Tuesday, 02 March 2010
The following is the full version of what was published in edited form in the January 29, 2010 edition of the MediaPlanet Digital Signage Supplement included as a special supplement in USA Today (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington editions). Lyle Bunn served as principal writer and editor.
Digital signage and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) offers advertisers reliable, measured dynamic media presentation with very concise market, location, timing and demographic targeting at a scale and price that makes DOOH one of the best advertising tools available.
“Targeting !!!” says Jerry Hall, President/CEO, TargetCast Networks, Inc. "Television viewing is clearly not going away but it is increasingly going away from home."
Dan DeSmet, TargetCast Networks Inc., Vice President of Marketing cites an example of the enhanced value of Digital Out-of-home. “A recent campaign delivered by our network for a national telecommunications marketer in multiple markets, featuring different services, and pricing plans by zip code. Our agency partner provided the creative units and zip code and we had the campaign up and running in less than 20 minutes. That's real competitive advantage in today's quick changing economy."
“Digital out-of-home is a growing medium – a significant statement in a time when traditional media outlets are struggling” says Bill Yackey, editor of online industry publication DigitalSignageToday.com. “And ad agencies are noticing. Knowing this, the DOOH industry has begun work to make the buying process easier for those agencies. In addition to OVAB releasing guidelines for the measurement of DOOH advertising networks, networks themselves are using research companies to perform network audits in order to better compare with traditional media. Also, network aggregation services are emerging and allowing media buyers one stop to place ads to targeted demographics down to the screen level.”
Adcentricity, a prominent ad sales agency for many DOOH networks, reflects that Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is one of the fastest growing mediums in North America. Total DOOH spending will hit $4.53 billion in 2013, up from $2.6 billion in 2009, accounting for 44.1% of all OOH spending. Marketers are increasingly finding digital out-of-home an effective and efficient medium with 42% of agency and brand marketers planning to increase their spending in the category this year.
There are approximately 180 DOOH network in USA and 30 in Canada that carry third-party advertising. Collectively, there are active media screens in over 70 venue types each with unique audience and media characteristics. The landscape will continue to aggressively grow in capacity and market coverage. More than one-third (38%) of active digital OOH network operators are planning capital investments of between $1M-$10M to expand their venue and screen capacity in the next 12 months. Just under 20% of them plan on expanding the screen count to more than 1,000 each.
“Consumer media consumption patterns have changed and the advertising business is realizing that they need to go where their consumers are -.Digital OOH lines up with that philosophy of "being there" says Rob Gorrie, CEO of Adcentricity. “Certain brands and agencies have made dramatic swings in their adoption of Digital OOH in 2009 and have cut their teeth even more than in the past. In the early adopter category, you have companies like GM, Verizon and Bank of America who have long been internal champions of the Digital OOH space. It has not been a question of changing their "view" of DOOH, more a matter of making it easy to evaluate, buy and execute for the brand and their agency partner based on their needs. The medium has reached scale, allowing a much deeper penetration to support campaign efforts. Dramatically larger spending and a more strategic approach to campaign placement is expected in 2010 and as networks expand further.”
The efficiencies and lower cost of the ad sales/media placement exchange process also reduces the cycle time of ad planning, placement and presentation. As media plans are continuously "tuned" and budgets are continuously refined, this shorter cycle time, which reflects the nimble-ness that is an inherent characteristic of Digital Signage, is a significant benefit to marketers and communicators seeking to maximizing ad spending ROI.
The online ad planning and placement exchange allows advertisers of all market scope and budget to take advantage of the growing inventory of dynamic digital displays and the ability to better target audiences in places where people shop, buy, travel, work and gather.
Organizations with a long history of serving the advertising and media industries are bringing products that align with agency approaches and requirements. Harris Corp’s “Punctuate” software for example allows campaign planning, placement and review across individual networks and platforms. “The promise of digital signage overall that is exciting is putting content closer to the customer’s action,” notes Harris Morris, VP Broadcast, Harris Corp.
Advertising has primarily been placed through direct contact with DOOH network operators including network association members (See www.OVAB.org and www.OOHDigital.ca), through Advertising Sales Agencies which represent large networks and display inventories and can help plan ad placement such as Adcentricity and SeeSaw Networks and service providers such as rVue ad serving and distribution technology.
“VUKUNET” advertising exchange was recently announced by NEC Corp. which ranks 85th on Fortune’s Global 500. The “VUKUNET” advertising platform connects digital out-of-home networks with advertising agencies. The free service can generate incremental income to existing networks – even existing ad-based networks, can help pay for new networks and open the door to network expansion.
The ad exchange is a natural extension for NEC, which ranks No. 1 in North America as brand vendor of large-format LCD displays (26-inches and larger) and has ranked No. 1 in LCD displays for commercial/public display usage for the last three years according to DisplaySearch. NEC was ranked No. 1 in digital signage and received Frost & Sullivan’s prestigious 2008 Customer Value Enhancement Award.
According to the Future Trends Study conducted by the Digital Signage Association, only about 10 percent of networks are currently running at least 50 percent advertising on their networks (versus patron, staff and student information). Yet, 60% of the 1200 survey respondents said that they planned to carry 3rd party advertising in future.
The VUKUNET automated ad exchange can make it easy for organizations and network operators to list their available display “inventory” and for local, regional and national advertisers to place their ads. The system allows for acceptance of the ad by the network operator and verification that the ad has run as intended.
Pierre Richer, President & CEO of NEC Display Solutions says “The DS/DOOH industry is a growing market that combines hardware, software and integration revenue. However, when one overlays the advertising revenue for digital out-of-home advertising on top of the digital signage components, there is a significant difference on the plus side. This is simply a great opportunity for network operators.”