Part II in our two-part series. Read the first piece here.

Selling the Media

There are a number of different ways to sell your media network to advertisers and a clear strategy allowing for all the variances to drive toward your end game of maximizing your sales revenue need to be considered. Some advertisers are happy to be “part of the mix.” Some advertisers will be looking for dominance of a particular position. Some will be looking to capitalize on periodic events at your locations. For instance, if you’re going to be hosting an antique car convention or show at your property that’s going to attract 50,000 unique visitors for a three-day intensive event or a three-week browse as you please event…maybe your network is suddenly very attractive to Valvoline or Napa Auto Parts vs. say Coca-Cola or AT&T. Does your sales strategy allow for these types of periodic sells? There are a myriad of potential ways to slice and dice your network…but you don’t want to leave money on the table so planning, account and program management are going to have to be thought through carefully. Are you ready for that?

Here are just some of the things you’ll need to consider:

  • Are we going to be selling “The Whole Network” vs. “Sub Nets” or parts of our network
  • Advertiser’s time share – by the day-part, day, month, season,
  • Place-based dominance or sharing the place?
  • Direct-sold Packages to brands or agencies vs. offering the network through a Supply Side Platform (SSP) (is there on operating currently that reaches your market? Or are you going to develop your own?)
  • Using larger surfaces and larger network share to create envy among bidders? Is that a strategy that works? (e.g. “if you buy 10 of our static surfaces that will allow you access to our large digital banner in the center court yard”)
  • Dominance vs. sharing – how long in duration are your “ad flips?” Does that shrink as more advertisers are added? What is the optimum amount of advertisers in a single space or sharing a single display? When does it become unattractive? How does that compare to how everyone else that’s doing what we do? Are we more or less attractive than they are to advertisers?

Had enough? There’s one more area you’re going to want to pay attention to…because the advertisers are and they’re demanding more and more from the OOH companies in these areas. They want to know something. They want to know that their advertising is actually working. Weird notion I know but believe me, the industry is on a luge run heading in that direction.

Traditionally OOH advertising was sold around place and CPM (impressions). You basically rented real estate to an advertiser and told them roughly what they could expect in number of eyeballs to pass by that location during a given time. That’s not the case anymore. Now they want ROI (damn it!!). They want to know if their ads are affecting the behavior they want. They track things like dwell time, facial recognition, conversions, blah blah blah. Why did they do this to us!? It’s not as bad as you think. The tools are there to get the data they need and make the associations and inferences that show what is and is not working.

For instance, by adding camera based audience measurement solutions you can capture gender, headcount and dwell time. This data can not only be used as an analytic marker proving who the advertisers reached, but it can be used to trigger specific content based upon these parameters making the ad spot that much more valuable. If you were selling makeup and were told you could buy a 10 sec rotating spot which X number of people walk by per day, or you could buy a spot that would play when the audience was mostly female and looking at the display, which spot would you buy?  Couple this data with proof-of-play analytics and you can now quantify to the advertisers exactly what the investment went towards. If you wanted to get really advanced, you can then take it a step further utilizing beacons and other geo-fencing like technologies to send targeted messages to the passerby’s device ensuring that message has the macro and micro reach to the audience. Advertisings all about impressions and what better way to do it with hyper-targeted messaging.

So you’ll want to consider potentially adding technology for your network that captures the following information or enhances the delivery of content to allow advertisers greater control of ad delivery:

  • Proof of Play – Uptime that the content (media player) is running
  • Proof of Display – cameras to capture the images as they display on the screen
  • Targeting content – Binaries (A/B Testing) and demographically targeted media delivery
  • Dwell-time – how long are they spending
  • Heat Mapping – where is the traffic coming from or going before and after encountering the display
  • Audience recognition (facial recognition, gender recognition)
  • Accepting peripheral place-based data by accessing mobile devices anonymously
  • Geographically / demographically targeting ads (geofencing and beacons)
  • Near display interactivity (NFR, RFID, etc.)

And lastly….

  • Capturing performance data and for future sales efforts.

It’s a lot to consider isn’t it? Can you execute on all of this to reach your revenue goals? Absolutely! –  But it’s not as easy and hanging a few posters and 55” LCD displays and calling it a day. What you need to decide before going down this road is whether or not you have the personnel, talent, focus and resources to execute against companies that do this for a living…because that’s who you’re playing against to win the advertisers.

~Brett Farley, Director, Strategic Business Development

This piece originally appeared on Sixteen-Nine.