Exciting times ahead for Digital Out of Home

Las vegas 3 (640x480)The Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas attracted key global DOOH Media Owners as well as some of the world’s leading OOH Media agencies. Jacques du Preez, Managing Director of Provantage Media Group, attended the exciting expo. He unpacks the key learnings:

The top minds in the DOOH and Digital Signage arenas were all represented at Digital Signage Expo (DSE) 2015 and shared their latest developments, innovation and trends in their respective DOOH space.

What really struck me overall was that the same burning issues in DOOH globally are relevant to the DOOH Media landscape in Africa and more specifically, South Africa and the key drivers for growth in DOOH was identified as follows:

Content

The burning question is: How do we make DOOH Media networks more relevant?  Some of the opinions were that a lot of the content on digital place-based networks is boring. We have to provide viewers with content that stimulates and excites. It also needs to be content that can’t be found anywhere else. Some of the global DOOH Media Owners are adapting their content to mirror application formats found on smart phones as this format resonates well with, and is familiar to, their audiences.

Research

How do we measure audiences and improve performance? How do we better understand our viewers? The big industry players spend a lot of time understanding exactly who is viewing their networks or consuming their DOOH Media.

Demographics, income, viewership patterns as well as things like dwell times need to be considered. Nielsen have developed a detailed DOOH tracking survey that is delivering efficacy data inclusive of reach and frequency for a large number of DOOH Media networks across the USA.  From this perspective we in South Africa can clearly learn a lot as we are aware that research will be a key growth driver for DOOH.

Big Data

Big Data is going to play a significant role in terms of measurement, research and efficacy of DOOH globally. Big Data also encompasses location data sets. To contextualise, we have a lot of information that other media types don’t have, such as ticket sales of people using transit nodes, EPOS data for in-store environments, mall footfall figures, airport traffic information as well as stadium attendance figures.  The opportunity lies in combining these very significant sets of data with classical research methodology and the demographic analysis to create a very detailed and exciting audience picture for advertisers.

Understanding Viewer Communities

DOOH Media Owners need to create points of passion with viewers and to connect with them in ways that are relevant to them.  The content needs to add value and it must be informative. The continuous reel of commercials is a thing of the past; content needs to be balanced and engaging.

There needs to be a clear analysis of viewers and the viewer communities. If we look at Large Format Digital, the common thread is that each screen should be treated with its own viewer community, with its own audience dynamics, viewing angles, dwell times and the like.

Reporting and Verification

International OOH Media Owners are investing extensive resources into enhancing reporting and verification of DOOH Media campaigns. There is general consensus that the industry should aim to be more transparent and that advertisers understand exactly what was delivered against a specific set of media objectives.  Most digital place-based operating software is already smart and can provide detailed (pulse) information in real time as well as verification of which commercials were flighted at which location and on which specific player or screen.

The trick is to get independent verification for advertisers on DOOH reports as well as obviously enhancing these reports with world-class efficacy research.  Most global OOH Media Owners are spending a lot of time on making this a reality and we have to very quickly ensure that we follow suite as reporting, transparency and independent verification all confirm ROI, which is obviously key.

Innovation and Social Media Interconnectivity

User generated content; social media interconnectivity and gaming were all very hot topics for discussion at DSE 2015.  Most OOH Media Owners are still experimenting with various models, software and approaches to ensure that consumers are more engaged and participative when it comes to DOOH Media. Driving integration and synergies between smartphone and DOOH networks are critical for future growth and efficiencies.

DOOH is extremely well-positioned to attract significant ad spend over the next few years and this is largely driven by the modern, on-demand consumer, the fragmentation of traditional media types.

Technology is now available at a much more affordable price point and Provantage will launch new DOOH innovations soon that will add significant value to consumers and will offer advertisers new ways of connecting with African audiences.