The Media Yearbook, the only one of its kind in Africa, offers an important and independent overview of the media industry in 2015.
The Media Yearbook also gives important insight and perspective into global trends and forecasting for 2016. Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, shares insight into the global growth of the industry, the rise of DOOH and the integration of technology and innovation.
According to Magna Global, OOH is one of the few ad media that is expected to show increased revenue this year at 2.8 percent, second only to digital, which is driven by mobile and social advertising. The out of home (OOH) advertising industry continues to grow steadily in the US and around the world. We’ll continue to see growth as more advertisers realise the power of OOH and its relationship to mobile and digital media.
Mobile on the move
Digital advertising (DOOH), which includes mobile, is yet again expected to grow by double-digits (16%) and is set to become the number one media in the next few years.
Mobile advertising is also on the rise because advertisers are trying to reach hundreds of millions of smartphone users.
People spend hours a day on their devices, but the question remains: do they really want to see ads on their phones while they are trying to communicate, search the web, or play a game?
Even though mobile marketing is the fastest-growing medium at the moment, will it be rejected by consumers?
However, when advertisers link OOH with mobile advertising, they do achieve results. In many campaigns, OOH ads prompt people to use their mobile devices to find more information, get a coupon, enter a contest, or make a purchase.
Consumers spend 70% of their waking hours away from home, which means that they are more exposed to OOH ads than ever before. And they most certainly have their smartphones with them, which makes the relationship between OOH and mobile a very powerful combination in today’s advertising business.
But, another challenge which digital media is currently facing is fraud.
Between content blocking technology, viewability, and “bot” impressions, media planners and advertisers are looking to solve this reality problem. Because OOH exists in the real world, it’s an effective way to amplify digital, social, and mobile media plans.
OOH helps brands communicate in compelling ways that facilitate meaningful engagement with real people. For example, a new study conducted by USA Touchpoints/RealityMine found that OOH reaches more consumers than any other medium in the half-hour before key mobile activity such as search, social media engagement and online shopping.
As digital advertising continues to gain popularity and these issues evolve, we’ll see brands use OOH even more often to compliment online and mobile campaigns.
However, it’s our duty to ensure ad agencies and media planners are aware of OOH’s capabilities in the digital age.
In the US, the OOH industry recently set out to educate media planners on the various capabilities of OOH in the digital age by launching a campaign designed to prove the unique strengths and marketing effectiveness of OOH.
The ‘Feel the Real’ campaign championed OOH as a ‘real’ medium that reaches real people to drive significant digital engagement. The goal is two-fold: To build awareness about OOH’s ability to track and increase digital effectiveness, and encourage media planners to incorporate more OOH advertising into their plans.
‘Feel the Real’ targeted media agencies and planners while making a larger call to action among the public to engage with the real world. Static and digital OOH displays were placed near media agencies and on heavily traveled commuter routes, directing viewers to www.feelthereal.org, where they could learn how OOH can both complement and accelerate digital, social, and mobile advertising.
While definitive results of the campaign are still being compiled, the initial reaction from the ad community has been overwhelmingly positive. Media planners, the target of the campaign, have seen ads directed at them and responded exactly how we wanted them to, for example by tweeting photos and touting OOH’s effectiveness.
Visits to the ‘Feel the Real’ website were beyond what we had predicted, and nearly 75% typed the URL in directly. With this campaign, we’ve proven that OOH directs real people to engage online and we are confident of seeing more ad campaigns using OOH together with digital in 2016 and beyond.
Integration and programmatic
Digital is currently a top buzzword in OOH, not only in terms of integration of digital and OOH, but also when thinking about the digitalisation of the medium itself.
In the last few years we’ve seen more digital OOH screens come to market, and we can only expect this number to continue growing.
A clear sign that DOOH will continue to increase in popularity across the world, is the attention it’s getting from some of the largest tech and digital companies in advertising.
For example, tech companies working on advancing the Internet of Things (IoT) will keep DOOH in their sights as one of the prime applications for connected cities. This is done by enabling pin-point precision in targeting and high relevance of advertising messages.
Google has formed a joint venture with a DOOH operator to launch LinkNYC, which will replace payphone booths with free WiFi hot spots that also serve as advertising screens in New York.
Google is also testing its DoubleClick technology, which is currently used for desktops and mobile phones, and on digital billboards in the UK. The company is engaging in trials of a method for premium billboard ads to be bought programmatically.
We expect the global OOH industry to continue its focus on solutions for programmatic buying in the coming years. Many ad agencies and tech firms are working to launch programmatic buying platforms that will make the process of buying OOH more efficient, effective, and measurable.
Technology is our friend. The OOH industry can only improve as innovation transforms our business into a 21st century leader in the advertising sweepstakes.
Nancy Fletcher is president and CEO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.