‘Plan­ning is still gut based’

Outdoor Asia - - Media Owner's Take - Su­nit Jain As­so­ciate Di­rec­tor Out­reach Ad­ver­tis­ing, Guwa­hati

OOH Clut­ter – The so­lu­tion

Clut­ter ex­ists every­where. Not just in OOH, but also in Print, TV, ra­dio and now in dig­i­tal too. Break­ing the clut­ter and us­ing the medium ef­fec­tively needs a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort from the client, agency (in­clud­ing the creative agency) and the me­dia owner. If the strat­egy is right then the client will surely find value in the ef­fort and in­vest­ment in cre­at­ing cam­paigns that break clut­ter and stand out. Most of the time, we see cam­paigns that do not come with a sin­cere ef­fort of cap­ti­vat­ing the TG and are only driven at cre­at­ing just an­other op­tion of ad­ver­tise­ment.

Reg­u­la­tion of the in­dus­try

We are ob­serv­ing the in­ter­est of the govern­ment agen­cies in the in­dus­try which is re­flected in the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and other PPP (Pub­lic-Pri­vate Part­ner­ship) projects in var­i­ous cities across the coun­try. I think that is the be­gin­ning of reg­u­la­tion in a form. Most of th­ese ini­tia­tives are cap­i­tal in­ten­sive projects where only se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised play­ers get through. Once more such projects are rolled out and new medi­ums are de­vel­oped, it will nat­u­rally shun the small play­ers from the in­dus­try which are mostly caus­ing the chaos through unau­tho­rised/ il­le­gal struc­tures. This will also re­sult in some form of con­sol­i­da­tion among the in­dus­try. Be­sides, IOAA has taken ini­tia­tives like the SOP which if im­ple­mented ef­fi­ciently could reg­u­late a lot of ex­ist­ing prac­tices.

Dig­i­tal OOH

Dig­i­tal OOH is not un­known in In­dia. It has been in­tro­duced long back but re­ally hasn’t taken off. With very few LEDs at a few met­ros and Cat­e­gory A towns in In­dia, we haven’t seen much of DOOH find­ing its place. I pri­mar­ily see two rea­sons for DOOH to be a far off dream. One, In­dia over­all does not re­ally have a night cul­ture like one would ex­pe­ri­ence in Shang­hai, Ma­cau or the Vegas. Dig­i­tal OOH be­ing mostly an il­lu­mi­nated/ LED phe­nom­e­non does not finds its place here and re­mains re­stricted to in­door op­por­tu­ni­ties like Malls, am­bi­ent, air­port, etc. Se­condly, if we look at the big­ger pic­ture of In­dia go­ing be­yond cat­e­gory A towns, most towns have power de­fi­ciency which is a sig­nif­i­cant premise for Dig­i­tal OOH to take place. In the Ru­ral1 and Ru­ral2 seg­ments we are still strug­gling with the ba­sic hy­giene of out­door me­dia. How­ever, dig­i­tal video net­works (smaller screens) have made good in-roads in most of the am­bi­ent lo­ca­tions like café out­lets, malls, of­fice com­plexes, etc. across the coun­try. I am not very sure if they are mak­ing money but I see them around when I travel.

Credit is­sues – The so­lu­tion

IOAA was I be­lieve formed to take up this as one of their main ob­jec­tives but I feel the as­so­ci­a­tion has not re­ally reached out to the larger mar­ket. For ex­am­ple, I am the only mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion in my en­tire re­gion – North East where there are al­most 50 play­ers. IOAA needs to reach out and be­come pow­er­ful and only then they can take up the credit is­sues. Oth­er­wise, the cy­cle will keep mov­ing from the var­i­ous stake­holder doors with very few ac­tu­ally adding value to the process other than de­lay­ing it.

Mea­sur­ing the medium

OOH can be mea­sured and must be mea­sured. OOH is be­ing mea­sured through var­i­ous met­rics across Amer­ica and the EU (not sure about other mar­kets). A new de­vel­op­ment in the Amer­i­can OOH in­dus­try is the “EyesOn” met­rics. The pre­vi­ous, and less gran­u­lar, met­ric was DEC (Daily Ef­fec­tive Cir­cu­la­tion), which mea­sured the num­ber of peo­ple who could po­ten­tially en­counter an ad­ver­tise­ment, fun­da­men­tally a mea­sure­ment of to­tal foot traf­fic. The Traf­fic Au­dit Bureau spent five years de­vel­op­ing the Eyes-On met­ric, which mea­sures the num­ber of peo­ple who will ac­tu­ally see an ad­ver­tise­ment by tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion fac­tors such as an ad’s po­si­tion­ing along the road, size and for­mat. Eyes-On also pro­vides ad­ver­tis­ers with a larger set of de­mo­graphic mea­sure­ments, in­creas­ing the abil­ity to de­ploy more tar­geted OOH mar­ket­ing ef­forts. For mar­keters eval­u­at­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of their ad­ver­tis­ing ef­forts, in­ter­me­di­ate met­rics such as “Eyes-On” will pro­vide a richer data set that should hope­fully give mar­keters a more pre­cise de­ter­mi­na­tion of how dollars spent on OOH ad­ver­tis­ing drive fi­nan­cial out­comes such as rev­enue and profit. We can still con­tinue to be with­out any met­rics but in­tro­duc­ing a well-re­searched and ac­cepted met­rics will add some science and math­e­mat­ics to our plan­ning which is largely gut-based to­day.

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