#LookUpLah to Viewablility

(marketingmagazine.com.my) – Earlier this year MovingWalls spearheaded a campaign which brought to light some of the pain points in online advertising. The #LOOKUPLAH campaign bridged the divide between online and offline by highlighting statistics on the key problems in online advertising such as 85% of online ad impressions could be fraud and 76% of online video ads never appear, on electronic billboards in the city.

Joining in the much-debated topic on viewability, Srikanth Ramachandran, Executive Director, Moving Walls has his say….

What are your thoughts on the viewability issue?

Viewability is not online advertising’s only problem. In fact, you might say the debate around viewability masks other major issues plaguing digital.

We highlighted some of these in our #LookUpLah campaign – online advertising effectiveness has declined every year since the launch of the first banner advertisement in 1994 and the use of ad blocking grew by 90% between January 2015 and January 2016 (Adobe/PageFair).

Why did you use digital billboards to highlight online’s problems?

Our #LookUpLah awareness campaign was not designed to ruffle any feathers, at least not intentionally. We wanted to spark discussion and encourage our peers to come together and address these issues.

The fact is, users are rejecting the online ad experience and a growing number are actively filtering unwanted content using ad-blocking software.

We see OOH as part of the solution. It does not interrupt its audience and is seamlessly present throughout the offline path-to-purchase, where people are spending an increasing amount of time.

Can Digital OOH drive online visits and web searches?

Path-to-Purchase Out fronts research

According to Arbitron, OOH delivers more online activity per advertising dollar spent than any other offline medium. The same research found OOH generates search, action, and word-of-mouth among consumers.

Outsmart, the UK’s OOH marketing body, found that over two-thirds searched the web as a direct result of OOH ads. It also found that the young, mobile, affluent, urban, and connected group is the most likely to notice and buy because of OOH.

Clearly, OOH plugs in seamlessly with mobile, social and search

Outdoor advertising continues to thrive as other traditional media falter. What challenges does it face and how are these being addressed?

Digital disruption has been a boon for OOH. It is the fastest growing media channel bar mobile.

OOH has gained online advertising-like characteristics but does not suffer the viewability issues.

In the real world viewability is 100% and until the Terminators take over these screens will always reach real humans. Instead, the challenge has been quantifying the success of OOH campaigns.

The solution lies in the incredible amount of geospatial data available today. We now understand where consumers are, where they have been, and where they are going.

OOH is moving from simply measuring media – impressions – to measuring audience location. The power of location data drives our own OOH booking platform – Moving Audiences.

This trend is reflected globally. The Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement (TAB), an 83-year-old US OOH Association that independently audits and reports OOH ratings rebranded to become ‘Geopath’.

The rebrand is a result of a shift in focus from strictly measuring OOH advertising inventory to measuring and analysing audience location.

What are your final thoughts?

This year’s most popular application – Pokémon Go – combined digital and real. Similarly, the fastest growing online services like Uber, Grab, and Waze, are all designed to improve the offline experience.

Online and offline must work together for brands to engage their target audience and improve the ad experience.

As Bala rightly puts it, “Viewability is important but is not the Holy Grail.” We are seeing more marketers shift from measuring media to measuring business results.

Location is the new currency of marketing. According to Google, “more than 50% of all mobile searches have local intent, and 17% of search happens while consumers are on the go.”

Digital displays are ideally placed to influence these actions and drive real traffic to brands’ online presence. We are now turning to the G.O.D.S. (Great Outdoor Digital Sale) to get more advertisers to embrace a smarter OOH.

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