Out-of-Home Advertising Industry during the Pandemic: Is It a Dead End?

William Utomo, COO of IDN Media

An insight from IDN Media’s COO, William Utomo

The current pandemic has brought severe consequences across the globe. Like a chain reaction, it’s been affecting almost all parts of life which then has also led to dramatic changes in how businesses act and consumers behave. It’s admitted that digital marketing channels, for example, have got a sharp increase. However, out-of-home advertising services, as one of the sub-channels of digital marketing, have taken a down hit due to the policy of staying at home. Instead of seeing this as an absolute hardship, business owners are encouraged to evolve and discover new marketing strategies that are fresher and more effective.

If we take a little flashback, out-of-home advertising services have been a timeless advertising format, managing to adapt amid the rapid development of marketing channels. Leveraging technology, out-of-home advertising can specifically answer marketers’ needs to understand their consumers’ changing behaviors. It’s no wonder that programmatic out-of-home, the newest version of the traditional out-of-home, has successfully maintained steady growth amid the challenging advertising landscape. Data collected through the OOH advertising ecosystem, the flexibility in quantity and broadcast period, coverage of prime area locationsㅡfrom business districts to residential ones, as well as the transparency of campaign cost and outputs, making it the most effective advertising media for marketers.

Globally, programmatic OOH is predicted to get into an exponential development phase. The digitization of out-of-home inventory also means more stock can be bought programmatically. In an uncertain, dynamic, and progressively digital-first world, flexibility and data-driven campaigns have been greatly needed. This certainly keeps on impacting the future of out-of-home and makes programmatic OOH a critical advertising medium, where speed and flexibility are to be found by advertisers, especially during the outbreak hit.

Defining the hardship as a prospering opportunity to leap, IDN Media has just introduced one of its newest products, IDN Programmatic Out-of-Home (IDN Programmatic OOH), on June 24, 2020. It’s the first programmatic out-of-home media in Indonesia, using patented proprietary technology (GPS & GSM) to optimize content and measure effectiveness in real-time. Along with the targeted and data-based approach like this can precisely help marketers consider the best time and spot to display their advertisement.

Programmatic OOH wants to help marketers reach their consumers more efficiently by providing solutions to the limitations of traditional out-of-home advertising. They include high prices per installation, limited exposure, unavailability of the ads performance report, inflexible placement duration, illegal position, and inflexible content management. For the first phase, IDN POOH will focus on a mobile internet-connected LED screen format installed on top of taxis.

It is undeniable that the pandemic has brought a lot of various turbulences that get in the way of OOH programmatic business. These poor experiences everyone’s been experiencing in the last first year can result in a rapid reversal of past behavior. Most likely, the post-pandemic consumption pattern will increase drastically, resulting in a phenomenon called “revenge shopping”, a rebound for the advertising industry. Focusing on better chances, IDN Programmatic OOH has decided to double the number of car units, enhance the hardware and software refinement, and improve the technology development so that the marketers can plan, organize, and monitor the advertisements in real-time.

To answer the growing needs of marketers, IDN Programmatic OOH is now going back to the Research and Development (R&D) phase, where it can develop the so-called hyperlocal targeting technology, a technology that helps OOH programmatic reach a better number of people, in a much wider catchment area and in a more precise way. Other than that, the marketers will gain an understanding of the audience’s different behavior in various regions. Later, when it’s been fully actualized, the Small Micro Medium Enterprises in the area will also gain the advantage of this technology, given that the Return on Investment (ROI) is predicted to be way even more optimal.

In the end, crises are not all about difficulties. It’s right that millions of businesses are facing a similar challenge as the coronavirus shut down, but to stay afloat, business doers need to adapt on the fly and find creative ways to change their operating modelsㅡand surely, out-of-home advertising is not an exception. The pandemic may be a critical juncture, but the OOH industry is encouraged to come up with innovative technologies that can help marketers maintain the success of their campaigns. The flexibility that programmatic OOH offers will even connect the marketers with their consumers in a more tangible way and the data compiled during the pandemic can also be a crucial “ammunition” for some action items in the post-pandemic.

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