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‘Data & technology key to OOH growth'

By Bhawana Anand - November 07, 2019

Rachana Lokhande, Co-CEO, Kinetic Worldwide, Gulab Patil, Founder & CEO, Lemma and Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director, Essence hold forth on how technologies will unlock OOH’s latent potentials

Rachana Lokhande Co-CEO, Kinetic Worldwide, Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director, Essence , Gulab Patil, Founder & CEO, LemmaIn a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Unlocking the value of tech in OOH’ held at the one-day conference entitled ‘DeViate’, organised by the WPP programmatic media company Xasis which calls itself ‘The Outcome Company’, the discussants threw light on the impact of digitalisation on Indian OOH. At the outset, Rachana Lokhande, Co-CEO, Kinetic Worldwide, who anchored the discussion that had Gulab Patil, Founder & CEO, Lemma and Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Director, Essence as the panel speakers, observed that “OOH is evolving and digitisation is taking place at a rapid pace, both nationally and internationally. In many of the overseas markets, DOOH is already accounting for a much larger share of the OOH revenues.”
Reflecting on the current Indian DOOH environment, Gulab stated that the Digital India and Smart City missions launched by Government of India a few years ago have contributed to significant DOOH expansion that is now evident also in the Tier I & II cities. “For the smart city projects, the Government is facilitating the use of digital screens for public messaging and city beautification in general,” he said. Looking ahead, the DOOH expansion is contingent on an ecosystem evolving for the medium, the RoI that it delivers, and the growth and availability of quality inventory, he added.
Commenting on some of the challenges that underpin OOH media in India, Anand said: “The biggest challenge in the OOH industry is not measurement but targeting and intuitive planning. Secondly, the measurement is quite analogue in nature which is more about claimed results and lastly the challenge is about the proof of execution.” However, he added that technology adoption is at an initial stage and that the challenges can be effectively tackled.
Data is central to planning. On this, Rachana asked if the OOH industry would be able to obtain the first hand data from the clients, to which Anand responded that “definitely, first hand data is important as it allows for effective media planning with a better understanding of the audiences and media investments. But the client is very protective about their data and it would be super challenging for the OOH industry to get the brand’s data”.
Responding to Rachana’s question on whether a centralised platform would predominantly engage only the new players in the OOH business, Gulab said: “The consolidation on a centralised platform must not affect individual businesses. Each company has its own CMS platform for executing media plans. Not just the new age players but also the conventional players are seen to be keen on coming on to the centralised platform that is data and technology driven.”

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