Smart cities, new trading models and automation - out of home predictions 2018

Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee
By Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee | 15 December 2017
Bryan Magee

This year has been another action-packed year in out of home (OOH).

Over the course of the year OOH has seen more examples of dynamic digital campaigns on the streets, headway being made into better usage and application of data, and there has been a marked progression towards acheiveing greater accountability.

Looking ahead to 2018, let’s take a minute to reflect on the insights garnered from OOH and hone in on the trends, technology and market factors we predict will come to the forefront in Australia in 2018.

Automation will drive efficiency

Whilst still in its infancy in Australia, in 2018 more agencies and media partners will be creating their own platforms to make headway into Automation. While programmatic online began with real time bidding and has moved towards private marketplaces, OOH is better structured to start in this place. However significant investment is required by the media operators to upgrade their systems and better handle automation at a basic level. 2018 will see a significant focus to automate transactions in earnest.

Smarter data = smarter campaigns

The use of data within OOH contines to strengthen its offering as a channel. Telcos and mobile publishers are turning their attention to data provision in a more meaningful way for OOH usage. OOH is no longer just about branding and will begin to have more opportunity to make use of huge anonymised data sets that, when fused with a brand’s first party data, will provide a competitive advantage with smarter planning and deployment.

The power of three seconds

OOH has always had success as an eye catching, impactful medium; and Australia has seen significant investment into digital iconic locations. And, while there are some roadside restrictions, there are thousands of internal sites with full animation . Regardless of its location, there is a lot more pressure on the first three seconds of advertising to engage a viewer. This is significant when considering digital OOH or digital out out of hom (DOOH) engagement.

The attention economy is shifting, consumers are comfortable with soundless video on social, and DOOH can utilise the social and digital engagement principles to showcase content through OOH. With continued investment in digital inventory and the expectation that investment will continue to grow, DOOH will come to life. In 2018 it’s expected that DOOH will account for 50% of revenue.

New trading models will increase ROI

In 2017, OOH has become significantly more flexible and smarter in the way that it trades. Historically, DOOH has been restricted to more traditional campaign timings and planning leadtimes; more so in Australia than other countries which has arguably restricted creativity of messaging and flexible placement. This has changed considerably in the past 12 months, and is set to continue with campaigns being booked via triggered scenarios, such as breaking news or events. This will open up increased opportunity with advertiser type and bespoke targeting.

Location will become mainstream

Nearly a third of all search queries relate to location. In 2018 it will become even more important for advertisers to create campaigns that are dynamic and utilise location, given that it is an expected part of the service. Contextual messages increase uplift by 15% across branding metrics, from displaying different messages at different times according to audience context, and broadcast still works, but new flexible ways of delivering campaigns will mean better messaging and relevancy by location.

Targeting will be driven by context

This year we have seen a transition towards focusing on behaviour and audience habits, noting a stepchange on a previous reliance on demographics. We know more about consumer behaviour and what people are doing, when and where, than ever before. The next leap is harnessing emotional data to apply appropriate context to the locations and messaging. This information is powerful for brands as facial recognition technology advances and means campaigns can adjust in real time in response to an emotion or visual recognition trigger to provide seamless communication at a much deeper and contextual level.

Smart cities and civic utility

The $50m Smart Cities and Suburbs program is supporting the delivery of smart city projects that will improve liveability and sustainability across towns and cities across Australia. As a country, Australia has continued to urbanise and OOH has continued alongside this regeneration with new technology and features such as connectivity and machine to machine communication in mind. OOH will not only provide much needed civic utility from relevant ads to relevant information – e.g. waiting times for the next bus, but also become seamless with daily living and providing additional benefit. A recent example being JCDecaux’s Telstra units in Perth and subsequent roll out providing WiFi, charging points and local information via touchscreens.

Integration with mobile will increase

With the rise of OOH working alongside public utlity i.e. providing WiFi at public hotspots, it will become easier for OOH campaigns to align with mobile and social platforms. For example the use of Snapcodes to help drive reach and engagement and provide a consumer experience with a brand that can be amplified and shared. This can be linked to CRM data and help to track campaigns in new ways.

Although only a sample of our predictions, it’s clear that OOH is set to leap forward again in what could see it become a billion dollar channel in 2018. There really has never been a better time to be part of the OOH industry, we look forward to what 2018 has in store.

By Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee

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