When we say outdoor, it is a little odd how people think – hoardings, period. Check out this wonder of a bus wrapping, and tell us, isn’t transit outdoor advertising just the best! The creative potential is boundless. Now this is one bus you wouldn’t want to miss!
In today’s world transience is the only constant. What is ‘new’ and ‘old’ is ever changing, with the rapid technological advancements taking over our every move.
Businesses at one time were restricted by geographic location and resources, until the internet demolished that barrier with an easy click of a button. The web truly changed the rules of the way the business world ticks. It gave birth to online marketplaces, a phenomenon that has only grown and developed with every passing year. It’s funny though, if we back up some years ago, people actually believed that the web had climaxed, and then it proved them wrong by revealing a world full of unending innovation.
One of the early adopters who rode this technological wave and excelled at it was Alibaba.com. They created an online portal that connects manufacturers and suppliers to potential customers from all over the world. Started in a small apartment by a teacher, Mr. Ma in China, Alibaba.com succeeded in giving a three sixty degree make over to the concept of buying and selling. It equipped manufacturers with the power of reaching out to an endless sea of customers with minimal capital investment. They constructed a whole new virtual sales platform for small and large business owners that converted into more orders than a geographically bound concrete walled shop.
Instead of each company setting up their own ecommerce website and the effort of generating their own traffic, they could create a personalized page on Alibaba.com. That did the trick and it dramatically improved their business prospects. They didn’t have to put any extra effort into generating traffic and with the ease with which customers could access information about products and contact to purchase. The time and cost investment when weighed with the results made Alibaba.com a definite solution for sustained business success.
Flipping perspectives, a fundamental requirement for an online marketplace once they ride the wave is to keep up with it. People say, Monster.com has become like a ‘dinosaur’ that hasn’t evolved to stay ahead. With this complacency, other online marketplaces like CareerBuilder, Indeed, Simply Hired, and more gladly jumped in to fill the gap. Then came Linkedin that made showing off a resume on a public networking forum mainstream. Monster tried to counter it with Monster Networking, but Linkedin had a lot of added advantage, the most important one being that it was free, unlike Monster’s new effort.
But there are numerous victory stories in this space, Ebay, Amazon, and Indian giants like Sulekha have all redefined the scope of being a mediator to make business efficient. These iconic online bazaars emphasize the need for online agents to help create virtual routes that tie up corners of the world and make global business deals easy and time and cost effective. They have produced quality services to feed the online shopping appetites of people today. With continuous innovation, the web that was once called a passing fad is going to establish itself as a permanent structure in the global business skyline.
Here’s for some fun in-transit outdoor advertising by HipChat. The EatAds team is an avid user of HipChat so it was fun to see that we had a common love for outdoor advertising. They used San Francisco’s BART transport system to spread the word. Timing was crucial, at the time BART was getting some bad press because of a crazy naked man assaulting passengers, and BART workers threatening a strike, so HipChat turned this around to both their advantage. Here’s how they grabbed the attention of passengers.
Sridhar Narsingh is the Director of Ligature Software. They offer OOH media owners and agencies the successful OMMSeesoftware that allows them to track their inventory, operations, sales and reporting metrics online.
We caught up with Sridhar recently in Bangalore. Read his opinion on the Indian Outdoor Industry and the importance for the industry to embrace technology.
1. What do you think of India’s current Out of Home industry as compared to the rest of the world?
With some exceptions, unlike Media Owners in the rest of the developed countries, the outdoor media companies are not professionally managed in our country.
2. The word ‘innovation’ is used a lot in our industry, what according to you is the meaning of ‘innovation’ in the outdoor industry?
Innovation is mostly a synonym to a creative billboard. However, another way to look at ‘Innovation’ is that it is something that changes the way media owners drive greater revenue for their businesses. Media owner should provide as much information as possible to the marketers.Trusted information dissipation by the media owner is very important.
3. Why has technology still not been incorporated and integrated well enough in the outdoor industry yet?
The outdoor industry is disorganized, not professionally managed and mostly family owned business. Hence the technology penetration is sparse. The attitude of media owners is like “Why fix it unless it is broken?”.What they don’t realize is that the industry is very damaged by the disorganization.
4. What are the technological options that media owners, brands and agencies have to make their work easier and better?
If greater revenues are to be achieved, Media Owners and Agencies should work in tandem to promote a their clients’ brand.
Agencies should make their purchase decisions quicker with concrete PO’s.
And Media owners should provide professionalism by providing daily/weekly updates to the agencies, good or bad. For example, the display might have been damaged due to weather conditions; the billboard might not be available anymore. All of these should be communicated to the agencies via technology. As soon as any damage happens to the display, the entire display should be brought down to avoid “bad and ugly” displays.
In summary, all of this is possible if technology is harnessed.
Do you agree? Do share your thoughts and comments with us. Email email@example.com.
Set amidst the monsoon backdrop of Goa, the cream of the industry gathered under the magnificent Grand Hyatt roof this July for the Outdoor Advertising Convention 2013. With a string of eminent speakers from different walks of the industry lined up, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to be there.
The topics under scrutiny were an ensemble of burning issues faced by the Indian Outdoor Industry. To highlight a few, everybody was concerned about lack of concrete accountability, the dearth in the adoption of technology in the industry, the insufficient innovation quotient and ways to bridge the gap between media owners, agencies, brands and the government authorities.
Amongst all the discussion and talks, some stood way above the others for us. Mr. Noomi Mehta, the Chairman of the IOAA revealed interesting industry news about a proposed MOU that will help outdoor establish itself as a medium of value and not just a supplementary medium. We hope to see this executed and implemented soon. Mr. Mehta also emphasized on how we needed to take the next step by embracing technology and start booking and bidding for media on the web.Since our inception, the EatAds.com team, and our partners, are working hard at making this a reality.
Although the Indian outdoor industry is a deeply rooted, established one, TorstenIllgen, Design Director of InrosLackner opened our eyes to outdoor structures that made it look like the Indian industry was still in its nascent stage. Their work in Vietnam revealed a whole new genre of modern, aesthetic, planned structures being strategically placed in cities. Everyone was very intrigued by the project, but it seemed quite unlikely that India would be able to venture into it any time soon, considering the level of support given to media owners by the government.
Which brings us to another very fascinating dialogue where several officers from the Municipal Corporation (Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Thane) sat together to answer queries posed by industry professionals. The pivotal issue around which the discussion revolved was the tender duration given to media owners and how they needed to be extended. RavideepChahar, Additional Deputy Commissioner of New Delhi, received quite an applause when he stated that the authorities were open to getting suggestions and feedback from media owners, and were ready to work together to find a solution.
Meeting mid way is going to take some time for the government and the industry, but until then, King F. Lai, CEO-Asia Pacific Kinetic served as an alarm to hurry the process up. According to his statistics, India is trailing 10 years behind China, and the three driving factors are consolidation, infrastructure investment and the elevation of digital OOH. Digital OOH is seeing some improvement in India but we think there is still a lot of scope for us to unhook ourselves from our traditional roots and inhibitions.
We hope that the long list of influential figures from the Indian Outdoor Industry present at the event will soak up on all the advice and take measures to implement them.
The convention ended with the OAC 2013 Awards, where we were pleasantly surprised to see a lot of international level creativity on the outdoor front. Milestone Brandcom, Kinetic, DDB Mudra won most of the awards for their ingenuity and hard work. It was refreshing to see a sense of unity and camaraderie amongst everyone present.
Co – Founder, EatAds, Nigel Hembrow adds, “While the Indian outdoor market is large, it is being significantly held back by a number of factors. Inventory management tools, as well as online buying and selling arein the next wave of innovation. We look forward to working with our India partners to make this a reality.”
It’s the Indian Independence Day today, and we want to showcase some Indian creativity in the outdoor space. Remember the Mc Donalds Burning Billboard we shared earlier? A little more digging up has revealed that Milestone’s entire Spice Fest campaign for McDonalds was sprinkled with innovative ideas!
They had people with smoke coming out of their ears, fire extinguishers with branding, quirky boards at local ‘sabji mandis’ (vegetable markets)! Check out the whole campaign here.