Can the OOH medium be measured and monitored?

Understanding the efficacy of the medium, investment in research, all stakeholders shouldering ownership are few steps in the right direction

e4m by Abhinav Mohapatra
Updated: Mar 25, 2013 7:30 PM
Can the OOH medium be measured and monitored?

“Measurement and monitoring are two different things. Both require a different approach and different kind of treatment,” said Sumeet Pahwa, General Manager – Marketing, Tata Docomo, talking in reference to the OOH medium.

According to Amit Tiwari, Country Head, Media and Digital, Philips India, people need to understand what they are trying to measure. Nobody has understood the efficacy of the OOH medium. The understanding for the need for a brand is missing in the platform.

Arminio Ribeiro, CEO, Madison Outdoor believes that the frequency of monitoring is extremely important for the industry. The lack of comfort with the investment is the reason for the absence in trust. Hence, there needs to be more investment in research. Harjaap Singh Mann, Founder and Managing Director, Proof of Performance Data Services added that the industry needs to have government regulations as well as fresh blood entering the industry; only then can there be growth.

“Onus needs to be realised; if the basics are done, then monitoring and measuring is not required,” said Umang Suri, COO, Capital World Media.

Mann pointed out that the brands say that it is the media owner’s responsibility to monitor, the agency says that it does not get enough investments to do a compliance audit and shifts the responsibility and hence, it becomes a vicious circle. He further asked, “Why is the industry falling?” Madison’s Ribeiro answered by saying that there is no collaboration between those who monitor, those who create and those who invest. To Mann’s question of measuring RoI, Docomo’s Pahwa said, “We do capture the effect of our outdoor marketing, we measure customer behaviour, there are informal ways of checking what outdoor is doing, but no fixed standard.”

Phillips’ Tiwari stated that innovation is something that cannot be measured as it pulls a customer toward the product being marketed. He gave an example of the valentine campaign that Phillips grooming range did, “We put up a huge cut-out of John Abraham with moving shavers. After the communication, people wanted that specific shaver; hence, the sale could be monitored.”
Ribeiro suggested that basic measurement and frequency should be there to get RoI. “We need to make the industry professional from a strategic and innovative perspective; working should be passion-oriented,” he added. To this Suri pointed out that since there is a lot of young blood coming into the industry, there should be a full education platform to teach what outdoor is all about.

Mann raised the question of where would the money to do all of the above come from. Ribeiro answered by saying that the industry needs to fund it. Whether be the agency or the media owner, both need to pitch in.  Suri concluded by saying that ownership needs to be taken by everyone.

The above mentioned industry leaders shared their views during a panel discussion on ‘OOH Media Monitoring and Measurement’ at the third edition of exchange4media and network2media’s OOH Conference and Awards held on March 22, 2013 in Gurgaon.

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