Why are marketers losing sleep over spending on OOH?

Marketers Rajeeb Dash, Madhumita Datta and Shraddha Nathani share what the outdoor industry needs to work on to win their trust in the long run

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Apr 3, 2013 7:40 PM
Why are marketers losing sleep over spending on OOH?

Today outdoor advertising is a very relevant and significant medium for many product categories to consider from a brand building and brand visibility perspective, feel industry experts. But in reality, there are various reasons that stop marketers from spending money on this medium.

The Indian outdoor advertising industry is still struggling to get its due credit in brands’ media plans today. While agencies and outdoor owners have their set of concerns, marketers have bigger reasons that are troubling them which are in turn making them hesitant to invest in outdoor advertising.

exchange4media speaks to few marketers that use outdoor in their media plan but still are worried about what they will gain from the medium. Here are three critical reasons that marketers lose sleep over, above the reason of not having a common currency.

Standardisation of rates  
Currently, marketers see outdoor as a relationship-based medium. What rate they get or the number of sites they pick up depends on their relationship with the outdoor media owner or the agency’s relationship with them.

According to Rajeeb Dash, Head – Marketing, Tata Housing, there need to be fixed rate card so that the cost is uniform and then the trust in the medium would come automatically. “In the current situation, one needs to really negotiate hard to get the right price as there seems to be lot of buffer been kept by the owners. Also, the maintenance of the billboards needs to be done regularly so that the aesthetic part is retained,” said Dash

Shraddha Nathani, Head – Marketing, Bisleri, also shares similar views, “It is a matter of great concern. As a significant portion of my media spend is dedicated to outdoor, I want to be sure I get the best rates irrespective of whether I buy from an agency or the site owners. We as marketers are looking for value for money and stretching the rupee.”

Quality of sites
CMOs want agencies to know the market well to ensure that the brand get high visibility. While issues of quality of site are raised frequently, there is not much that the agencies are doing. They not coming forward together and proactively initiating conversations with the authorities on this front. Quality of sites in Tier I and II cities really needs to be taken care of well, believe marketing experts.

“Most agencies will come with a standard plan and are keen on doing innovations. They may not know or help the client in judging whether a particular site is in a good locality or has visibility as they are buying from local site owners. These planners have never visited the sites. Once you have the plan in place, then the innovation that you do on it will have impact and visibility,” added Nathani.

Madhumita Dutta, Head – Marketing, Pantaloons said, “As a marketer, I would look forward to more transparency and measurability coming into this communication medium. There are a lot of global learnings to be taken. Internationally, the out of home industry thrives on delightful innovations and is quite an involving medium.”

Integration of technology and creative
The need of the hour for brands is to be creative, to be different on outdoor media. Today, brands cannot afford to replicate creatives on a powerful medium such as outdoor. Outdoor media has evolved and is no more a recall medium of communication. It needs to play with both, creativity and emerging technology to create impressive outdoor impressions.

Dash shared, “This is one of the big challenges as a marketer and I strongly feel that the industry is going to change as people are spending more time outdoor. Going forward, the medium is going to get more focussed and innovative in terms of both, technology and creative.”

“I think if we work together to get the above mentioned in place with all other industry stakeholders, outdoor has a potential to create great impressions for brands and their marketing initiatives,” concluded Dutta.

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