Shifting the Dynamics of Digital OOH: Tête-à-tête with Srikanth Ramachandran

ooh srikanth moving walls interview with raihan hadi

“Shifting the Dynamics of Digital OOH: Tête-à-tête with Srikanth Ramachandran” was previously featured in MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 328

By Raihan Hadi

Are we back in the Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) game already? At this point, it’s needless to talk about the dark (the screens had to literally switch off too!) times DOOH players out there have been through to stay in the game throughout the pandemic. 

But times are changing again, and most certainly for global players like Moving Walls. 

With the all new Moving Audiences Plus, the giants have proven once again that innovation even during the toughest of times can make you a champion in your industry.

So yes, it is safe to say that we are back in the game, and my most recent conversation with DOOH guru Srikanth Ramachandran, the Founder of the Moving Walls Group, will enlighten you further.

Can you explain the role of dynamic digital content in OOH media in 2022?

In the last few years, we have seen the adoption of data and tech transform the OOH media space. It is not just the sites that have become digital but the ability to serve content based on external signals like weather, traffic, footfall, and more have created new creative possibilities for marketers.

Simply being able to change creatives on OOH is nothing to be baulked at. A QMS neuroscience study highlighted the greater impact of DOOH campaigns on changing creatives. The report stated that evolving creatives were shown to deliver a 38% higher impact than that of static creatives.

In digital, video has become the most popular and engaging form of content and the world’s largest advertising spenders rely on premium video formats to reach audiences.

How much growth are you expecting with the trends in the post-pandemic footfall?

Although still slightly down, consumer optimism and travel intent continue to rise, eventually returning post-pandemic return to footfall. The question brands should be asking is – ‘Are we ready to take on audiences that are ready to bounce back from an era-defining event?’

OAAA’s research suggests that the rising numbers in Outdoors mean brand advertising is being noticed much more. 4 in 10 people (42%) are noticing OOH more than pre-pandemic, 9% more than pre-pandemic times during September 2020.

Although no one can be truly sure what will happen in the future, one thing’s for sure, the attitudes of audiences wouldn’t be the same – audiences will have a new appreciation for the outdoors, will be more perceptive to being influenced by the real world and will most probably demand more personalised experiences. 

What sort of Ad-tech improvements will we see with Moving Audiences Plus?

We are looking at Audience based triggers. Although DOOH is not a one-to-one medium, the availability of audience data enables marketers to select locations based on the concentration of certain audience segments. 

For example, a coffee beverage brand can identify DOOH screens where the ‘coffee lover’ audience concentration is higher than in other locations. This can even go one step further to provide recommendations for the best times to reach such an audience and the relevant ads get served only during these optimum times. 

Another big upcoming feature is an enhanced Campaign Verification module which will enable marketers to compare Planned vs Delivered metrics for DOOH campaigns. 

There is great room for improvement in terms of accountability around DOOH advertising. This has been challenging simply because of the fragmentation – the number of media owners, formats, and even technology that is running on these screens varies. 

Our verification service enables those running DOOH campaigns to have a detailed view of how likely the sites are to achieve their forecasted metrics and we are working with third-party ad verification providers to integrate this into their existing service.

Lastly, what should we know about the unique aspects of these offerings?

We are firmly focused on bringing automation and transparency to OOH media and finding innovative ways to propel the industry forward. To this end, we partner with multiple industry associations to support efforts around OOH best practices and measurement standards.

In 2020, Moving Walls received a US Patent For Location-Based Media Audience Measurement. The system uses machine learning to identify the type of location and assigns weights for each individual type of location data signal collected to provide audience metrics to target media assets whose audience is unknown. 

We understand the limitations of different data collection methods depending on the types of assets measured and have implemented our OOH measurement solution in markets across four continents.

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