In conversation with Media Samosa, Atul Shrivastava from Laqshya Media Group highlights the OOH trends in the A & M space with the return of traffic on the roads with the unlock 2.0 in action.
Laqshya Media Group recently released a study on travel time while showcasing how the second wave is heading out and traffic jams are coming in with the rising relevance of OOH advertising, especially with the festive season around the corner.
We speak with Atul Shrivastava, CEO, Laqshya Media Group to further understand the marketing trends on the medium.
With the easing of lockdowns PAN-India, people are out on the road again. Which are the key Indian markets to look out for, to help increase visibility and awareness for the brands?
All the major cities are natural choices for any and every OOH campaign, given the density of population across most Indian cities. This density of population is only increasing – and which has progressively reduced the cost per eyeball over the last several years. Mumbai and Delhi have almost completely lifted lockdowns and traffic seems to be back. (and has been for a few weeks now!).
Large format OOH advertising is making a comeback to Bangalore after a 3-year ban. Marketers and brands will be eager to latch onto this opportunity.
But, as witnessed during the lockdown periods since last year, brands are eager to work on OOH campaigns in tier 2/3 cities, as well, and are getting good responses. Hence, a well-planned, spread-out media mix can be the best option for brands at the moment.
Any OOH marketing trends you foresee?
- The convergence of media of OOH and Mobile is the biggest trend right now. Targeting consumers at a hyperlocal level has become the most sought-after tool.
- When a consumer is exposed to a brand both on billboards and again on their mobile, the brand is ingrained in their head and stays top of mind while making a purchase. This not only increases the efficacy of media spends across these two media with symbiotic impact but also helps bring OOH advertising back, almost to its pre-lockdown revenues.
- The marketers are looking at the availability of data and metrics to understand ROI and run a cost-efficient and effective campaign instead of going with pure gut instinct. Laqshya Media has taken the lead in the generation of highly validated metrics via its proprietary tool – SHARP.
- DOOH is also rising steadily, backed by low costs and flexibility for brands.
What are the top factors that marketers need to keep in mind for OOH marketing to leverage the increasing traction at this phase?
Three factors take precedence – Hyper-localisation, including the corresponding process of contextual advertising, Measurability and Digital-fatigue.
Very few of the top agencies have the capability to offer these to their clients but the effect of these factors will be validated over the next few quarters.
After being locked in for so long, people are more aware of their surroundings. People are intentionally trying to reduce screen time and many put away their phones while commuting. This is the ideal time for them to consume OOH advertising. For brands, there are a lot of avenues of OOH advertising. The right mix of conventional OOH, DOOH, and hyperlocal advertising will give them the best leverage.
Laqshya report speaks about changing specific travel times across metros. How has this impacted OOH marketing?
Travel time is the most ‘visible’ indicator of traffic.
As suggested by data in the report, travel times are back to, or have exceeded pre-lockdown numbers. Everyone is waiting for things to get back to normal and with lockdown restrictions easing pan-India people are out on the roads for work, meeting family and friends, and even for shopping.
Inter-city travel has also increased. We are witnessing traffic jams again, everywhere and this gives consumers ample time to gaze at the billboards. So, this is the right time for brand presence in OOH Media to occupy the mind-space of their consumers.”
The traffic has returned to near-normal levels long back in tier 2, 3 cities. Brands are also looking into actively including these cities in their campaigns.
Also read: Our focus in MENA is PIOs and also people of South Asian descent: Prashant Panday, ENIL, Mirchi
With life slowly returning to normalcy, are brands open to investing in the medium? Who are the top spenders?
After successive lockdowns now that the country is finally open, consumers are eager to spend time outdoors, especially away from screens. At this juncture, OOH is the best medium to reach target audiences. With traffic jams being back and offices opening up, people are again spending a lot of time on the roads and they are hyper-aware of their surroundings.
Although the return of brands to OOH medium is slow, we are already seeing big and medium campaigns being run on OOH.
Leading the pack are OTT platforms, auto brands, and mobile handset brands. Other than these, the BFSI and Real Estate sectors are also making bold forays into OOH.
What new developments does Laqshya Media intend to bring for future campaigns?
At Laqshya, we are steadily increasing our DOOH assets. Apart from this, we are working on developing and improving our proprietary OOH Planning Tool, SHARP (Strategic Hyperlocal AI-aided Reach Planner).
Based on this, we are able to suggest the OOH plans to our clients, that will give them the maximum ROI. We will also be able to provide OOH + Mobile solutions to our clients, very soon.
Would you say the remaining months of 2021 and the year 2022 will be better for the industry?
The vaccination drives PAN-India and herd immunity factors to give us confidence that the COVID-19 situation will normalize very soon. Life cannot go on in lockdown mode forever. We are social beings and people are bursting to go out, meet and socialize with others.
The sporting events, festivals, and celebrations will give a further push to OOH advertising. The festival season is almost upon us and we are confident that this year will be a far better run than last year and by 2022 OOH advertising will reach almost pre-pandemic levels.
3 tips for marketers who intend to enter OOH marketing
- Utilize more DOOH mediums
- Hyperlocal content and advertising reaches the Target Audience while avoiding wastage in terms of the investment
- Data is the king. Always embark on anything equipped with sufficient data