There are opportunities in difficulty

Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee
By Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee | 1 June 2017
Bryan Magee

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." Winston S. Churchill

I’m not a person who normally recites quotes but this one resonated with me as I look to approach my first 100 days as MD of Posterscope AU.

As a channel, Out-of-Home (OOH) continues to enjoy audience growth. Digital is delivering a significant boost to inventory levels, the creative opportunities are huge, data led planning is now realistic and the opportunity to take strategies (and revenue) that exist in other channels and execute them in an integrated way through OOH is real.

But with every opportunity there are hurdles to overcome.

Let’s start with using data to properly inform our planning and buying decisions. The investment into technology to be able to plan our media with the same degree of rigour as other channels has been slow but it is coming. We are already working with location data that can be combined with multiple data sources to plan our campaigns to a higher degree of accuracy than ever before. Mobile and Out- of-Home need to be joined at the hip as these two channels are key to unlocking greater accuracy in targeting our clients’ messages.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity for the industry in the next few years is programmatic. However, before we get carried away and rush off into a world of full programmatic, the first thing the industry needs to be able to do is automate a booking. It’s great to see Adshel and The Rubicon Project working together but there is much work to be done with both agencies and suppliers.

New buying models will need to be developed if OOH is to compete with other channels programmatically. It’s less about buying ‘packs’ but more about buying targeted audiences at scale across different locations based on data led insights. This is a fundamental change to the way that the market has traded and will require a new way of working and a fair bit of trial and error along with some trust.

Third party measurement quite rightly continues to be a topic of debate for the industry and OOH has some work to do in this area. Sure we can commission proof of posting reports but with the increase in digital inventory brings the decrease in share of voice, and the potential for suppliers to increase their yields by ramping up the number of faces on a screen. Current third party measurement for OOH is not where it needs to be with only a percentage (albeit a robust one) of inventory tracked. Posterscope is working on a solution to deliver a more accurate view of an entire campaign via a third party but there are a fair few hoops to jump through before we nail this issue.

Posterscope estimates 50% of OOH revenue is now delivered via digital inventory. The potential for multiple creative messages to be delivered dynamically utilising a variety of data sources, to trigger a message at scale, is here and can be delivered through Liveposter. The inventory and technology is available and the campaigns are starting to follow but approximately less than 2% of campaigns are dynamic. We need to get the creatives excited about dynamic OOH creative. We have the tools to be able to make their ideas explode and do this at scale, so let’s use them. Research has proven that more relevant, dynamic campaigns deliver better results for client’s campaigns. 

The opportunity that lays ahead for OOH is enormously exciting. If we get it right, the transformation of the channel will continue to justify the growth and backing that clients and agencies have placed in it. Everyone involved is going to have to adapt and think differently whether you are client, sales, creative or media, the opportunity is real.

By Posterscope managing director Bryan Magee

Check out the June issue of AdNews in print to read our Agenda feature on outdoor advertising.  It's hitting desks next week. You can subscribe to the print edition here, or you can download a digital version you can access on desktop, mobile and tablet here. This content won't appear online, it's excusive to the magazine, so the only way to read it is to get a copy - don't miss it.

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