OOH:NOW Q&A: Alan Smith, Chief Digital Officer of Assembly

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For our 8th Annual OOH:NOW Conference tomorrow, we asked our speaker Alan Smith, Chief Digital Officer of Assembly how OOH can align with the changing digital landscape, why data is crucial to OOH today, and how advertisers can create more meaningful ads for consumers. See his answers below!

What needs to happen for OOH to align with the overall digital landscape? And with other media?

One of the first stepping stones for a true shift is integrating in cross media research. Research tools need to take into account not just the digital behaviors, like what apps we use, operating systems, etc., but also the physical behaviors such as where and how often we are traveling, and what places these actually are. Combining these two types of data sets gives us the start of something very compelling from a media and messaging perspective.

The second thing that OOH needs to align on is the commitment to a more technology-focused world. Digital companies are embracing the world of Programmatic today and it’ll soon be the standard for how media is bought in this space. If OOH companies can make their inventory more discoverable through this type of platform, then more buyers will have access to the opportunity. We’re starting to see that with companies like Rubicon, Google and Vistar Media, which is great.

How are technology partners being used to better serve content and provide greater creative optimization? 

We all believe that a message that’s more relevant to the individual is more powerful. Technology is helping us assess the needs of an individual, whether that’s in the content they consume, the place they’re in, the time they’re there or other factors and serve up relevant messages. The advantage creative agencies have is that they don’t need to build many ad versions to do this as technology can help build many of these messages from a core concept

Aside from the serving of content, a fundamental bi-product of this new world is the data. This will tell you when a placement was served, what message was served and, over time, who it was served to. This starts to integrate into the digital style of attribution which will give it greater accountability and ultimately, adoption.

How do marketers make the most of OOH media? Is there a perfect storm of events/issues/circumstances when OOH is most effective?

OOH is such a broad term to use in this context as the medium can be used to deliver brand goals as well as a direct response goal. A big factor is the objective in guiding the decision of what formats, relative cost and messaging you’re looking to deliver. Again, the more data that’s brought into the decisioning of this channel, the greater application the channel will have.

How has technology improved the current OOH landscape in the past 12 months?

You’re definitely seeing more location based data coming into planning. This is really opening us up to connecting to more data sets and buying in a more automated fashion. Companies like Vistar are doing great in this space and our sister agency EnPlay has made a commitment to utilize technology throughout.

Are there any non-traditional places we are seeing OOH that have not been common in the past?

One area that’s been developing for a while is the connection between OOH and physical store locations. In the past, advertising has just been purely proximity based when driving to store but we’re seeing more connection through mobile data and technology to make the medium more impactful.

This is coming in the form of beacon technology connecting to mobile devices when consumers are in store and even when they’re next to certain displays within the store. The more precise the location is, the more meaningful the opportunity is as it means we can contextualize the message more precisely to the interest of the audience.

The future looks much more connected through physical locations, especially when you look at the increase in locations like Lync and charging stations.

Today’s your last chance to register for our 8th Annual OOH:NOW Conference – register here!