At a recent brainstorming meeting with some London agencies discussing 2013’s “media firsts”, we touched upon a big problem in the digital out of home market: unless you are in the industry, you might well think of digital signage as just being an animated billboard.
However, there are now so many examples of DOOH being used for so much more. Just this week, Marketing Week reported on the Financial Times’ new campaign, which is streaming editorial content to outdoor display screens. The content is also tailored to the locations of the screens, so, for example, the screens near Google’s offices are getting technology and media updates while screens around the major banking centres are getting financial news. So, for those of us in the DOOH sector, how do we persuade those on the outside that DOOH offers so much more.
1. We need to demystify the technology. Most of my job is spent translating between the coders and the creatives: helping the creatives understand what can be done and helping the coders formulate the software to deliver this.
2. We need to keep up our high-profile work. We need people outside the DOOH industry to see what we’ve already done and be inspired by it to drive new ideas. The only way we can do that is by pushing the envelope of what’s possible and getting it in front of as many people as possible. Which leads me on to my last point…
3. We need to shout about it when we do something amazing, which (if I shrug off my British reserve for a few moments) is actually surprisingly often! At FTP Concepts we’re doing our best to promote the various different experiential marketing campaigns we’ve worked on lately, such as the one at Westfield Stratford, but there’s loads going on elsewhere that just isn’t getting the publicity it deserves. I do wonder if this is because we tend not to speak in the language that marketing departments and advertising agencies understand, using buzzwords like “experiential marketing” and “social media” instead of techy speak like “dynamic data feeds” and “independent presentation layers”.
The whole DOOH sector needs to be thinking about how we position ourselves. We offer so much more than a funked-up version of a static poster. We need to, collectively, get that out there, so that we can all be getting more of the interesting work. Because believe me, once the agencies and marketing departments realise what we can do, there’s going to be plenty of work for all of us!