Out-of-home (OOH) is one of the hottest sectors in Australia at the moment in terms of advertising and investment.
The growth in the sector has coincided with the rise of Veridooh, a local adtech startup whose flagship proprietary solution, SmartCreative, independently tracks, measures, and verifies the performance of digital out of home (DOOH) campaigns, increasing transparency and buyer confidence in the industry.
Veridooh cofounder Mo Moubayed - who co-founded the company with Jeremy Yang - said there's a number of factors driving demand, one of them is that budgets are being scrutinised by CMOs, so marketers need to show that what they invest in has been delivered.
“Prior to Veridooh, verification involved patchy spot checks, so you'd send people out with a phone to take pictures, even on digital screens, which meant brands and agencies didn't have certainty that their campaigns were delivered,” said Moubayed.
“Now, our tech means that you can have 100% visibility of your campaigns for the entire duration of the campaign. Not only do you have 100% visibility, you have 100% certainty that they've been delivered the way that you've booked and paid for them.
“OOH is also going through a huge digital evolution, so if OOH wants to be considered as a digital medium, then independent verification will become that standard.”
Moubayed said that when Veridooh first launched, the focus was really around educating the market around independent verification - how the new technology works and how it can add value to brands.
AdNews can reveal that Veridooh has been re-appointed as the preferred verification partner for GroupM, with their remit extended to cover all OOH formats.
In 2019, when Veridooh first won the pitch for GroupM, it was named the DOOH verification partner; this year, after a “long, extensive pitch”, Moubayed said the company has been appointed verification partner across digital, programmatic and physical inspection verification.
The partnership means Veridooh’s independent verification is available to all GroupM agencies, including Mindshare, EssenceMediacom, Wavemaker, and Sightline.
“That gives you a hint about what marketers are looking for as well - they're looking for this one view across all three buyers and we're seeing more of a focus on programmatic” he said.
Moubayed said Veridooh’s system works differently to previous verification methods due to its SmartCreative, which collects ad play data independently of the media owner, as compared to proof of play reports, which are aggregated and provided by media owners.
Moubayed said that Veridooh’s independent verification allows media buyers to increase their investments in OOH by providing a clearer picture of how OOH is helping their brands grow.
“One Veridooh client, an FMCG brand, hadn’t invested in OOH for over six years because of the perceived lack of transparency and data. We worked with the agency to provide them independent verification on their first campaign in June 2022, the brand then ran a whole bunch of campaigns with us after that first trial campaign,” he said.
“With over 400 data points and insights that our dashboard gives, the client was able to track when and where the panels ran and cross match this data with point of sales data. Having those two sources of data, they were able to identify sales uplift, and as a result of those trials and that data analysis that we provided, the client went on to divert over 4% of its marketing budget, primarily from online channels, into DOOH.
“For a client to go from 0% of their media market mix to 4%, I think that's a huge jump - and it wasn't just one campaign, it was over a number of campaigns, and that really shows the power of independent verification.”
Moubayed said Veridooh built its SmartCreative tech after hearing from numerous agencies and clients that they needed verification for DOOH; not being able to independently verify OOH was acting as a blocker for further growth in the sector.
“In some ways, I think independent verification is actually leading the way when it comes to verification standards across all ad platforms, which really is a reflection of how the sector in Australia, including media owners, brands and media agencies, really embrace innovation to push the sector forward,” he said.
“There's a whole bunch of innovation happening in DOOH as well and Australia also leads the way in innovation in this regard, especially with new technologies.
“Whether it's using 3D technology, or strong creative execution, I think Australia is doing a great job when it comes to OOH creativity. Compared to other markets, Australia is really at the top of its game, if not leading the way in some ways with DOOH."
It’s not just the Australian market that Veridooh operates in – it recently expanded its presence in New Zealand and launched into the UK market, partnering with media owners such as Alight Media, Limited Space and iQOOH in the country.
Moubayed said that the decision to expand into the UK was driven by the demand for independent verification in the market.
“The UK market is very mature from a technology perspective and from a buyer's perspective, so we knew they would understand it well,” Moubayed told AdNews.
“Even while we were in Australia, we were feeling the demand for independent verification in the UK and what was really obvious at the time that we were going over was that marketers and brands wanted something completely independent of all media owners.”
Looking ahead, Moubayed said simply put, Veridooh’s mission is to help grow the sector, with one of the company's goals being to help take OOH globally from being a 4% medium to an 8% medium in terms of the ad spend it receives.
“Veridooh was born out of listening to agencies and brands and listening to challenges they have around OOH. That’s something that’s in our DNA and we’ll continue to listen to clients to help them solve their OOH challenges using data and help them grow,” he said.
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