Increase industry collaboration: WOO president Tom Goddard
By M4G Bureau - February 17, 2023
Addressing the WOO MENA Forum, Goddard underlined the need for strong trade associations to build sector growth
"The stars are aligned," World Out of Home Organization President Tom Goddard told delegates at WOO's inaugural MENA Forum (Middle East and North Africa) in Dubai this week.
"Why, in a world so unsettled with a war in Europe, an energy crisis, climate change concerns, political instability and economic headwinds are forecasters so buoyant about Out of Home? Because we have so many positive dynamics driving us forward."
According to Goddard, these include:
- Credible audience metrics which build trust and confidence and facilitate a common trading language.
- Automation which is now becoming a major growth stimulus.
- Programmatic, facilitated by automation, which taps into mushrooming omnichannel trading.
- Creatives falling back in love with Out of Home as the digital tide ebbs.
- The return of spectacular one-off special builds.
- A growing desire for 24/7 media channels.
- The huge impact of anamorphic technology enabling the highest resolution images on wide digital screens
MENA, he said, was a region that "is not only bucking the global economic downturn but booming" thanks to factors including a young well-educated workforce and the United Arab Emirates' open door policy and business-as-usual stance throughout the recent pandemic.
"MENA’s unique geographical location, with easy access to so many large markets, is really starting to tell," he continued, with OOH, especially DOOH, very well-placed to benefit from the ever-growing number of exciting physical locations with consequent marketing and creative opportunities.
"There is nowhere better to make a gigantic statement about OOH," he said, pointing to a stunning example from Qatar for the recent FIFA World Cup.
As always, there remains work to be done, and Goddard highlighted the need to grow the industry at the sector level in an ever-more competitive global media market. The most effective way, he said, was to increase industry collaboration at all levels and shift focus from internal competition to sector level activity.
"Don’t misunderstand me," he said, "local competition in some areas like bidding for site contracts is healthy and should continue" but a bigger medium means more for everyone.
Concluding he referenced the need for strong trade associations to build sector growth, WOO, as the only true global OOH trade association, had no such national members five years ago but now, with a total membership of over 180, has over 30, including 17 from the top 20 OOH markets.
Trade associations, he said, would play an even bigger role as the industry grows and consolidates.