Geopath’s annual forecast is a key deliverable for the out of home industry each year and one that is inherent in our purpose as an organization. It goes without saying, that the forecast this year is of exceptional importance due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In developing the 2021 forecast, Geopath leveraged historical data, live activity data, and current models projecting the recovery. The resulting forecast estimates that the impact of COVID-19 on travel patterns will continue into 2021, with the recovery beginning in Q3 2021. Some markets have already reached pre-COVID levels of activity and will see little difference compared to the prior year forecast. However, a full recovery in areas most heavily impacted is not expected in 2021.
This pattern of recovery is in line with other COVID-19 predictive modeling work, including the forecast developed by Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution, a leading multi-touch attribution modeler and thought leader in the industry.
Rollout of 2021 Annual Forecast
The 2021 annual forecast will be available in the API with base measures (Persons 0+, 5+, 18+ and 21+) on January 11th, 2021 to allow time for our Operator members to review the initial data. Following the release into the API, the data will become available in the Insights Suite.
Additionally, due to the changes in travel patterns as a result of the pandemic, Geopath must revisit our Reach/Frequency model. This work will occur through January and is expected to be released in February 2021. This initiative will also allow the expansion of R/F reporting capabilities to 52-weeks. Shortly after the implementation of the new R/F model, measures for all 8,000+ audiences will be released.
We will continue to monitor the forecast throughout the year and will reissue updates if we find the forecast to deviate significantly from the ground truth data we are receiving. In addition, an updated version of the Impression Variation Dashboard will also be available by market and media type to allow members to monitor the weekly variations.
The Impression Variation Dashboard for 2020 analyzed a week of observed activity versus the forecasted annual average. For 2021, the Impression Variation Dashboard will analyze a week of observed activity versus the forecasted monthly average. This provides a more precise view of forecasted versus observed delivery because the variation is relative to the expected seasonality of the audience delivery of OOH media types in a market.
Geopath will be conducting a webinar on Thursday, January 7th, at 2:00PM ET to explain the 2021 Annual Forecast in more detail and answer any questions. You can register for the session by clicking on the link below. We will also be publishing a set of FAQs to provide more information after the webinar.
In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us on geekOUT@geopath.org with any questions.