What have the biggest challenges been from the coronavirus pandemic, and what advice would you give to brands revisiting their OOH strategy?
Lockdowns, business closures and job losses have hit the market hard, drying up revenues for most businesses, our clients included, so this has had a significant impact on us as well. That said, we’ve been quite lucky; our client base is extremely loyal and as they’ve begun to see business pick back up again, they’ve in turn returned to doing business with us.
My advice would be to spend wisely with a supplier you can trust, but do spend. There’s a lot of evidence from past recessions showing that brands that continue to spend on advertising reap the benefits with increased market share and strengthened consumer loyalty when the market turns for the better.
How is ooh technology evolving?
In the last 12-18 months, OOH technology has come along by leaps and bounds. Programmatic DOOH is here to stay, but there is still a lot of market education required before it becomes widely adopted. I have no doubt that in due course it will become the new norm. Agencies and direct clients now have the capabilities to deploy their campaigns in a more cost-effective and dynamic way. This might mean buying certain audiences, specific times of the day or applying external triggers to launch their creatives, based on things such as weather conditions, news updates or online search volume trends. It’s early days but the sky is the limit.
How are clients’ demands and strategies evolving?
Historically most of our clients wanted to know what the ROI was going to be, and how it can be validated. There’s a definite shift now towards enhanced and more granular reporting duties.
Additionally, clients are keen to understand more about audience movements, and behaviours, and how geotargeting and re-targeting can be incorporated into their OOH campaigns. To accommodate this we’ve recently launched Elevision +, a bespoke audience measurement and insights platform built by and in partnership with IQ Data.
What coming advances in OOH are you most excited about?
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it has to be the advances in programmatic DOOH. Our region is slightly behind North America and the UK but we’re catching up quickly and I’m proud to say that Elevision is leading these efforts. All of Elevision’s networks are now fully online programmatically, and our inventory can be seen and purchased using some of the industry’s largest demand-side platforms (DSPs) including Adform, The Trade Desk and many others.
Another thing we’re very excited about here at Elevision is a new technology in the O2O (offline to online) space that we’ve been working on with an innovative new ad tech company. This first-of-its-kind technology bridges the gap from OOH to the mobile phone, compressing the advertising funnel from awareness to action, creating an immediate path to conversion for viewers directly from an advertiser’s OOH campaign.
In general, our industry has never been more exciting. There are not many silver linings to the pandemic, but the rapid advancement of technology in OOH is certainly one. Like a number of industries, I believe ours has leapt five years ahead due to the effects of Covid-19.