OOH Media making strong connection with consumers

The larger than life impression and contextual nature of the digital out of home medium, allows advertisers the ability to enmesh themselves into the environment of their target audiences with effective ease.

We live in a world that is constantly changing. What is impossible to fathom today may be a common thing tomorrow. Change is so certain that sometimes even the experts get it wrong. In 1943, Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, said: “I think there is a world market for about five computers.” In 1977, Ken Olsen, president of Digital Equipment Corporation, said: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”

As it is obvious, change is the only constant, and this is true in the digital out of home space as well. Look around and you will notice how the traditional hoarding space around us has changed over the years. The old dilapidated hoarding at the corner of the pathway, on your street has given way to a swanky, backlit, handsome looking billboard, Brands and models staring right at you, giving you an impression that they will jump out of it and reach out to you anytime. Yes they have come to life and how. There is more to come though. Among the key trends going forward are the emergence of venue-based media solutions, which combine multiple digital OOH options and other marketing strategies, such as event marketing and sampling, to provide brand marketers with a range of out-of-home venues, platforms, demographics and psychographics to build brand affinity.

The larger than life impression and contextual nature of the digital out of home medium, allows advertisers the ability to enmesh themselves into the environment of their target audiences with effective ease. With consumers spending more time outside their homes and reducing their usage of traditional media, there is a boost expected in spends on the digital OOH space. Escalating petroleum prices, for example, prompted more consumers to utilize public transport in recent years , creating expanded audiences for digital OOH advertising that reaches bus, train and subway commuters.

“This medium is too powerful not to breakout at some point in the next couple years because the secular trends driving its growth are not going away,” said Patrick Quinn, president & CEO of PQ Media. “The industry’s direction is still evolving, but the adoption of standard measurements and business practices will go a long way toward placing digital out-of-home in the regular media mix.”

The digital OOH media sector enables advertisers to engage target consumers in captive locations during their daily routines through video advertising networks, digital billboards and ambient ad platforms. The media platforms are further categorized by various venues and locations, including theaters, retail, offices, entertainment hubs, transit, universities, roadside, and on various objects.

Amid a sharp downturn in global advertising spending and a decline in traditional out-of-home advertising in 2009, digital out-of-home media is among the fastest growing media in the world and will continue on an upward track in 2010, according to a new global forecast from PQ Media, the leading provider of media econometrics.

Throughout history, emerging media supported by strong audience metrics have consistently grown during economic recoveries after deep recessions. This was true for radio in the ’30s and ’40s, broadcast TV in the ’50s, cable TV in the ’80s and ’90s, and Internet and search in the ’00s. PQ Media data strongly suggest history will repeat itself in the case of digital out-of-home media, due in part to today’s unprecedented media disruption and fragmentation, people consuming more media out of the home all day long and with media stakeholders placing greater emphasis on audience measurement

Expected trends in the OOH space :

Strong connection with consumer – ‘A day in the life of’

There is a reason why retail is one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital signage space. Digital signage has the potential to produce sales uplift, in addition to enhancing the customer experience. And when it comes to advertising, those kinds of positive results are of the utmost importance. With costs that are not prohibitive, there are more converts expected in the retails space in the near future.

“Relevance” is the new king

The jury is now in. It used to be that content alone was king. In fact, the major growth area in terms of best practices is in improving the quality of the content that is delivered to a targeted audience. Now its relevance is the new king.

Users can show all the fancy ads they want and measure audiences for months on end, but unless that audience is going to have some kind of connection to the ad, and the content around those ads it is a worthless endeavor. The OOH space has been able to dish out content that is relevant to different locations hence making the medium realistic and consumable

More local input

As part of efforts to make content more relevant, digital signage providers have found that local content is highly effective for getting viewers’ attentions. Most often, this comes in the form of local news headlines, announcements or weather, important hotlines in the area, events and happenings in the vicinity etc. Whichever type of content is displayed, the key is to make it as targeted as possible.

It is becoming a best practice to insert a local input window into the screen layout, where managers and directors on the local level have the ability to instantly update content tailored specifically toward their audiences.

“Pictures are our new language”

In his presentation at Digital Signage Expo 2009, renowned retail consultant Paco Underhill said that “pictures are our new language.” In no other industry is this more relevant than digital signage.

As a whole, we are moving away from words on a screen and letting high quality images and dynamic video tell the story. Ad agencies looking to gain some consistency in messaging understand that the ability to communicate with pictures is becoming increasingly important to the advertising community and the consumers it is trying to reach.

Increased mobile display

Another strong area of growth is the shift toward mobile digital signage. Two key examples are bus lines and elevators, which in the past couldn’t get real-time content updates on the move, but are now enabled due to advancements in broadcast and wireless content delivery.

Take the Supri Outdoor media , for example who have range of products like mobile horadings and LED trucks that allow advertisers the opportunity to target consumers during both peak traveling hours of the day.

Moving forward

The digital signage industry remains hopeful that Digital Out Of Home advertising will continue to grow and work toward being a viable ad medium in the eyes of brand marketers. Fortunately, research has helped with that. Neilsen research report – OOH Metrics reported that out of total sample size of 14,574 70% of people recall screens in all surveyed market and out of those 70% – 90% audience recalled ad being played on OOH TV screens.

Encouraging numbers those, that prove that the OOH industry is on the verge of boom that has been long overdue. Trends such as these will boost the confidence of marketers and brand custodians for sure.

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