September 14, 2010

“Back To The Future” for educating ad agencies

Bill Yackey has a blog posting on the emerging awareness and participation by ad agencies in the growing Digital Out-of-Home media market.

Bill writes:

Agencies are recognizing the growth as well. In the agency world, digital out-of-home has traditionally fallen into the realm of out-of-home (OOH), which comprises mainly on billboards and the like. OVAB and other organizations are working to separate the two and help agencies establish a separate “media bucket” for DOOH, so that it gets its own budget. Several forward-thinking agencies have already made this move.

The challenge has been to educate agencies on the nuances of this emerging market, and how to incorporate out-of-home into their practices and campaigns for clients.  This saga takes me back to the days of the struggles we had in bringing agencies into the process for Internet advertising.  When I was with Yahoo! in 2000 we were still often forced to work on campaigns directly with the brands because agencies had little in the way of practice for executing on their clients’ wishes to participate in what was still an emerging medium.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) helped to move the ball down the field by standardizing formats for display ads.  Then the cart got overturned yet again with rich media ads.  As the pressure mounted from brands to direct more dollars to online advertising, the agencies had no choice but to get involved in the process and to help shape the conversation between their clients and these new networks.

Bill also says in his post:

The future of this medium and its success relies heavily on the participation and backing of advertising agencies. In the past, one of the key reasons that agencies have shied away from DOOH has been because there have not been proven metrics for the medium, like exist with traditional advertising, and that the buying process has been too difficult.

Too true.  Now that OVAB, the Digital Signage Association, and others are helping to foster the conversation with agencies, brands, and networks, we should see agencies begin to become adept at bringing digital-out-of-home into the mix for their clients.  Results of out-of-home investements by brands are coming in, and are positive.  And measurement is evolving nicely.

I don’t envy the agencies these days.  It’s easy to see how anyone’s head could start spinning when considering the 360 degree marketing programs the brands are embarking on.  What with TV, Print, Radio, Internet, Out-Of-Home, and Mobile, it’s enough to make anyone dizzy.

Speaking of Internet, don’t get me started with what hair pulling the agencies must be doing regarding social media.  That’s enough to make Digital-Out-Of-Home seem pretty straight-forward.

Read all of Bill Yackey’s post here.

Matt Schmitt