‘There is very little evaluation matrix in OOH’
Sanjay Tripathy, Executive VP and Head - Marketing, Product, and Direct Channels, HDFC Life
Measuring the medium
OOH is quite an impactful medium for communication and strategic positioning of the media; it garners quite a strong brand recall. However, there is little done to evaluate the response and reach of the medium. Currently, each OOH agency has their own method of evaluation which cannot be taken as standard. Thus to a great extent, the OOH in India is more to do with the choice of advertisers. The OOH sector should come together and arrive on a standard response measurement tool which can be considered a reference point for all evaluations, in line with IRS or TAM.
Percentage of advertising spend on Outdoor medium
As a brand we spend substantially in the OOH space. As the urban India expands, people are now spending a lot of time out of home. Hence, to connect with our consumers we follow a 360 degree communication approach and outdoor is an import component. Besides that, to increase visibility in certain geographies, we have been extensively spending in the OOH space. However, in certain result driven campaigns, OOH spends are, at times limited, due to lack of a standard ROI measuring mechanism. There is a strong need to arrive at a scientific way of measuring success of the OOH campaign in terms of ROI. Also, there is a need to introduce better technology and innovation to break the cluttered presence.
Preferred outdoor format
Our choice of OOH medium is totally dependent on our TG for that particular category of product which we are campaigning for. Wherever possible, larger formats are generally preferred, but not limited to. The planning for outdoor campaign greatly depends upon the approach route we intend to take for the key communication. The choice of media may vary as per our requirements from the markets targeted. We analyze the behavioural pattern to identify the touch points, where we can get the maximum attention. With increasing trends of Mall culture in urban societies, spends in ambient spaces and multiplexes are also on an increasing curve.
Focus on Digital OOH
Digital OOH is still in its nascent stage in our country. It is still experimenting and evolving. But looking at the much better control over execution and TG reach, it is picking up fast, and we too have our presence here. There is a lot that can be done in this space, and as a brand, more innovative and interactive options are awaited from the media owners.
Creative agencies –Their focus or the lack of it on OOH & their creativity
The past few years have seen a lot of positive developments. Many OOH agencies are now equipping themselves with a dedicated creative team. Many others provide support in arriving at the right kind of creative message for the chosen medium of display. But, having said that, in most of the cases, the creative agencies are more skewed towards certain kind of personal preference, hence the creative might not come out strong across all communication media. Hence you may have a very strong TVC but not so impressive Print or Radio, or you may have a very strong Print & OOH but somewhere lose the flavour on other mediums. Also the OOH sector is still by and large extremely unorganized and prone to vandalism. Hence, it has not seen much innovations compared to the rest of the world. As a brand it is most important for us to reach out to the target audience in the most impactful manner. The choice of advertising media, the creative message is all dependent on and driven to get the positive recall by the TG. The creative agencies work in sync with this thought. Limitation to get best OOH creative is more dependent on availability of adequate information on what works and what not. For other media, we have many ways to evaluate the success of campaign on various parameters, but unfortunately, very little work has happened on evaluation matrix in OOH. Choices mostly are driven by personal experiences, hence, limited innovations and repetitive creative work.
Credit issues faced by media owners
As a brand we have limited exposure to directly dealing with the media owners. But we hold our agency accountable for unmaintained medium, delay in execution, improper execution inadequate monitoring & reporting, etc.