Suresh Balakr­ishna, CEO, South Asia and Mid­dle East, Ki­netic World­wide talks about the scope of the OOH in­dus­try from an Indian per­spec­tive…

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On Ac­count­abil­ity: The Indian Out­door Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (IOAA) is mak­ing ef­forts to im­prove ac­count­abil­ity in the in­dus­try. They have in­creased their mem­ber­ship base, and are try­ing to get ev­ery­body on the same page to work on a syn­di­cated study. How­ever, large agen­cies like us are try­ing to find our own ways to track mea­sur­a­bil­ity of the medium. Today, clients are look­ing for ac­count­abil­ity and ask­ing what the medium is do­ing for their brand. While we have Au­reus that helps us with mea­sure­ment, we are also work­ing closely with Kan­tar and Nielsen this year to come up with a new mea­sure­ment prac­tice. We need to pro­vide an­swers to our clients and we are work­ing ag­gres­sively on it from an agency per­spec­tive.

On in­creas­ing in­ter­est in ad­ver­tis­ers for lo­ca­tion-based cam­paigns:

More and more ad­ver­tis­ers are get­ting ex­cited about cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy like geo-fenc­ing for their OOH cam­paigns, and tech­nol­o­gy­based com­pa­nies like Face­book and Google are lead­ing the way. Our re­cent cam­paign for Google Maps – its creative, the evo­lu­tion of the idea, as well as the whole pur­pose was lo­ca­tion­based. Sim­i­larly, ev­ery­body is into mi­cro-mar­ket­ing these days. Each client has his own areas where the brand is do­ing well or other cri­te­ria. There­fore, the fo­cus of OOH is on lo­ca­tion-based mar­ket­ing. Today, thanks to the avail­abil­ity of data, ad­ver­tis­ers are able to pin­point and tell us whether a par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tion needs a dif­fer­ent kind of treat­ment, and the so­lu­tion could range from do­ing a new creative, to mar­ry­ing it with mo­bile, to do­ing some geo-fenc­ing at the lo­ca­tion, or even send­ing con­sumers to a par­tic­u­lar store. OOH is the best suited medium for such mi­cro-lo­ca­tion mar­ket­ing. While a lot of brands are tak­ing this very se­ri­ously, some are still ex­per­i­ment­ing with it.

On the im­por­tance of in­no­va­tion to break clut­ter:

I be­lieve we, as an agency, have al­ways been ahead of the curve when it comes to in­no­va­tion. The last two years have been fab­u­lous for us, in terms of our body of work. No other medium can be as in­no­va­tive as OOH. Other medi­ums like TV or Print have their re­stric­tions and lim­i­ta­tions. We, how­ever, can bring alive a whole

ga­mut of con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ences. In­no­va­tion is a part of our DNA and most clients ex­pect ex­actly that from us, so it works well on both counts for us.

On the scope of Dig­i­tal OOH in In­dia:

While the pres­ence of Dig­i­tal OOH is cur­rently re­stricted largely to air­ports and malls, things are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. In a month’s time, we ex­pect the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) to pass a ten­der for putting up 100 dig­i­tal screens in South Mum­bai. The doc­u­ment is ex­pected to be re­leased soon. BMC will give us a month to re­spond to it, just in case the in­dus­try has any reser­va­tions around the guide­lines. Once that is cleared, the ten­der will be opened. I be­lieve that once the BMC does this, other cities will fol­low suit. More­over, metro pil­lars which are in­creas­ingly com­ing up in dif­fer­ent cities can be used for putting up dig­i­tal screens too. I ex­pect to see an ex­plo­sion in the avail­abil­ity of dig­i­tal in­ven­tory in the coun­try in the next two years, which will help fuel growth.

On the chal­lenges ahead:

In­dia is a land of op­por­tu­ni­ties and more than look­ing at this as a chal­lenge, I look at it as an op­por­tu­nity. While the in­dus­try has been grow­ing, the rate of growth needs to ac­cel­er­ate. Some of the larger chal­lenges of any grow­ing mar­ket are how to ex­pand the mar­ket, how to get brands to buy more OOH ads, how to get me­dia own­ers to be­come more or­ga­nized in a frag­mented mar­ket like In­dia, how to put in place stan­dard­ized pro­ce­dures, how to stan­dard­ize ways of do­ing busi­ness, and how to be­come more trans­par­ent as a medium. How­ever, these are chal­lenges that most mar­kets have faced. Even the global mar­kets have gone through an evo­lu­tion process. For us, the chal­lenge is to speed up this evo­lu­tion process. What other mar­kets achieved in 5-10 years, will need to be achieved in two years by us. The chal­lenge for us is thus to move faster than other mar­kets, but I have no doubt that we will do that, and we will prob­a­bly reach there well ahead of any­body else.

Source: Ki­netic In­dia

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