‘Clients should de­mand me­dia neu­tral plan­ning’

Nabendu Bhat­tacharyya MD, Mile­stone Brand­com

Outdoor Asia - - Agency Take -

Mea­sur­ing the medium

It is pos­si­ble to mea­sure the medium and its reach like in any other medium such as TV, print, dig­i­tal and ra­dio. A few in­di­vid­ual agen­cies in­clud­ing us have built or are in the process of build­ing a plan­ning tool. The big­ger is­sue for us is that a Com­mon Cur­rency needs to be built and vet­ted by the in­dus­try body. This body and ev­ery stake holder should re­al­ize that the ear­lier they come to­gether and cre­ate the mea­sure­ment, it will be bet­ter for their own liv­ing, or else growth will be re­stricted. Hence, in the in­ter­est of the in­dus­try and stake hold­ers’ own growth, it is per­ti­nent to cre­ate a com­mon cur­rency and all stake hold­ers should con­trib­ute to build­ing a pan In­dia cur­rency. The in­dus­try body should bring ev­ery­one to­gether and ini­ti­ate the move. How­ever, there are ini­tia­tives from spe­cial­ist agen­cies to build a plan­ning tool which leads us in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion.

OOH clut­ter – The So­lu­tion

So­lu­tion lies within the stake hold­ers. Self reg­u­la­tion has to be im­posed by the in­dus­try body, else one fine day there would be a com­plete ban in the in­dus­try. Hence, it is bet­ter to have fewer, bet­ter, and stan­dard­ized medi­ums rather than lots of sites which may re­sult in big­ger loss and prob­lems. In­ter­na­tion­ally, do’s and don’ts are con­trolled by in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions and it is high time the in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion here im­poses greater con­trol over the medium and cre­ate a guide book in con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal cor­po­ra­tion and au­thor­i­ties and reg­u­lar­ize the in­dus­try in terms of clut­ter and lay down golden rules in the in­dus­try be­fore it is too late.

A few au­thor­i­ties in In­dia are tak­ing strin­gent ef­forts to con­trol the medium like in Mum­bai , Chandi­garh etc. But I think be­fore au­thor­i­ties act, the in­dus­try body should act and cre­ate self reg­u­la­tions.

Credit is­sues faced by me­dia own­ers

If you take the learn­ing’s from IBF and INS, it is them who have taken ini­tia­tives and writ­ten the rules on credit pol­icy. So again, it is the in­dus­try body com­pris­ing of me­dia own­ers and agency that should cre­ate credit norms in line with IBF and INS. Some work has gone in by in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion in each city and it is largely con­trolled in terms of bad debt is­sue. Yet it is not im­posed by the in­dus­try body or if it is done, it is not fol­lowed strictly.

Dig­i­tal OOH

If we need to take out the best from the medium, tech­nol­ogy us­age has to be in­tro­duced to get the best out of the medium in line with in­ter­na­tional me­dia for­mats. I al­ready men­tioned that lesser but bet­ter medi­ums are more im­por­tant than num­ber of for­mats and clut­ter. Me­dia own­ers need to move to au­thor­i­ties with in­ter­na­tional case stud­ies to re­quest for a long term per­mis­sion for dig­i­tal me­dia at a pan IN­DIA level and I am sure that a joint force with bet­ter rev­enue op­por­tu­nity pro­posal to the govern­ment will be a good rea­son to con­sider the medium, as it opens up huge pos­si­bil­i­ties for the brands and is also in the in­ter­est of the govern­ment.

Fo­cus on OOH as com­pared to other me­dia

There are two streams of agen­cies that are re­spon­si­ble for the lack of growth in the OOH medium:

1. Me­dia plan­ning agency - Plan­ning agen­cies are no more me­dia neu­tral. With the ex­cuse of no mea­sure­ment they tweak their plan to drive their own profit cen­tre tar­get. There are var­i­ous data cen­tres avail­able like IRS, TGI to build a sci­en­tific plan­ning in fa­vor of OOH medium, BUT why would they do that if they don’t add to their tar­get. Hence clients need to step in and de­mand me­dia neu­tral plan­ning which is go­ing to be the best treat­ment for brands. Hence, clients need to bud­get for OOH an­nu­ally and not al­lot the left-overs.

2. Creative agency - Very few cre­ate part­ners un­der­stand the OOH medium; hence of­ten we ex­pe­ri­ence cut-paste job of a press creative on OOH. Clients don’t get ex­cited un­less they see medium spe­cific cre­atives. Hence, clients should de­mand from creative agen­cies to un­der­stand the medium on the streets be­fore cre­at­ing cre­atives or as­sign­ing creative du­ties to OOH spe­cial­ist agen­cies -they are do­ing bet­ter jobs than creative agen­cies to­day. All thanks to a few brand and mar­keters who are bru­tal about their OOH cre­atives, and started di­rectly giv­ing creative briefs to OOH spe­cial­ist agen­cies and ap­prov­ing the cre­atives. There is a clear chal­lenge thrown to creative agen­cies and al­most all OOH spe­cial­ist houses have a creative cell and it is to our pride that even we are win­ning gold in the Goa fest for our team’s ideation. It talks about the strength of OOH spe­cial­ist agen­cies’ creative un­der­stand­ing about the for­mats and clients are open to the idea that the best work can come from any­one and that is what mat­ters. The point is that clients need to be very strong with creative agen­cies to get out the best creative on each medium sep­a­rately.

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