3 of 6 Task Lucidity London was briefed to help the management team at KBH isolate the key problems in the traincard advertising product, and to make a series of strategic recommendations to return the division to growth and deliver a path to profit for the first time in its short history. Action Primary research among media buyers identified a significant number of weaknesses in buyer perceptions around traincard advertising, each placing a constraint on demand for a media still very much in its infancy. The problems with buyer perceptions were further exacerbated by important external factors: 1. fierce competition among large, well-resourced outdoor advertising contractors 2. the introduction of freesheet newspaper’s to London's advertising market targeting commuters 3. the digitisation of London Underground's advertising estate, also targeting commuters When we bought our primary and secondary research findings together, we found a hyper-competitive media environment driven by innovation and quality. And a traincard proposition that lacked both! But here KBH’s fortunes were looking a lot brighter. A £6 billion investment programme initiated five years earlier by the government of the day meant that all 12 train companies operating services into London from the South East were about to start replacing their old carriages. The new carriages would completely transform the display environment for advertising inside trains – quality was back on the agenda. To capitalise on this structural change, and guided by the findings from our own research, we reformulated the traincard advertising proposition to new specifications, with:  larger packages of facings designed to reach a mass commuter audience more frequently  higher quality display frames in just 3 standard sizes (previously there were 7)  audience research to assist the media buying community when selling into clients (we used TGI)  campaign research to prove the effectiveness of the traincard medium  a quality-based company image for KBH; new website, brochures and other promotional materials
  • 4. Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 4 of 6 Communication Strategy
  • 5. Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 5 of 6 1.2 1.2 1.1 2.6 2004 2005 2006 2007 Annual Traincard Revenues (£m) 2004 - 2007 Results The results of our turnaround plan were immediate. Sales tripled in the month following the re-launch and continued on a growth trajectory for the remainder of the calendar year. At year end, the train advertising division returned a modest profit for the first time in its short history, despite a calamitous first quarter. Three years further down the line and KBH have been weathering the storm that has been battering the outdoor advertising market profitably. The company now has exclusive contracts for in-train advertising with all 12 of the Train Operating Companies providing rail services into London from the South East. And, at the end of 2009, KBH reported sales up by 17% on the previous year, in an outdoor market that has declined by 24% year-on-year. A stellar performance ! Traincards are now firmly established as a quality outdoor advertising proposition, chosen for inclusion on media schedules on its own merits by some of Britain's biggest advertisers. Hundreds of new advertisers have been tempted to trial in-train advertising, with a significant majority returning to the medium time and again. Source: KBH On-Train Media, Jan 2007 £0 £50,000 £100,000 £150,000 £200,000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Traincard: Gross Media Revenues Jan - Dec 2006 Relaunch 16 April
  • 6. Lucidity London | Case Study | KBH On-Train Media Page 6 of 6 About Lucidity London Lucidity London is a marketing consultancy which provides research, strategy and programme implementation services to local, national and international clients. We combine in-depth customer insights with practical expertise in marketing and operations to help our clients evolve and grow. Our home page is www.luciditylondon.com. Copyright © 2014 Lucidity London All rights reserved. Lucidity London and its logo are trademarks of Lucidity London.