As Outdoor Advertising Takes the Digital World by Storm, the Industry Must Work Harder to Show Marketers What’s on Offer

New research suggests out-of-home sector must do more to educate marketers on emerging technology due to low levels of awareness.

New research highlights the vital role that the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry must play in promoting its digital capabilities, as less than a third of marketing professionals said they were aware that the medium offered contactless technology; motion detection; QR and NFC integration or facial recognition technology. This is according to a survey of more than 200 marketing professionals released today by out-of-home (OOH) advertiser, Clear Channel UK.

In Clear Channel UK’s Look Again report, ‘innovation’ was cited as one of the top buying considerations among marketers under pressure to find new ways to reach mass audiences as the ubiquity of mobile devices sees linear television audience figures, in particular, dwindle.  Among the innovative technologies dubbed most exciting to the marketers surveyed were environmentally friendly technology (70%), motion detection technology (67%), contactless technology (70%) and use of NFC/QR code technology (72%).

Sarah Speake, CMO at Clear Channel UK, commented: “We are at the point where many marketing professionals’ perceptions are at odds with the new levels of digital sophistication available across the OOH medium.  In the UK, millions of pounds worth of investment in digital over the last few years has created a medium that is capable of delivering broadcast reach, measurability and brand fame at a national and regional level.  It’s no coincidence that some of the world’s top brands are already taking advantage. It’s now paramount that we educate the masses on the new digital opportunities available as well as reiterating the strengths of our traditional formats.”

Aside from digital, the industry has invested heavily in audience planning, intelligent content and data platforms such as Clear Channel’s ground-breaking Play IQ. Yet the research findings would suggest that this news isn’t reaching marketers.

Speake concluded:

“Today Clear Channel is transforming bus shelters into tweet-activated vending machines and ad-serving aeroplanes. There’s a wealth of sophistication available across the medium to tap into. It’s our job to shout louder and champion the new capabilities on offer to help our customers engage their audiences on a deeper and more meaningful level. Today marks the beginning of this journey to create the future of media, out-of-home.”

This data forms part of Clear Channel UK’s Look Again research, based on a survey of 200 marketing professionals, and qualitative research of 10.

About the research

The research, entitled ‘Look Again’, was commissioned by Clear Channel UK. The survey was carried out in February and March 2015 via 212 interviews with individuals responsible for marketing/advertising in their organisation. 112 were users of out of home advertising and 100 were non-users. In addition, ten in depth interviews among marketing decision makers were conducted. This research was carried out by Loudhouse, an independent research agency based in London.

Clear Channel UK

Clear Channel UK enables brands to meet and engage with people when they’re out and about. Our expertise, gained over 40 years, means we understand how to showcase powerful and effective campaigns through our investment in the highest quality sites, new technologies and the latest planning tools. Our partnerships with advertisers, agencies, local authorities, major multiples, shopping malls and major landlords have created a national network of 60,000 sites that reaches people in the public social space, drives footfall and generates word of mouth.