‘Working in the OOH industry is extremely stimulating and demanding’
Rachana Lokhande, Founder, Glocal Bridge & Advisor to the Board of IOAA, highlights the myriad experiences that go into the making of an OOH professional.
Out of Home…considered the most challenging medium. A part of our landscape, and hence part of the consumer journey.
Working in the OOH industry is extremely stimulating and demanding. The strength of the medium emanates from its ability to combine the digital and physical worlds -- a combination that demands creativity and delivers efficacy for brands.
It requires you to hyper-learn, stay sharp and maintain the interest levels of all stakeholders.
A proven talent from this industry has deep knowledge of the various city landscapes, audiences and formats. They understand data, technology, creativity, as well as real-world challenges.
Successfully working in the world of OOH means you have the mindset of an entrepreneur.
Key skills that the industry talent showcases are:
- An eye for detail
- People management
- Audience understanding
- Operations excellence
- Problem solving
Everyday work in the OOH industry involves gaining knowledge of every format in various locations for every city. You would require an understanding of a city's behavioural and cultural aspects and gain insight into audience dynamics.
Brand planning for this medium involves using tech platforms and analysing data-sets to identify the best locations. Also, understanding audience movements through their journeys is crucial to selecting the right media placement for any advertisement.
As a medium, OOH still has many local municipal authorities setting rules for the business as it is a state revenue stream. That means everyone in this industry must be conversant with the various local advertising guidelines, norms and restrictions to ensure that the brand advertisement display is always in sync with the governing regulations.
While balancing all of this, the OOH professional is cognizant of the fact that the client delivery turnaround time for this medium is usually less than a day. In an industry that is fragmented and non-standardised, this means possessing deep knowledge of all markets and staying in touch with everyone involved. And one needs to be focusing on all details to ensure that it never becomes a logistical nightmare. One needs to be a motivator and driver of people, positively.
And even after doing all of this, since the medium is in an exposed environment, ground challenges will vary depending on the time of the year and day.
An OOH professional interacts directly or indirectly with sophisticated brand managers/advertisers, data and tech partners, fragmented media owners, printers and delivery partners, government bodies whenever required and also blue-collared labour.
Campaign execution information at various stages must be communicated to stakeholders differently to ensure that expectations and deliverables are managed effectively.
Creativity and innovation thrive on real-world insights.
An OOH professional’s work demands him always to be connected to the real world that gives him access to valuable consumers and insights.
What serves a brand better? A wall painting or a 3D anamorphic display doesn’t just depend on the brand's purpose or objective but also depends on the audience's insights and local intelligence on how and where what should be delivered. An OOH personnel is best poised to contribute his understanding of the brands.
Imagine the mindset and mental agility of an OOH professional! They are hyper-learners, and anyone with such capabilities will have a meaningful and long-term career in the media industry.