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Home » Viewpoints » ‘We liberate OOH firms from tedious reporting & admin burdens’

‘We liberate OOH firms from tedious reporting & admin burdens’

By M4G Bureau - April 11, 2024

Mark Bracey, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, DoohClick speaks about the company’s business offerings, mode of client engagement, market outreach and other key factors in an exclusive interview with Rajiv Raghunath, conducted in Cape Town. Edited excerpts:

Mark Bracey

How would you define DoohClick’s business?

We are an independent business open to all out-of-home media operators. Our mission is to liberate out-of-home media professionals from the tedious tasks of reporting and administrative burdens. This freedom empowers them to focus on the essential elements of expanding their ventures.

What truly distinguishes us is our identity as erstwhile media owners who understand and operate from within the industry. This alignment resonates profoundly with our clients. They find comfort in knowing that we share their challenges and experiences, offering empathetic solutions to their needs.

At DoohClick, our team brings a wealth of expertise and added value, bridging the gap between technology and genuine industry insight. We offer a level of flexibility that is particularly valuable for entrepreneurial, startup, and small to medium-sized businesses seeking personalised guidance.

Our commitment to understanding the intricacies of the out-of-home media landscape ensures that our clients receive not just a technological solution, but a partnership grounded in empathy, experience, and a shared vision for growth.

Please throw some more light on your business offerings to media owning firms?

We've streamlined our process into five simple steps, from receiving a brief from agencies or brands to delivering a live and scheduled proposal on their screens. Additionally, our dashboard technology offers major stakeholders and business owners a comprehensive view of every aspect of their operations in real-time.

This dashboard provides instant insights into operational performance, asset utilisation against capex, sales metrics, and the effectiveness of offline and online sites. Moreover, our reporting feature allows users to generate reports for landlords and revenue share partners with just a click.

At DoohClick we view our platform as an ever-evolving tool rather than a finished product. We maintain a sophisticated roadmap that prioritises client feedback, ensuring that their needs are continually addressed. We roll out new features regularly, sometimes even weekly, depending on their scope and significance.

What is the mode of engagement with clients?

As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business, we operate on a subscription model. Typically, we enter into contracts with our clients for a minimum of five years, tailored to their specific requirements. This extended duration enables us to cultivate enduring relationships with our clients, gaining deep insights into their operations and needs.

Having this extended period allows us the time to truly understand their business, developing products and features that can significantly enhance their company's performance. It gives us the opportunity to make a substantial impact and provide solutions that align closely with their goals.

So does that also take you to the area of consulting? 

Certainly, unofficially, we engage in extensive conversations with our clients regarding the advantages of our technology and ways they can enhance their workflow. This often includes guidance on audience measurement strategies to maximise their benefits. 

Our platform serves as an agnostic incubator, allowing us to collaborate with specialists who excel in specific areas. 

While we are not official consultants, we provide added value to our clients through this advisory role. Should they seek it, we offer insights and suggestions to help them optimise their operations and leverage our platform to its fullest potential.

What is the typical profile of a media owner who would be wanting to work with you? 

Any media owner looking to engage with or utilise digital out-of-home media assets is a potential client for DoohClick.

We find ourselves especially in demand among small to medium-sized businesses, a category we particularly enjoy serving due to our own entrepreneurial spirit. However, we also have several large businesses among our client base. This diversity in client size reflects our ability to cater to a broad spectrum of needs within the out-of-home media industry.

What is your approach to building your client base?

The most effective and complementary way to grow our business has been through word of mouth and recommendations. When we initially relaunched DoohClick as an independent entity, we took a deliberate approach to enter new markets.

Our strategy was not overly strategic or scientific, but rather focused on identifying companies that clearly needed our services and were open to welcoming us into their environments. This led us to target clients across various regions such as America, Europe, the UK, the Middle East, South Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Our aim was to secure a standout client in each market to act as an ambassador for DoohClick. We understood that having a strong reference in these regions would naturally attract interest from other potential clients. However, this approach came with a significant responsibility—to deliver an exceptional service and ensure an unparalleled customer experience.

Fortunately, our efforts have paid off, and we now proudly serve clients in America, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, the UK, and Southeast Asia. Much of our growth stems from positive word of mouth within the industry, with significant interest also coming from industry bodies such as the World Out of Home Organization (WOO) and the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) in America. This collaborative effort with industry bodies has further amplified our presence and reputation within the out-of-home media industry.

In a fragmented OOH market, how do you work with clients who may be competing with each other in particular areas of business?

Our professionalism instills trust in our clients, as they are confident that we always prioritise their best interests. In our development roadmap, we never include features that are exclusive to one client. However, if a client requests a highly specific feature tailored to their business, we accommodate their needs. While such a feature may exclusively benefit them, they have the option to obtain it, albeit potentially at an additional cost. 

In the initial years of your business, you addressed markets that were very familiar to you. Later, as you tapped into different global markets, what was your experience like?

We have a genuine passion for embracing and discovering the diverse cultural approaches to business in every market we enter. Each market presents unique and intriguing aspects, such as the highly sophisticated and advanced landscape of the American market. However, even within this advanced environment, we find fascinating operational nuances.

In contrast, the European market, while relatively small geographically, is remarkably fragmented. Our goal as a business is to emphasise the importance of establishing a common currency for the buying and selling of out-of-home media.

Attending major industry events worldwide has been crucial for us. Clients have often come to us through recommendations or by witnessing our innovative work. 

In a rapidly evolving tech space, how do you ensure continuous improvement of your business offerings?

We always strive to stay ahead of the market by anticipating needs and challenges at least six months in advance. Developing new features takes time, so we proactively think about what might be necessary down the line and work on them in advance.

Early on, we recognised the importance of accommodating both digital and static inventory within our system. This decision was driven by our desire to avoid alienating clients who might not exclusively operate digital OOH assets. We listened to our clients and made sure to create a system that is democratic and inclusive, rather than assuming that everyone operates solely with digital inventory. This approach ensures that we remain adaptable and accommodating to the diverse needs of our client base.

Are you only catering to DOOH media owning firms?

As a matter of fact, traditional out-of-home media remains a significant aspect of our business. Personally, coming from a traditional background, I recall the excitement surrounding innovations like revolving or scrolling displays in the past. While the industry has evolved considerably since then, it's important to acknowledge that there are still thousands of high-quality static billboards in existence.

We understand that this aspect of the market is not likely to change anytime soon, and we are committed to catering to it. Our approach is inclusive, recognising the enduring value and relevance of traditional out-of-home media alongside advancements in digital technology.

Indeed, our primary technology focus is on digital out-of-home media, while many of our clients operate in both digital and traditional realms. The trend towards converting best assets to digital is clear, aligning with the rapidly evolving media landscape. Describing out-of-home media solely in terms of roadside or shopping mall displays is outdated. Screens now permeate every conceivable environment, from traditional billboards to. Our role as a company is to remain adaptable and encompassing, embracing the full spectrum of the digital out-of-home media ecosystem.

Are you seeing traditional media owners recognising the need for adopting tools that bring in greater efficiency in their business processes?

Agencies and brands operate within the same sphere, and to be successful in this shared space, a common language and tools are essential. While it might be tempting for a static media owner to rely solely on spreadsheets for inventory management, the landscape demands more. The need for audience measurement, proof of play, and post-campaign reporting necessitates a robust technological solution.

For any out-of-home media operator, having a reliable technology platform is crucial. This ensures the ability to provide accurate proof of play reports and deliver on the evolving demands of the industry.

How do you view DoohClick’s business progress in the post-Covid period?

Our journey has been marked by building upon our initial successes and expanding into new markets. Year after year, we have seen a consistent growth rate of 25%, now operating in 13 diverse markets with a strong client base in each.

Remaining nimble and adaptable has been crucial to our success, as is maintaining a lean operational structure. We believe in offering quality and value, understanding that businesses today seek efficiency and effectiveness. Our platform serves as a tool to streamline operations, often equating to the savings of three to four staff members in a traditional back-office setup.

In essence, our platform provides exceptional value, offering cost-effective solutions that enable businesses to operate leaner and more efficiently.

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