We are investing in tools to gauge ROI & enable monitoring: Dipankar Chatterjee, Signpost

The Managing Partner of Signpost India says authorities are now realising that OOH players should not be seen as only revenue generators, but as partners in the development of city infrastructure

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Aug 7, 2019 8:41 AM

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DipankarChatterjee

Known for bringing innovations in the advertising space, Signpost India has been one of the largest digital Out of Home marketing enterprises in the country. The company was adjudged the OOH Agency of the Year in NEONS Awards 2019.  

exchange4media caught up with Dipankar Chatterjee, Managing Partner, Signpost India, to discuss the current scenario of outdoor advertising, the trends, disruptions and what is in the pipeline for Signpost India going forward.

 

Excerpts:

 

What are the disruptions you are planning to bring in the outdoor advertising space this fiscal year?

Signpost India is the youngest player, and in a short span of time, we have spread across all regions. We have offerings in mobility, digital OOH & new-age services. We offer media solutions for advertisers keeping in mind the need for conservation of natural resources. We have adopted practices such as water harvesting and use of renewable energy.

We are investing in technology-driven tools to gauge ROI and enable monitoring to bring in transparency into the domain. We are confident of rolling out these services for our clients this year.

 

According to you, what are the current trends in the OOH space in India?

OOH companies have taken a big leap from conventional billboards to setting up urban conveniences at their cost and providing clients with effective reach in every nook and corner of the continuously growing cities.

Signpost believes that many clients have accepted the fact that the cities have expanded. And so, the media planning has surely moved away from the erstwhile morning/evening traffic concept of taking selected billboards to using the networked OOH assets that extend clients’ reach and visibility across the target group. The leaders have lapped up the new formats and are waiting for expansion in the segment of digital and networked OOH media.

Authorities as well as the OOH fraternity in major cities are also seriously working towards reducing the visual clutter and checking illegal media.

 

Do you think OOH can play a defining role in India’s urban transformation?

OOH can play a very major role in urban transformation, and we can see some of the steps already being taken in this direction with the kind of work being done at airports and for metros and mass transport system. It has also been one of the key contributors in changing the cityscapes by providing various forms of public conveniences for the citizens at zero cost to the authority. And to top it up, it has also became a source of revenue generation.

As partners of the city authorities, OOH sector plays a key role across the globe in uplifting the urban conveniences and transforming the cityscape. Even authorities are now realising that OOH players should not be considered as only revenue generators, but they can be partners playing major role in the development of cityscapes and infrastructure through sustainable services in mass transportation domain.

We at Signpost believe that the infrastructure across the country is transforming and the time has come when the authorities will be keen on forging partnerships with players with knowledge and experience. Signpost believes strongly that this is the time and we have been aggressively propagating this message through our approach in innovative designs, technology and dynamic pricing, which we believe will change the way OOH is perceived. Authorities are realising that the fraternity with knowledge and experience is ready to add value by reducing the burden of infusing capex. The authorities need to look at sustainable revenue assumptions and not keep the process for choosing the right partner based only on H1 process but adopt more techno commercials ways.

 

Other mediums, including television and newspaper, are evidence driven. Advertisers always look for supporting numbers, how is OOH handling this?

One of the major contributors to the total OOH spend is transit media and ambient media with spots like airports, metro, malls, stations. All these provide valid and irrefutable online data. Such format ensures that every penny spent gives you the evidence of spending and the reach to the potential customers.

 

Even as digital is becoming the growth engine of OOH business worldwide, how viable it is for OOH firms in India to invest in data and technologies?

I am sure some OOH companies have already initiated the process and are working hard on increasing their share of digital OOH. The authorities are also open to the concept and are now inviting participation in various public convenience initiatives.

However, there is always a fear in investing huge capital required for this format without specific policies in place. Hence, it is being done in bits and pieces. We Indians are quick learner and once we get into this domain equipped with policy parameters in place, I am confident that we will be able to offer better solutions to make it more engaging and dynamic. And looking at our knowledge and software base, DOOH installation is very easy, but challenge is in making it more engaging.

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