Common Challenges Facing Global OOH


Experts in the global Out-Of-Home scene have identified common challenges bedeviling the industry. Regardless of its immense advantages and benefits, the global OOH industry still faces some challenges when placed at par with other advertising media. The most common ones include:

  • Perception:

    According to Nancy Fletcher, President and CEO of Outdoor Association of America (OAAA), one of the greatest challenges facing OOH is perception of the medium. According to her, many advertisers and agencies think of outdoor as a secondary, non-core medium compared to other forms of advertising. She stated that one needs to address these perceptions and reshape the conversation so that advertisers and agencies will think and act differently about OOH. Corroborating this assertion, Mario R. Martinez of Lamar Advertising National Sales, says the OOH industry faces a big challenge convincing agencies to compare OOH on the same planning platform with other media. He stated that planners should stop neglecting OOH ratings and place OOH at equal par with other media during planning. This way they get to find out how efficient OOH is in terms of reaching their target audience.

  • Measurement:

    The OOH industry is faced with the issue of measuring ROI. Some companies are stuck with the old method of DEC (daily effective circulation) but even this isn’t wide spread and consistent. Modern technologies have enabled measurement of ROI on outdoor campaigns. However experts say that these technologies are not totally effective in measuring campaign successes. Gretchen Reisner, Senior Specialist Out-Of-Home Empower MediaMarketing, said the OOH industry needs to show that the medium is working as advertisers and marketing departments are constantly under pressure to prove out ROI. She stated that measurement system is good but the industry should take a step further in looking for ways to prove that a consumer exposed to OOH actually acted on it.

  • Creatives:

    Experts maintain that the straight jacket approach to designing an OOH creative poses a challenge for the industry in a sphere where digital marketing seems to be gaining grounds. It only makes sense that the OOH medium embarks on a paradigm shift from the usual creative consisting of logo, product shot and a pun to one that embodies the changes evident within the advertising sphere. Kurt Recker, Account Executive Lamar Advertising Company of Toledo posits that in a digital world of infographics and web videos, the majority of OOH art design is still stuck in the ’50s mold of “logo, tagline and product or stock photo” — and that is actually better than many billboards, which are too copy heavy and poorly constructed. Sean Robertson, Creative Director of Delta Media opines that whether it is the creative or the appearance of the structure itself, OOH needs to better present itself.

In order to combat these challenges, experts have advised that the industry needs to better position itself amidst other advertising media. On the issue of measuring ROI, Reisner advices that a partnership with mobile companies and integration of mobile elements into OOH plans may be the solution to proving out ROI. If partnered with a mobile vendor, board locations can be shared and the mobile vendor can track if their audience has driven past the board, serve up an additional mobile message and follow that consumer through their purchase path.

Also, innovation has been identified as very crucial in the growth of the industry. It is the most relevant and compelling promise that the OOH industry can make to advertisers and agencies. Nancy Fletcher summarizes it thus; “Innovation addresses current perceptions of OOH, and is a vision the entire OOH industry can rally around because it’s a ‘big tent’ idea that includes all forms of positive change happening in OOH, including:

· Ubiquitous, impactful, and contextually relevant OOH formats

· New digital technologies that allow the industry to react in real time

· Interactive convergence and smart device amplification

· High impact creative executions

· Increased measurability with OOH ratings

· Improved business practices that make the medium easier to buy

“……Innovation, in all these forms, is a promise that can motivate advertisers and agencies to think again about OOH. And, since a focus on innovation positions the industry for an increasingly digital future, it is built to last.”

Source: MediaLife Magazine