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‘DOOH spurs industry growth, enabling more dynamic and targeted advertising solutions’

By Vasant Jante - June 07, 2024

Anna Bager, President & CEO, Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) talks about OOH’s new growth dynamics at the WOO Global Congress

Anna Bager, President & CEO, Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA)

At the World Out of Home Organization (WOO) Global Congress in Hong Kong, Anna Bager, President & CEO of the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), provided an in-depth look into the U.S. out-of-home (OOH) advertising market, in a fireside chat with Tom Goddard, President, WOO. Her presentation covered the industry's current state, historical significance, ongoing challenges, and key drivers for future growth.

Historical significance of OAAA

Anna opened her presentation by highlighting the OAAA's long-standing history as the oldest trade association of the U.S. advertising industry. Founded over a century ago, the OAAA has been instrumental in advocating for and supporting the out-of-home industry. She proudly noted that every year since its inception, there has been a reason to be excited about the developments in the OOH sector. This historical foundation underscores the association's commitment to the industry, making it a central figure in US advertising.

Core functions of OAAA

The OAAA's role extends beyond advocacy. Anna emphasised that one of the association's primary functions is government affairs and lobbying, which is crucial for protecting the industry and driving opportunities at both the federal and state levels. This involves navigating complex regulatory environments, such as data privacy laws and other legislative matters that impact how OOH companies that operate and interact with consumers.

Adapting to the digital landscape

The U.S. OOH market is unique, characterised by a substantial reliance on traditional billboards, which account for approximately 75% of the industry's revenue. Despite this, the market is undergoing significant transformation with the rise of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. Anna pointed out that digital OOH currently represents 33% of OOH revenue in the U.S., a figure that is rapidly increasing. This shift from static to digital formats presents a significant growth opportunity, enabling more dynamic and targeted advertising solutions. 

Key growth drivers: programmatic and retail media

Anna identified several key drivers for future growth in the U.S. OOH market. Programmatic advertising is a major factor, making it easier for advertisers to purchase OOH media in real-time, much like they do with digital and online channels. This approach enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of OOH campaigns.

Retail media also presents a significant opportunity. Anna discussed the potential for OOH to integrate with retail networks that possess extensive first-party data. This integration can enhance targeting and measurement capabilities, making OOH an attractive option for advertisers looking to connect with consumers at various points in their journey.

Cross-platform integration

Anna emphasised the importance of integrating OOH with other media platforms, such as connected TV (CTV). By leveraging location-based data, advertisers can create a seamless consumer journey from home to store. This cross-platform integration not only enhances the impact of OOH campaigns but also positions OOH as a crucial component in a holistic advertising strategy.

Data privacy and measurement standards

Addressing the growing concerns around data privacy, Anna highlighted the need for the OOH industry to adapt to new regulations while viewing them as opportunities for innovation. She also discussed the recent introduction of Media Rating Council (MRC) standards for OOH, a milestone aimed at enhancing trust and comparability across media platforms. This development is particularly significant as it addresses one of the main barriers to increased ad spend in the OOH sector: the lack of standardised, accredited measurement. 

Collaboration and sustainability

Collaboration within the industry is vital, Anna praised the OAAA's efforts to engage with other trade bodies and international partners. This collaborative approach not only strengthens the industry but also fosters innovation and best practices. She also highlighted sustainability as a key focus area, noting that OOH advertising is increasingly viewed as a more sustainable medium compared to other forms of advertising. Emphasising sustainability not only aligns with global trends but also serves as a competitive advantage for the industry. 

Future prospects

Despite recent challenges, the U.S. OOH market is poised for robust growth. Anna expressed optimism about the industry's future, citing a predicted growth rate of 6% for 2024. She encouraged stakeholders to seize current opportunities, continue innovating, and collaborate to drive the industry forward. The OAAA's efforts in standardising measurement, advocating for favourable regulations, and promoting digital transformation are all aimed at ensuring the continued relevance and success of the OOH industry.

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