To measure success in OOH, you require relevant, accurate and standardised metrics: Sunil Kumar Sharma

The outdoor industry is quite de-centralised in India. We need to look closely at how we measure success to ensure that it is providing significant ROI for our campaigns, says Sunil Kumar Sharma, Head for Marketing (Consumer) at Goodyear India

e4m by Abhinn Shreshtha
Updated: Jan 30, 2015 8:15 AM
To measure success in OOH, you require relevant, accurate and standardised metrics: Sunil Kumar Sharma

Sunil Kumar Sharma is the Head for Marketing (consumer) at Goodyear India Limited. The company completed an outdoor campaign at the start of the New Year. Explaining the concept behind the campaign, the tyre maker says, “The phrase ‘Happy New Year’ is traditionally used to wish each other at this time of the year. Instead, Goodyear India chose to take the route unique to the brand. Goodyear India wished everyone “Have a Goodyear” through its latest campaign.”

Goodyear India kickstarted the campaign on both outdoor and social media. The outdoor campaign ran from December 31, 2014, to January 2, 2015, at Gurgaon. The inventory had an LED, displaying two tyres that appeared to rotate vertically and glitter behind the text, while the background glowed and moved.

We spoke with Sharma about how the company looks at its outdoor advertising.

When it comes to content in outdoor campaigns, what are the prime things you look at?

Firstly, I would like to comment on why Goodyear India has looked to incorporate outdoor into its marketing campaigns. We believe that outdoor is a key medium for our category. It is an engaging platform to connect with consumers on roads. In India, a number of consumers spend a considerable amount of time in their cars and on roads, travelling.

The prime things we look for in outdoor relate to how we can maximise the use of the larger canvas to flash our messages and create an impact. The parameters considered while planning an outdoor campaign are -  selecting the right markets in terms of volume of driving population, locations that are on key arterial routes – covering a significant road traffic and specific sites with clear visibility and elevation, thereby ensuring the maximum viewership.

What are the essentials that a brand should have for an on-ground activity?

It is essential that the execution is clear — to capture the attention or convey the message quickly and also connect meaningfully with consumers that cuts through the advertising clutter.

What percentage of your marketing spends is allocated to OOH?

We are unable to disclose the specific figures. However, we can say that outdoor is a relevant media for the tyre category and an important part of Goodyear India’s marketing mix.

The OOH industry is largely labelled as unstructured. Where does outdoor feature in your media plans?

The outdoor industry is quite de-centralised in India. This requires due diligence on our behalf to confirm that we are selecting sites that offer true value. Also, we need to look closely at how we measure success to ensure that it is providing significant return on investment for our campaigns.

Beyond innovation, do you think smart planning should be the ground rule while designing an outdoor campaign?

Consumers are being exposed to more and more messages everywhere they go, so marketing clutter is a real challenge. To ensure marketing resources are delivering a significant return, smart planning is critical for all activities.

While planning our outdoor campaigns, we have clear, measureable objectives that we want to achieve. We work closely with our agencies to ensure that these are delivered, thereby maximising the campaign’s impact.

What are the changes needed in the outdoor industry to retain and attract more brands towards it?

An improved ability to evaluate objectively the costs/ benefits against other marketing platforms is important. Enhancing measurability with relevant, accurate and standardised performance indicators would also help increase the preference for this medium.

The outdoor industry doesn’t have a common currency. As a marketer, how much does this worry you?

This is a challenge for marketers. To measure success, you require relevant, accurate and standardised metrics. Without this, it limits the ability to showcase effective utilisation of resources compared with other marketing options. TV, print and digital are all measured using specific KPIs, which differs considerably from outdoor in its current format.

From technology perspective, what do you think is needed to improve audience traction?

Technology offers an opportunity to increase measurability and improve richness of content. From a marketer’s perspective, it is the ability to measure the impact of each site using technology, which in turn makes it possible to measure the ROI.

Clutter-breaking and impactful messaging is a must to attract audience. Innovations such as digital outdoor offer a rich media format and innovative executions like our recent Goodyear ROF outdoor campaign.

When it comes to hoarding sizes, does big always equate to better?

While size is important, it is not the only consideration. Since outdoor is an impact media, being big does help to maximise message delivery. If it is a big site but cluttered with many other messages, or beyond the range of vision while driving, then the value of being big may be limited.

Digital OOH has still not taken off in India. As a client, do you think this form of outdoor advertising will help your brand? What is the progress you would like to see in this regard?

Digital outdoor is currently quite limited in terms of being primarily probability driven, with a series of communication messages being played and no certainty on what the reach of an individual advertisement is. Size and cost, when compared with traditional outdoor, are the other limiting factors.


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