Havas Media chief executive Paul Frampton offers his own views on the impact that the rise of programmatic advertising can have on the out of home (OOH) sector.
Much of the talk in the world of programmatic trading is around the inevitable expansion beyond digital into other media such as TV, radio and OOH. The latter is particularly interesting as digital inventory already accounts for almost 25 per cent of OOH ad spend and this will probably double within three years.
But ‘programmatic’ is probably at best a misleading term, given its very specific digital heritage, and at worst a misnomer. With OOH being fundamentally a broadcast medium with a ‘mass’ audience much of the value is not instantaneous and cannot be absolutely personalised to an individual. And of course performance is not driven by clicks on ads, but it is probably the best shorthand available for what is a hugely exciting future opportunity in OOH.
So what will the OOH ‘programmatic’ future look like?
Well firstly it will not be a case of attempting to replicate the online programmatic model. Instead selected aspects of online will be translated into the closest equivalents for the physical world.
Secondly any form of programmatic OOH will need to add value to advertisers allowing them to access and optimise the medium in ways that have been historically prohibitive to achieve at scale.
So it will allow existing advertisers to minimise wastage, to target better (overall and by creative message), and to change copy more dynamically. It will allow new advertisers to enter the medium at lower cost, with less risk, and with more demonstrable results to bring them back again and again.
Value will be added through:
Automated real time buying will give advertisers maximum agility and the application of new, often real time data to complement Route. Havas and Posterscope have already been utilising mobile data from EE for clients such as Nationwide and Emirates, and we will become increasingly reliant on such multi-source data when creating value through programmatic OOH deployment.
Audience based trading bringing OOH in line with other media (OOH is still traded on an anachronistic cost per panel basis).
Dynamic, often data driven content as exemplified by Eurostar’s Outdoor Planning Award Grand Prix winning campaign from our sister agency, Arena, and our own Low Cost Holidays activity.
Site and creative optimisation throughout the lifecycle of an OOH campaign. Key to this is the real-time analysis of how OOH activity is influencing mobile internet behaviours.
All of this also provides the basis for an auction mechanic where demand can be the driver of price – media owners may be wary of this, but we believe it is inevitable, and that a collaborative approach can find a solution that benefits all.
Consequently I believe that there will be some splintering of the OOH market that separates the above approaches to those that are primarily about driving traditional brand metrics whereby OOH is bought in a more upfront or continuous manner.
Clearly the availability and application of data becomes more important as OOH becomes somewhat programmatic and the winners will be agencies that are best equipped in this respect. Agencies need to exploit datasets arising from 3g, 4G and wi-fi usage, traffic, environmental sensors, social, e/m-commerce, wearable tech…the list goes on and much of the success will be linked to the extent to which agencies engage their in-house resources in the planning of OOH.
With the dynamic creative opportunity referenced earlier, agencies ability to better connect media and creative become imperative and I believe that a long term commitment is needed to achieve this for our clients.
Whilst some of the emerging automation models for OOH are to be applauded, this really isn’t what I see the future as – there is no real-time buying, there is no dynamic targeting, and the ability to serve different creative messages in an ‘adserving’ manner is something that exists already.
I believe the programmatic future for OOH as a much bigger and more exciting opportunity.
There is an enormous advantage to be gained by bringing aspects of programmatic technology and thinking to the OOH medium and that ‘acting in real time’ is the key, helping advertisers obtain maximum value and effectiveness. This will bring a distinct and game-changing edge to OOH planning and deployment.