It’s time to move towards the Open OOH era

Open OOH era

It’s an electric time to be in OOH

Outsmart have confirmed it is onwards and upwards for the UK OOH industry, reporting 9.8% growth in Q3 to build on strong growth from earlier in the year. The forecast is all clear skies for the US too, with D/OOH posting over 7% year-on-year growth in every quarter in 2019 and showing no signs of slowing down.

One of the largest contributing factors towards this growth is the huge investment media owners have made converting their inventory from paper-and-paste to shiny new digital screens.

In the UK, DOOH has been responsible for driving 17.1% growth in Q3. Full motion copy, dynamic creative, data integration, flexible purchasing and short lead activation has got advertisers, buyers and media owners excited.

We believe this is just the beginning for D/OOH

Much of the Out-of-Home industry’s success has been built on our ability to connect. To connect with audiences. To connect brands with consumers. To connect buyers with the right space for their clients. Unlocking the next level of growth for our medium depends on our ability to connect the huge potential of our digital OOH transformation, with a wider audience.

As is natural, we’ve looked to other industries to guide us. Programmatic – conceived in online advertising – is being held up as an exciting way of delivering OOH to more advertisers. Rapid progress is being made on the path towards programmatic trading – particularly in places like The Netherlands, where the most recent AdTECH OOH event was held.

While exciting, we believe Programmatic DOOH isn’t the only way to unlock more from advertiser budgets. In most markets, classic OOH still accounts for the majority of all OOH inventory and most of the spend. The poster child of OOH, the static billboard, is responsible for making our industry – and countless brands – famous. So should we not be exploring ways to make buying and selling classic OOH easier and more efficient too?

Automation can deliver new revenue for media owners

Automation of pre-bought campaigns, considered the less sexy cousin of programmatic, is delivering very real access to new revenue for many media owners. Earlier this month we announced an exciting milestone in the path towards a more connected OOH era. Our Signkick Trading Bridge software is enabling live, automated transactions between the buy and sell side for companies such as MediaCom’s Trading Desk to Clear Channel UK, Global Outdoor, Admedia, City Outdoor, Limited Space and Wold Outdoor. Including new revenue from new advertisers those media owners had never worked with before. What could be sexier than that?

Individually we’ve come a long way. In the UK the specialists are live with sophisticated automated buying systems. Exchanges such as Vistar and VIOOH are gaining momentum. Omnichannel DSPs are becoming more and more interested. Reporting and data is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Now is the time to scale that progress and turn it into something truly transformative for our industry. To connect the dots from campaign planning and buying, to delivery and reporting.

But, connectivity, the thing that holds the most potential, is also proving one of our most difficult challenges. Connecting companies and systems that have been developed in isolation, according to different priorities and agendas, isn’t easy. That’s why we’re championing a shift to an Open OOH era.

For anyone paying attention to the financial services industry in the last year, this language will be familiar. Open Banking was introduced in January 2018 and indeed, technologically, there are many parallels between how Open Banking and the Open OOH era can be achieved.

Open Banking set out to make it easier to connect and share financial information across different systems between different companies. Its goal: to make banking better for the customer. Nearly two years later and the customer is very much in the driver’s seat, with the ability to open one banking app and see a list of all their accounts – even from other banks. With plenty more functionality on the horizon. To enable this, financial regulators did not sit the big banks down with start-up Fintechs and force them to do things the same way. Each company still has their own way of doing things, they still run their own systems, structured their own way. What Open Banking allows is the ability to seamlessly connect the ecosystem to offer a superior product for the customer. To connect each player with access to new and existing partners and revenue streams. To have their cake and eat it too.

The same thinking and technology that powers the Open Banking movement, can power the Open OOH era.

Creating seamless and friction-free connections between different players and systems in the ecosystem is possible, and is happening now

Here at Signkick, we’re excited about the potential this big sky thinking holds for our industry. As a technology partner for media owners, we know our role to play in making this happen and we’re on a mission to do just that. Our software acts as the tech layer that intelligently connects media owners with automated buyers. We’re already helping top tier media owners and independents get a slice of the Open OOH era and we’d love to help others.

Creating a connected ecosystem is the first step towards making OOH easier and more enticing to buy, to deliver an advertiser-focused, supercharged, modern OOH offering.