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OOH Industry Snapshot: Hills Advertising’s Sami Al Mufleh

Sami Al Mufleh, CEO, Hills Advertising

What metrics should clients use to measure the success of OOH?

First, we could gauge foot traffic using location information, which is comparable to impressions in the digital media sphere. Both static and digital OOH ad units may now be tracked at the unit level for ad exposures. We can now use location data to track offline conversion events. A few third-party tools have numerous integrations that cover every online and offline KPI, such as app events, online visitors and offline sales. With the use of such dashboards, we can quickly analyse and monitor performance KPIs including attributed conversions, exposure conversion rate and exposure frequency prior to conversion. The ability to track and estimate views has improved over time using a variety of novel techniques. Even measuring data like eyes, dwell periods and general body language toward an OOH campaign is now possible thanks to technology and algorithms.

How important is technology to OOH?

While the majority of OOH inventory is still physical, more digital screens are becoming an essential component of OOH campaigns. Technology has become big and crucial in OOH during the previous decade, or even only a few years. Better optimisation on digital screens allows for the creation of more individualised messaging by advertisers. Additionally, it is possible to employ several triggers to start a more dynamic kind of outdoor advertising.

These advancements are being helped by better and more precise data. In real time, advertisers may now provide dynamic media depending on the demographics and usage patterns of mobile devices. Although real-time advertising is important, it really follows a larger trend in which the market is moving toward more reactive solutions. This is being fuelled by the abundance of data that marketers have at their disposal nowadays. This adaptability fuels OOH personalisation, which produces outstanding outcomes for advertisers who use DOOH to accomplish their objectives.

The programmatic purchase of outdoor advertising is a noteworthy development in the industry. OOH inventory can not only be purchased instantaneously and automatically, but it is now accessible on many of the same channels and sites where advertisers may buy their display or mobile advertisements. As a result, advertisers can now effortlessly create campaigns for a variety of channels and formats, including OOH.

How does OOH fit into the marketing mix with other media?

We have received numerous client reviews over the course of our many years of outdoor advertising experience, and many of these clients have come back to us after experimenting with other media for one reason: no campaign is complete without outdoor advertising. Sure, nowadays you can go online buy a bunch of online ads, a magazine page and more, but to be able to buy an outdoor ad in a fairly busy and upscale area the brand would need to be well established in order to afford it, which ultimately ends up giving legitimacy to the brand in the eyes of the consumers.

What legislation or regulation would you like to see introduced or removed around OOH?

As it stands today, with regards to rules and regulations, the outdoor media industry is quite mature and well regulated in our region. A welcome tweak or two would be some easing of restrictive regulation of billboards in terms of content as well as a layer of protection of existing vendor contracts by increasing the minimum distance between advertising signs to 350-400m as opposed to the existing 200m, which protects the vendors and yet still allows for healthy competition. The same measure would be recommended for any type of road signage and road beautifying items in order to prevent signage coverage and protect the investment.

What are you most looking forward to in the next year or so?

In the area of DOOH, new technologies are constantly welcome in terms of content, immersive media and media buying, as well as more tools to demonstrate ROI from a variety of perspectives.