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Looking Forward to 2013

Kim RamserAnother year comes, and I find myself wondering where the time goes! In welcoming 2013, I started reminiscing about the last ten years. It is amazing how far this industry has come since 2003, when I was working at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) in DC. Change is usually slow in the outdoor advertising industry. However, looking at the last 10 years, we have made a lot of progress. The challenges we have overcome and advancements made in the industry are enormous when you think about it.

Audience Measurement

Audience measurement for out of home has really evolved. No longer do we depend on traffic numbers and Daily Effective Circulation (DEC). We went through a lot of pains and trials to make progress in this area. Arbitron planned to develop a measurement standard introducing the demographics information to the measurement. Using travel diaries in Atlanta, Arbitron hoped to bring the measurement philosophy from radio to outdoor. Next, came Nielsen with a similar idea, but they used GPS technology to track consumers in Chicago. The industry was optimist about both possibilities but nothing came of them. Moving ahead to 2013, we have an audience measurement system from the Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB), called TAB OOH Ratings. Not only does it bring the industry to a new level, but has started to get agency adoption.

Products and Technology

In 2003, alternative types of OOH media typically meant mobile billboards, truckside advertising or Street Teams. Ten years ago, we didn’t even have smart phones, and who would have predicted watching TV on a bus, or charging your phone on a charging kiosk at an airport would become the norm.

Digital, Mobile and Social advertising have created an entirely new platform to use for communicating with our clients. Mobile, Bluetooth, and Social media were not even a consideration 10 years ago. Now, by incorporating Facebook, twitter, SMS, or Pinterest into your campaigns, your audience can advertise for you. In addition, interactive products that track movement are increasing. Airports, store windows, and malls are entertaining customers every day. We will see this advertising trend increase in the near future.

According to Accenture, digital messaging will rise in 2013, despite the global economic downturn. Digital advertising will bring opportunities for owners of public and private facilities trying to offset rising costs, such as airports, healthcare facilities and transit systems. The challenge for agencies is to understand how to effectively use the medium.

Proof of Performance and Accountability

The industry has taken a huge step forward in respect to accountability. Most companies have adopted electronic proof of performances, replacing the affidavits that used to be standard. Depending on the type of advertising, you may even see proof of play and GPS reports. With the accessibility of digital cameras on phones, etc. it’s easier and cheaper for companies to provide proof of performance. No longer do the operations crews have to take disposable cameras out in the field and risk running out of film, keeping track of cameras, etc.

This year we could see more client interaction with the use of cloud-based Bluetooth LE, RFID, QR code and NFC technologies.  Footmarks.com SmartConnect technology allows consumers to interact with moving vehicles, car decals, auto wraps, and transit systems, in order to collect demographics and analytics for outdoor advertisers and retail businesses. Consumers will be able to retrieve information from moving vehicles even after the tags are out of range. Retailers and advertisers will be able to broadcast contact information, contests and deals to consumers.

Looking Forward to Prosperity

We have a lot to look forward to this year. Carat has forecasted a year on year percent growth for US digital advertising alone at 5.3% for 2013. They reported also that digital advertising has overtaken newspapers globally.

Outdoor advertising in general has always had a steady recovery from economic downturns. With diverse products and enhancing technology, more advertising sectors are using outdoor advertising more than ever before. More business categories are creating engaging campaigns using Out of Home media. This year has all the elements in place to be a year of stellar innovation and growth for the industry.

The industry has come a long way, and still has a lot to achieve. But, looking back at the last ten years, I am proud to be part of this industry. We are always striving for more, and we do love a good challenge! DOmedia can provide you with additional information on any of the ground-breaking technologies, products or managed services on the market. We keep everything in one place for you, so you have it when you need it. Visit us at DOmedia.com.

Source: ‘€œCarat forecasts growth of 5.0% for 2012 and 5.3% in 2013 with digital advertising overtaking newspapers sooner than expected,’€ August 23, 2012. PR Web: CES 2013: Cloud-based Bluetooth LE Prototype to Revolutionize Outdoor/Out of Home Advertising Industry

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