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AdWise Analytics: Increasing transparency in OOH

By M4G Bureau - May 23, 2016

AdWise Analytics recently unveiled a first-of-its-kind, Out-of-Home media ecosystem solutions that aims to provide end-to-end operations management platform in real time to the outdoor advertising industry.

In the world of advertising, change is the only constant factor! However, Out-of-Home advertising medium in particular, has been untouched amidst all this technological brouhaha. Let's take the case of billboards - the most dominant and widely used form of OOH advertising till date. Even today, agencies are clueless about billboard availability, booking, pricing, their legalities, and their tenure!

Without a robust one-stop, end-to-end operations platform solutions in place to manage/monitor these activities, only chaos reigns supreme in the world of billboards! With the current lack of end-to-end visibility and the absence of regulation, a climate of mistrust amongst advertisers, agencies, and media owners has now taken root and is festering to the detriment of the whole OOH domain. Can technology now bring the much needed transparency and regulation to the OOH industry? Can technology help the OOH segment to expand and enhance its latent potential?

It can and it will, is the categorical belief of the founders of AdWise Analytics Pvt Ltd, a company that has pioneered a first-of-its - kind, Out-of-Home media ecosystem solutions that aims to provide end-to-end operations management platform in real time to the Outdoor Advertising industry. The core values delivered by Adwise to its customers is cost efficiency, time efficiency, complete transparency and minimal human intervention thereby reducing or eliminating the margin for error, and most importantly, technology enablement for end-to-end  transparency in the OOH industry.

So, how does AdWise work?

AdWise solutions is based on IoT (Internet of Things) technology. In collaboration with Telematics4U (T4U), the parent company of AdWise, whose core area of domain expertise is cutting edge technology solutions, a customized technology platform has been designed for billboard management. This IoT solution comes in the form of a cloud-based software platform which sources live photo inputs from a hardware unit installed on each billboard site.  This is integrated with a back-end analyser unit is manned by well-trained domain experts at Telematics4U. Any defect that is caught on camera automatically alerts the media owner through the platform and is also recorded/archived for retrieval at any time. Media owners, have password protected access to the platform from any location, and are required to login to the platform and register bookings on their hoardings along with the start and end dates. The solution platform then automatically compares the actual display on the site against the booked advertisement and records mismatches, if any. At the end of the period of display, a certificate is produced specifying actual start and end dates and exact condition of the display on each day during the display period. This Third Party Certificate, when produced together with the bill from the media vendor, lays to rest any doubts or questions about how the billboard was used and who used it, providing a clear and visible record for audit purposes. By seamlessly connecting all the stakeholders of the OOH ecosystem - i.e., the media owners, agencies, and advertisers - AdWise streamlines communication, improves coordination, and ensures end-to-end transparency in OOH operations.

Furthermore, AdWise, with assistance from Telematics4U - resolves the problem of illegal sites that is rampant in the OOH space today. All site details shared by the media owners over the AdWise platform are scrutinised by the company's tech team. Team members painstakingly visit all the sites, capture details mapped to latitude-longitude and also collect proof of the site being legitimate. If the data does not pass internal scrutiny regarding site authenticity, details of such a site will be removed from the platform. This way, AdWise emerges as a reliable and trusted source of site information, where only legal sites find a place!

With AdWise, media owners are assured of greater control over OOH operations and an opportunity to regain the credibility and goodwill they might have lost. All of these directly translate into more revenue for media owners.

Going The Smart Way

With government planning to develop more smart cities, it is equally important for the OOH industry to go the smart way by applying technology in its operations. AdWise Analytics chose Bangalore as its maiden testing ground and launched the AdWise technology platform here recently as the market here is quick and quite accepting. Success in this city would set a benchmark to follow. The solution was also later soft-launched in Kolkata. Enthused by the rave reviews AdWise garnered from the advertising fraternity and the audience in both cities, the company is now planning to move into other metros and tier 2 & tier 3 cities as well. But this is not all! Efforts are on to take AdWise into other OOH media like bus shelters, bus backs, digital screens, road medians, etc. Ambitious projects to convert hoardings and bus shelters into POP (Point of Sales) assets by connecting them to consumers, mobiles, and other communication devices, are also in the anvil. "When this happens, it is sure to completely revolutionise the industry, as advertising will no longer remain just another investment, but an investment that delivers quick and high returns,” said Amit Taneja, Director, AdWise.

First Steps

"But this technology is still taking its baby steps and in order to bring in complete transparency in the industry more media units are needed to be monitored,” said Manmohan Singh, CEO, Popular Advertising who has taken a step towards installing these tracking kits on his sites in Bangalore and is keen on extending it to other sites of his. While C.D.V Subba Rao, CEO, Prakash Arts Pvt. Ltd. who has installed these kits on four of his sites in Bangalore is very positive on the future of this technology. With clients showing willingness to book sites that are monitored and maintained online, Rao has plans of extending this technology to other premier sites of his.   

Boost to Industry

The question whether this tracking mechanism will help boosts the industry remains because monitoring of sites has always been an issue. Hence the requirement of a failsafe system to monitor a site on a day to day basis will bring a sigh of relief to the media owners. Moreover as there will be a third party confirmation on the quality and continuity of the display it will be void of all malfeasance. This would definitely build the trust of advertisers and agencies giving a boost to the industry. Moreover when a certificate of excellence with regards to the maintenance, tracking and quality of the display is produced to the agencies by media owners, it will definitely be a value addition and might help in increasing the rate of the site, said Singh. Not the other hand, Subba Rao is of the opinion that it might not give the desired boost or boom to the OOH industry but it will definitely help in cementing the relation between the media owners and investors.

Of course business needs profit and any investment made is targeted at getting maximum returns out of it.  But as this is fairly a new technology, media owners will have to wait and watch what the return on investment would be. In the words of Rao, support of the agencies and advertisers is equally important as the support of the media owners. "Demand gives rise to supply and if there is demand from investors for sites that have the tracking mechanism, media owners will definitely go ahead in installing the kit.”

However, the road ahead for AdWise is not an easy one. Fear of the unknown industry players and getting them to open up on the possibilities of cutting edge technology solutions could pose a challenge to Adwise's acceptance. They may also face resistance from some media owners, as it will inevitably'clean' a system that has been marred by malpractices. Help from government bodies and support from media owners who are committed to cleansing the system can help AdWise nip these challenges in the bud and forge ahead. That day is not far away where every OOH medium in every city is controlled and regulated by AdWise! So…Go CLEAN…Go WISE…Go ADWISE!!


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