Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has been an important medium for advertisers for many years. However, it is also known for being non-transparent and haphazard, challenging advertisers and agencies to verify or validate various aspects of OOH advertising. In this blog post, we will discuss three critical components of OOH advertising: inventory, implementation, and metrics, and what needs to be verified or validated in each.
Inventory verification is cumbersome, as permissions and policies vary by state. Public records of tenders are generally in the local languages of those states and cannot be easily comprehended by everyone. There are various acquisition methods for various formats and environments, which can create confusion. Additionally, there is often no specific disclosure on the end date of permissions, which can further complicate the verification process.
Agencies or advertisers can get an indemnification letter signed by the media owner, which ensures that in case any wrongdoing is identified, the media owner bears all the responsibility. However, indemnity is neither a great option nor a long-term solution.
A better solution would be to have a central repository for every state where inventory is listed with the basics like tax payment status, permission duration and period, approved dimensions, and a unique ID. However, the resistance to creating such a repository is due to a lack of willingness to invest time, not knowing how to do it using technology, or keeping things less transparent and haphazard.
Proof of display or posting is the most crucial element of OOH advertising, directly linked to getting paid. Every campaign needs support from a photograph. It is important to capture the start and end dates of the campaign to ensure that the campaign duration has been honoured by the media owner.
Previously, proof of display was a tedious process of someone going around with a digital camera, clicking pictures, and compiling them. However, the process has become more efficient with the advent of the internet of things and the availability of cheaper smartphones and apps. Now, many agencies have developed or deployed apps. Every media owner has to access and click pictures via the app, and the image captures geo-location and timestamp and gets uploaded to the cloud server. The agency/advertiser has access to the dashboard and can see live updates.
However, not all media owners use this app to track every asset and campaign. Some still rely on old methods of clicking pictures with newspaper mastheads as a verification method. With the onset of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH), verification is absent in India, and it is a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked. While some advertisers have migrated from requesting pictures of DOOH displays to log reports, log reports cannot be relied on, especially now when DOOH buys are being automated and programmed.
Finally, metrics are essential to measuring the success of an OOH campaign. Metrics such as footfall, impressions, and engagement must be validated to ensure the campaign has met its objectives. Advertisers need access to data to verify the metrics reported by media owners.
With the lack of industry-approved metrics, every agency or media owner has invested in deriving metrics that fulfil client requirements.
For metrics to be accepted by all it needs to be validated. OOH is the most complicated medium to measure. Data source and the method of collection vary by environment.
It is important that when you measure, these sources need to provide data consistently across all data points and that a neutral third party verifies them. The data processing method to derive the metrics should be similar across all formats & places.
Who should pay for the platform that verifies and validates inventory, implementation, and metrics? This is a crucial question that needs to be answered. The end-user or the publisher could pay for this platform, depending on its benefits to each party.
OOH, advertising can be a powerful medium for advertisers, but it is also known for being non-transparent and haphazard. Verifying and validating inventory, implementation, and metrics are essential to building trust and transparency.
At Glocal Bridge, we are building measurable Solutions for businesses in the OOH industry.
We help media owners and brands navigate challenges in the OOH landscape successfully.
Contact us to know more.