Trading Out of Home

Outdoor Media Owners (OMOs) would need to be sure of about the hoardings or product types that make up their assets to meet revenues objective for their business. The product mix is a very critical factor for the success of running an outdoor company. For example high-profile or iconic roadside sites command a premium because they capture people’s attention through prominence and scale. More importantly is the location of these products, which is what determines how compelling the assets of the OMO are.

In broad terms, the assets of an outdoor advertising company are the combination of the product and the location where the product is installed. It is apparent that location is more important of the two but caution is required not to downplay the relevance of the product that complements the location. As known in real estate, basic success law in the business remains; “Location, location and location”.

It is the drive for a successful business that leads many OMO to run after concession of choice locations and properties like airports, train stations, bus terminals, shopping malls and franchise roads. However, the nature of investments and type of products that the successful OMO deploys on these compelling locations would determine the premium revenue to be charged as rental rates.

Audience sizing is another critical element and the Advertisers keeps requesting details around it from their buying agencies. Hence, the agencies rely on buying models like Cost per thousand (CPM) and Gross Rating Point (GRP) to bring some level of accountability into the committed budget or spend. The issue of audience sizing centers around justification and OMOs should begin to make some level of investment in this area. Audience sizing should be seen as a veritable exercise by any serious OMO as such can be used for setting rental rates for their various assets. This would bring about scalability and reduce the error of flat pricing, which can have tremendous as well as positive impact on revenue. While generating sufficient revenue volumes to match capacity and fighting for additional share of spend is one challenge, finding a sustainable pricing structure for different types of assets is also one of the critical issues facing OMOs as they embark on capital expenditure programmes. A shift to a pure CPM model whereby an advertiser through the agency can buy a pre-set level of exposure based on audience delivery can be envisioned.

This leads to audience insight, which is yet another important factor for the Advertisers. To meet the objective of an advertisement campaign it is important to meet the target audience and the best way to achieve this would be to have a good audience insight. The determination of audience size should lead to the audience insight, which would reveal the formation of the audience. In demographic terms, audience can be further categorized according to age, sex, social status and even determine their moods. It is a fact that Advertisers would continue to invest in Out of Home because of its ability to deliver large-scale audience reach.

Another important variable apart from assets, audience size and audience insight, is visibility. It include elements like size of the billboard, angle to the road, angle of view, approach of viewing meter and copy design. Interruption of any such is not permitted during a client’s campaign and visibility is required to deliver the audience.

Babs Fagade is a seasoned OOH advertising specialist with a 360° industry experience in several markets around the world, especially the West African market.

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