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'We need an education platform to create OOH awareness'

By M4G Bureau - July 31, 2013

K.B. Agarwal, Managing Director- Rupa & Company Ltd, a big OOH spender, feels there is need for a well equipped OOH education platform in order to tackle issues such as measurement and monitoring in the industry.

Measuring the medium

If properly measured, out- of- home may provide unit by unit demographic detail. A discriminating reach and frequency model with audience metrics are needed, but the correct understanding of these needs for a brand is missing in this platform. Measurement and monitoring are two different things. Both require a different approach and different kind of treatment. Media and Digital people need to understand what they are trying to measure. Nobody has understood the efficacy of the OOH medium. Frequent monitoring is extremely important for the industry. The lack of comfort with the investment is the reason for the absence of trust. Hence, there should be more investment done in research for OOH. It is the media owner's responsibility to monitor and it is conveyed by the agencies as per their observations that it does not get enough investments to do a compliance audit and thus shifts the responsibility and hence, it becomes a vicious circle. There is no collaboration between those who monitor, those who create and those who invest. As a brand we try to capture the effect of our outdoor marketing to measure ROI and observe customer behaviour, so there are informal ways of checking what outdoor is doing, but there is no fixed standard. Innovation is something that cannot be measured as it pulls a customer toward the product being marketed. Basic measurement and frequency should be there to get ROI. We need to have more industry professionals with strategic and innovative perspective; and working should be passion-oriented. With more young people coming into this industry, there should be a well-equipped education platform to teach what outdoor is all about.

•    Out of Home Media Measurement-

Out of home media has a new audience measurement system that reports its true value-- Out - Of- Home Ratings. For over 50  years, out of home media buyers and sellers have used Daily Effective Circulation (DEC), measuring only circulation, or the number of times 18+ people passed an out of home display in a day. OOH ratings go way beyond DEC-based measurement, becoming the advertising industry's first media measurement system that reports audience who actually see your advertisement.  Outdoor ratings represents the average number of persons who are likely to notice an ad viewed on an outdoor display, that include bulletins, posters, junior posters, and bus shelters.

•    Consequences of lack of measurement:
•    Poor R.O.I
•    Poor Branding
•     Loss of Opportunity
•     Poor  Visibility
•    Conflict between Agency & Brand
•    Less Accountability

Percentage of advertising spend on Outdoor medium

Currently in the media mix the percentage of Outdoor is 40 % out of which wall painting - 15 % , Hoarding -25% , Visual Merchandising / Dealer Board -25%, Railways - 20 % Event Participation -5%, Others - 10%. In order to reach all markets, the above OOH requirement will always be decided, depending on availability of location but VM & hoarding spending will increase gradually.

Preferred outdoor format

OOH activities were generally used to complement the main mass media marketing activities and usually a fraction of marketing resources were allocated for these activities. Even though OOH activities started off to fill in for ATL activities. Increasingly, OOH strategies are now recognized as economical, unique, and personal ways to achieve "cut-through" in the supersaturated advertising environment.

Our preferred Outdoor Formats -

•    Banner outside shop to be used during summer / rains to protect from sun light & water.
•    Branding on umbrella & distributed in market as OOH.
•    Railway Platform & Compartments
•    Bus Shelters
•    Hoarding & Kiosks
•    Wall Painting & Wall wraps
•    Shutter Painting

 Reasons for selecting above OOH are -

•    24 Hours Visibility - Outdoor advertising signs are not temporary or periodic, but rather consistent and non-stop.
•    Economical - Outdoor advertising costs 80% less overall than television, 60 % less than print advertisements and 50 % less than radio advertising. Outdoor advertising agencies in fact should work with all media-advertising agencies to produce the most effective advertising campaigns imaginable.
•    Forced Attention of Consumer - The human eye gets rapidly fixed on an outdoor advertisement to help pass time and avoid boredom while one is stuck in traffic or waiting at bus stop. Thus positioning advertisements at bus stops, busy intersections and/or along highways prone to high volume is ingenious.
•    Flexibility- Outdoor advertising can be located in any areas where it will most likely be effective.
•    State of The Art - These days interactive billboards and tri-vision permits 3 various advertisements to be displayed on one unit. Additionally, the actual time needed to create and print the advertisement has been cut in half with new state of the art technologies.

Focus on Digital OOH

The answer-finding process is collaborative. We prefer a quality exchange of technical and strategic perspectives that generates solutions and trigger actions that best meet our brand and business objectives. It is a new approach to advertisement and specially in urban and metro cities and it is effectively visible even in late evening from distance and add on value to brand perception but at the same time it is difficult to monitor its time and tenure with display rotation.OOH initiatives are like traditional direct marketing efforts - they aspire to establish targeted relationships between marketers and individual consumers, and offer comparable ease in measurability. With increased fragmentations and demography along with the bigger pressure to raise effectiveness of marketing communication soon BTL activities has started substituting ATL activities and there has been a steady growth in BTL expenditure in this century. With its unique ability to personalize and customize communication this form of communication is slowly replacing the mass media advertising.
OOH is a common technique used for "touch and feel" products (consumer items where the customer will rely on immediate information rather than previously researched items). An OOH technique ensures recall of the brand while at the same time highlighting the features of the product. Some of the ways by which we do OOH promotions are by exhibitions/ events sponsorship activities, public relations and sales promotions Foreign tours etc.

Creative agencies - Their focus or the lack of it on OOH & their creativity

The role of creative agency is always to innovate and ensure the spread of OOH Pan India & making it effective keeping in mind the changing factors like language, custom etc. which changes every 200kms in our country. This is a challenge indeed. Hence, we focus with two language English & Hindi & for all our OOH advertisement proposals which are being presented on monthly basis. We take a decision from their sample size by short listing the best of the lot. There is still a lot of scope of improvement for all our OOH advertisements created by our agencies.
Most of the agencies are looking for high revenue generation area which is always pertaining to Film Production, Celebrity Endorsement, Brand Building / Repositioning, Event Management, Electronic Media Plan scheduling & buying, On line Branding & Promotion.OOH is more demanding in terms of creativity & competition is stiff because of its short life & newness required in every quarter. In my opinion, because of these challenges and just to keep the client engaged, agencies are offering OOH to client. The factors like having seasonality effect with location preference must be taken into consideration and balancing all is always difficult.

  • To increase attention -
The brands should give proper recognition & share industry trend inputs with the agencies as a partner will always help them to add on more creativity for their client.

The brand's in- house marketing team with research findings on customer behaviour change should be collaborative with the agency, so that their expertise gets translated into expressions on OOH.

Credit issues faced by media owners 

It is happening because in many cases the business recycling process are affected & advertisement is not generating the incremental revenue. If the sales revenue is as per expectation, it will not lead to such situation.
Tags : K B Agarwal Rupa

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