Driving activity increased by 35% since beginning of restrictions

At PML Group, we are using multiple sources of mobility data to track behavioural changes in audience movement as the population adapts to their circumstances. Our work with Locomizer location data supports what others such Google and Apple’s mobility report have been indicating. Since the lockdown started in March, we have seen a major shift from people moving around city centres (and key places of work) to people moving around more suburban areas. This was a major temporary shift in behaviour although some elements remain similar to pre-pandemic times e.g. spikes of more movement in general on the weekend. The effect COVID-19 is having on our collective movements in the OOH space is that almost everything we are doing is for the time being hyperlocal to where we live. There is consistent evidence that mobility activity has increased gradually since the initial period of lockdown. Apple data reporting a 35% increase in driving activity to 58% of the normal baseline levels. Data from Google provides further insights into the footfall levels around particular environments in Northern Ireland. The latest figures report a 13% increase in Grocery location footfall, reaching 83% of the normal baseline levels. In additional to this, there has been a 37% increase in footfall around Park locations, also reaching 83% of the normal baseline levels. We expect this to further rise as the government’s stepped plan for reopening society and the economy is implemented.

Using Locomizer insights, generated by anonymised mobile app data, enables us to trend movement over time nationally and to identify hotspots of movement down to street level. In addition, our ability within our Pinpoint mapping platform, to overlay this with census data, relevant points of interest and OOH advertising locations, enables us to both target and measure movement in and around retail outlets and other amenities as they reopen. The visualised hotspot timelines below bring to life movement patterns by vehicle and foot over the course of a recent ten-day period.

Vehicular patterns in Greater Belfast

Pedestrian data patterns for Greater Belfast

Driving activity increased by 35% since beginning of restrictions

Apple mobility data shows that weekday average driving activity in Northern Ireland at the beginning of April dropped to 42% of normal baseline levels. Since then there has been a gradual rise in driving activity over the past 6 weeks, increasing by 36% to 58% of the baseline value (data as of 10th May 2020). For the week ending 10th May the average driving activity increased by 7% compared to the prior week ending 3rd May.

Grocery and Parks footfall activity strong and on the rise

Analysing weighted population mobility trends from Google’s latest data, we can report that footfall activity around Grocery locations remain strong at 83% of the normal baseline levels, with an increase of 13% in activity over the past 6 weeks. The latest data also reports footfall activity around Parks at 83% of baseline, with a 37% increase in activity over the past 6 weeks.

Using the multiple data sources enables us to better understand the OOH audience behaviour as the situation evolves, continually delivering the most effective campaigns for clients.