More and more advertising is being spent on digital out of home advertising, as increasing numbers of brand managers and ad agencies realize its potential. Another reason for the growth is increased specialization and scalability, enabling brands to make bigger buys and therefore put more attention to the power of DOOH.
But to put it simply, advertising agencies are under-educated when it comes to what DOOH actually does. Without a dedicated team (or at least one person) working on DOOH strategy for different brands, the growth of DOOH advertising spending will be stunted. The question becomes, how can the members of the DOOH industry, particularly network operators, encourage more education to enable larger ad buys?
The answer is two-fold: education and convenience. Jack Sullivan of Starcom Worldwide will moderate the Digital Out of Home Advertising Summit in Las Vegas the day before the show floor opens for the Digital Signage Expo, the largest trade show of the DOOH industry. But who will be starkly absent are the brand managers and strategists from the agencies. With DOOH spending still representing a miniscule fraction of total ad spending, it is just not worth it for agencies to send lots of people out to get educated.
Other events, such as those put on by a group called The Screen, help to educate marketers too, and hopefully in the near term the advertising agencies will see increased knowledge and confidence when it comes to placing DOOH ad buys. Without knowledge and confidence, the network operators of the world will be scrambling to make a return on their investment quickly.
Only after education should the DOOH industry look to convenience. Ad-exchanges such as NEC’s ADVUKU and VUKUNET are great examples of trying to make it as easy as possible to facilitate buys on a large scale by grouping networks together that might otherwise not partner up. Considering the low cost of DOOH ad media, small time networks often have difficulty making a profit since it is hard to employ full time sales reps if the monetary amount of the buys are so low. The ad-exchange networks are a huge help, but network operators might do well to also partner up to expand their reach and quantity of impressions which would make it easier to attract the attention of brand managers and ad agencies on a profitable scale.
Tony Hymes is the Editor of the Digital Out Of Home industry website DOOH.com. He produces introductory videos of the companies working across the space from digital signage hardware providers to content companies, DOOH networks, consultants, and software groups. Tony Hymes writes extensively about the strategies behind DOOH advertising, digital signage networks and deployments, and customer engagement trends.