Digital is our friend - the future of outdoor advertising

21 Jul 2017

  • Technology
  • Marketing Technology

By: Paul Wallbank for ADMA

The humble billboard has a great future in the digital and mobile marketing world, believes oOh!media’s Brendon Cook.

“Digital enables us to have more clients use the medium in different ways and interact their total campaign in different ways,” explains Cook.

oOh!media is one of Australia’s largest out-of-home companies operating signage throughout Australia with over eight thousand digital signs and ten thousand ‘classic’ static signs, a medium that’s far from declining declares Cook, the company’s CEO.

“Our reach is not declining in out-of-home and technology is our friend. If you think about it, newspapers and magazines are similar but different, television and radio are similar but different, PC online and mobile are similar but different. So out-of-home we have static – which we now call classic – and now we have digital as well. They are complementary but different products.”

"Digital has allowed us to find things and make changes in real time"

“Take Commonwealth Bank with their current brand release, they’ve been using classic for their ‘big brand’ proposition about how they are helping people and they’re using their ATMs to ask customers questions which are aggregated by location and appear on digital signs in 1100 different environments across our networks in a way that provides contextual relevance to the viewers.”

Cook sees new media, particularly mobile, as complementary to established channels like outdoor advertising. “Digital has been a positive change, having built scale we’re now seeing the connection with all location based media. Now you’re seeing original, classic out-of-home media working with the new upstart, mobile,” he laughs.

“Digital has allowed us to find things and make changes in real time and that’s certainly been one of the positives,” he says. “Given people can take their mobile anywhere and be connected, the connection with out-of-home becomes even stronger.”

As the industry focuses on mobile and digital technologies marketers are underestimating the potential of out-of-home advertising, Cook believes. “The biggest challenge is undervaluing the media. People are starting to realise the speed of which we’ve created the platforms that mean anything you can do online, we can do offline. What that means is clients are just starting to get the hang of how they can use the two products, the Commonwealth Bank is a good example.”

With the Commonwealth Bank, oOh!media were part of an integrated campaign which saw static outdoor advertising co-ordinated with other channels including the screens of the bank’s ATM, an opportunity to personalise the message while taking advantage of the broader reach of billboards.

“We’re starting to see clients start to understand the opportunity, so the difficulty for us is getting to enough clients and agencies so they can truly understand how they can do it.”

The combination of digital signage, more sources of consumer data available and a multi-screen environment offers great potential for marketers, Cook believes. “What we’re seeing is clients now can apply the data they have about their business and location. The data-poor industries are becoming data rich because information is being captured at location.”

“If you understand the location where the data was captured, that allows you to think of different contextual messages and so creatively getting people to link data.” Cook explains, “For us, we see the constant use of data and location, the products we’re taking to market not only show the reach of a campaign but also the number of buyers for that category. We can answer ‘how many yoghurt buyers pass that sign.’”

As part of growing their digital capabilities, oOh!media purchased online media company, Junkee last year. “One of the reasons we bought Junkee was their mobile first attitude and the way we can connect advertising content to mobile and online but we’re seeing big users like Google, all the great new brands like Apple and Samsung, using out-of-home.”

Cook says that advertisers should explore what the out-of-home media has to offer, “What we recommend is the agencies and their clients come and see us to see the opportunities we have that can inspire them to create great campaigns.”

“Classic signs are undervalued, its audience hasn’t declined. The reality is clients are focusing on the shiny things – which is good – but overlooking the value from the classic sign.”

“Right at the moment things are about finding a better one to many, that to me is the most important thing at the moment,” Cook explains about the company’s data analytics service. “Quantium will be the first product in the world that delivers a whole sense of data by individual location. That gives us a great set of data.”

Cook says the combination of new and old using data offers great products for advertisers. “Out-of-home has built this amazing new platform that can do things you’ve never done before. Make sure you’re challenging your creatives to really understand how to use the media.”

This story is part of our Future of Marketing Almanac - Edition 1: Media channels. Read it now!

Need more info?