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Multi-billion Out-of-Home industry gets fresh air on account of Interaction Channel’s smart technology

Nigeria’s out-of-Home industry has gone through changes, from analogue to digital, regulation and choice locations. This time, it is experiencing introduction of smart technology and a data-first approach to planning and buying on OOH. This is innovative as it will enhance clients’ decisions. Daniel Obi looks at the development that will revolutionise OOH in Nigeria.

Globally, Out of Home industry has been growing, but in many markets the industry lacks data to determine why advertisers are spending money on the platform. Another issue clients’ face is how to use AI to automate media decisions.

Lack of measurement and data on most media platforms particularly Out-of- Home campaigns are therefore forcing clients who have become more prudent, to be wary on their spending, a development that has slowed campaigns on  certain  platforms and markets. To stimulate the industry and encourage clients who rely on data for investment to refocus on Out of Home, Interaction Channels Limited, ICL, an indigenous company in partnership with Moving Walls of Singapore recently introduced digital solutions that will help reposition the Out-of- Home sector and also give clients performance data about their campaigns on any board.

The product was unveiled recently in Lagos at a forum of clients, media planning, buying and players in Out of Home industry with the theme, “Location Data Meets OOH Media.” Over the years, there is the notion that everybody that is passing by billboards is recorded as good performance; this may not be the case as the billboard should have its target audience.  Every billboard advert is important, has a target audience and a story to tell. This is the core value of the solution, to capture and connect every billboard with the target audience and to the media buyer who is looking for a billboard to place advert.

It is expected that this 5th generation cutting edge technology will  deliver great value to clients, media buyers and billboard owners and makes dynamic media and content planning  easy for clients and brands that would leverage on the real time data that the ICL solution offers.

Tosan Omagbemi, Managing Director, ICL further explained at the forum that the technology lifestyle solution would aid marketers and sales personnel deploy their consumer initiatives with an unprecedented higher level of precision. A robust synergy is now possible across media types, for example OOH Media + Mobile. Brands can now measure, optimize and track campaign effectiveness. Advertisers will be able to customize audience segments and use the understanding of time belt to reach specific audiences.

“What we provide is location intelligence. That solution goes beyond traditional OOH media to other non-OOH traditional opportunities including in-mall, etc. We help advertisers/brands understand points of interests (POIs) where consumer’s visit and match with advertising opportunities to best expose brand campaigns. We provide to drive optimal campaigns,” he said.

Speaking on why the event was targeted at OOH, he said “We decided to speak to out-of home specifically this time because as we are all aware out-of-home takes a lot of the marketing budget and it is in the forefront of offline media investment. However, there has not been a proper attribution of audiences to OOH locations and there is no scientific knowledge of performance, so we decided to talk about out-of-home today. The technology solution however can deliver on a numbers of variables including; retail analytics and event measurement”

According to Omagbemi, “What we expect, first from the advertisers’ point of view is that they would be able to now target more precisely out-of-home, so they would be able to cut all of those wastages due to out of scope in audience targeting and thereby optimizing their spend and the media owners will also be able to sell their assets with audience data”.

Similarly, Srikanth Ramachandran, CEO of Moving Walls said “advertisers have bought media for so long; it’s time to begin to buy audiences – time to reach your real target audience. We are optimistic that this new technology solution would serve as a catalyst for growth.

“Basically, Moving Walls operates Moving Audiences, a location intelligence platform that brings transparency and automation (OOH) media via planning, buying, content-serving, and measurement tools.”

Ramachandran believed that “Out-of-media is the only traditional media which is growing year on year, the rest of the traditional media are under pressure and what is surprising in this industry is that it doesn’t have any data to support why brands are spending so much money, that is really the reason we built our platform which we introduced to Nigeria. We have measured over 1,500 billboards in Nigeria, so that clients can understand where their money is going, what is the kind of return on investment that their money is bringing, that is one part of the solution.”

He stated that the second innovation the solution is  bringing to the Nigerian market is programmatic, adding that the aim is to connect billboard with consumers using automations.

How the solution works

Explaining how the technology works, Tosan said “What drives us is that age long question and barrier of how do we know we are buying right, how do we know it’s effective and efficient? So, at ICL, our objective is to service the client’s or advertiser’s interest. We are also being very deliberate about this because we are cutting away from scope. What happens is that, let’s say I have a friend that owns a media asset or because I like Oshodi as there are a lot of people there. That does not mean your consumers are in Oshodi. It shows that your consumer is not everybody’s consumer. So, how exactly do you know that your consumers are part of that mix-multitude?

“What we are doing is removing the wool in OOH campaign planning and management! We are changing the Out-of-Home industry through smart technology and innovation and a data-first approach to planning OOH and activations in the offline world.

“What we do at Interaction Channel Limited is to measure the performance of your campaigns in terms of audiences reached, site performance and store attributions. We help clients use campaign data to plan and buy outcome-based outdoor advertising campaigns where they can optimize based on your target audience, budget, objectives and billboard type.”

A client for example can say, I want to do a campaign that is limited to Ikeja alone. I can easily get on my dashboard then circle Ikeja and call up every inventory that is there, to see what is available and what is not. I can do a plan based on the objective of the client. We can easily and quickly respond to the client’s briefs because of the automation of our platform. This is an end-to-end automation from raising a proposal, making a booking and even a Media Purchase Order can be issued at the click of a button directly from the system. This will go straight to the media owner. We are very swift by nature.  It is also all about efficiency and transparency, so advertisers can plan by their budget and time”.

He recalled that before now, when an advertiser wants to do an outdoor campaign, he calls media owners to provide CDs so he knows what is available. “With our solution, we have pushed all that out of the window. On our database, we have inventory of all available and even non-available media assets all in one dashboard. With just a click, a client can see what is available.

“Through collaborations with the advertiser, we are able to help in planning and we are able to measure what actually happens. Beyond that, we are also able to progress conversation beyond the event, long after the target audience have gone back to their places. We are able to follow them and generate through Google ad IDs that can be used to further retarget the audiences. That is the connection between where OOH meets mobile”.

Experts Thought

Emmanuel Agu, Group Marketing Director, Jotna Nigeria explained that brands look at the impact of particular media on their return on investment and when it is time to cut budget, OOH budget has always been affected because of lack of data.

Ken Onyeali Ikpe, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) President said times have changed and because of this, people and businesses need to align with new realities especially with ICLMW technology solution, stating that the innovation is a welcome idea. “The days when people hide behind ignorance are gone”

Babs Fagade, Founder/CEO, Ocean Outdoor Limited and member of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) executive said the Interaction Channel’s ICLMW technology solution is a good development for the OOH industry in the country and it would help in getting accuracy data about audiences.

Other experts present at the event applauded the innovative solutions from ICL and said the OOH and other industries would greatly depend on the technology.

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