Have we reached ‘Peak Complexity’ in out-of-home?

November 2019

Emma Hegg – Group Business Director, Melbourne

The out-of-home (OOH) industry has a fascinating history in Australia. It is one of local pioneers, global investment and a uniqueness given our geography and appetite for digitisation.

Fairly or unfairly though, it probably has a reputation for being one of the easier parts of a media plan to crack – especially to the untrained eye.

Complexity used to take the form of how to get material across the country in time or managing a client unhappy with a graffitied site. But, with the consolidation of suppliers combined with the impact of technology, verification and data, have we hit ‘peak complexity’ for OOH? And are we heading towards simpler times?

Simply speaking, I say ‘no’.

Yes, contact with the supplier landscape should be simpler – fewer companies, therefore fewer touch points. However, with the industry diversifying to help grow its share of total advertising spend, we’ve seen OOH media owners futureproofing themselves by retaining their credentials as a home for building brands at scale while moving into the space of media, content and experience solutions that offers precision targeting.

Data & partnerships
All OOH media owners truly see the value of data and how integral robust data sets are to the future of OOH. The diversification of the role that data plays and the unique capabilities to the channel is one that is truly exciting. OOH media owners are putting a huge emphasis on data and partnerships, with the support of third parties to implement this quickly and at scale.

Increased desire to be location responsive vs. audience responsive means media planners and buyers are navigating complex tools and data sets such as Quantium, AI planning tools, facial recognition capabilities, mobile data, sales data, contextual content, geo fencing – the list goes on and on.

In turn, the introduction of verification and the challenges of an inclusive audience measurement currency for classic and digital OOH are ones that the media owners need to focus on to drive the industry forward in a way that shows not only intelligence in the plan, but also verification and measurement for our clients.

The OOH industry has come a long way in a small amount of time but at this point, no two media owners have the same data sets or tools. Therefore, an optimum plan that delivers national scale across multiple formats will very rarely be delivered by one supplier.

Peaking complexity
With two big suppliers commanding the majority share of the OOH landscape, collaboration towards universal tools, data sets and measurement will continue to be challenged. It will also – through competition – make Australia one of the most innovative and dynamic OOH markets in the world.

No longer is OOH the just the broadcast, high impact part of the plan, but the challenger of other channels to truly connect campaigns, delivering real audiences at scale. With the power of the OOH assets and the power of data, OOH is quickly becoming the channel to watch for the future!

Via Media