What I Have Learned About Out of Home

By Adam Pace

After a 13-year stint at OMG UK where I rose to Chief Digital Officer, in October 2020 I joined Talon to work as a consultant on their digital products and services.

Despite being impacted by COVID, the OOH sector is in the midst of a digital transformation as technology, data and technology are all creating exciting new options for advertisers.

Although I had never actually worked in the OOH sector prior to this, I’d worked with Talon at OMG since their inception, so I knew that they were good at what they did, and I knew that they had good proprietary technology and a talented team.

Discoveries in the World of Out of Home Advertising

However, what I found surprised me –

1.     Out of home planning is a craft. Previously I had assumed that OOH was all about trading and negotiation. After spending weeks getting grease on my hands at Talon, I can now see that the value generated for advertisers is in the media planning.

2.     There is extremely valuable data in the channel. The rapid digitalisation of real estate coupled with signals collected from mobile devices means that the potential for creating audiences is almost limitless. When you throw in footfall tracking and viewability you have a chance to create some innovative models for advertisers.

3.     Programmatic activation is real. Talon has built a proprietary DSP with real-time access to inventory at scale, creative optimisation and data lead buys. This technology will unlock a new set of possibilities in the sector and open it up to advertisers who would not have considered it previously.

4.     Out of Home is a complex but creative channel. It is nowhere near commoditised as a sector. There are so many different formats, in different areas, seen in different ways by different people for different lengths of time that every campaign can be different. This gives the channel huge scope for creativity.

In short, the medium is creative, nuanced, and complex. I have found that businesses such as Talon are much more data literate than I was expecting, and they have real technology to capitalise on the opportunity. Crucially, there are lots and lots of super-smart people who are making the most of this potential.I really believe that these new and exciting opportunities for clients will be a big influence in driving an economic recovery as soon as we are all allowed outside again.