5 Undeniable Truths About Our Business

JP Biamby

This week at the Digital Signage Investor Conference (#DSInvestor), our fearless leader here at DailyDOOH, Adrian Cotterill gave an excellent presentation that exposed the ‘5 Undeniable Truths About the Digital Out Of Home Business’.

Of all the presenters of the day I really enjoyed this presentation the most, not because as the editor-in-chief of this publication Mr. Cotterill will probably be reading this, but mostly because it addressed real issues that the DOOH industry faces, presented in a honest and straight forward manner.

Instead of keeping you in suspense, like Mr. Cotterill did during the presentation, I am going to give you the list now straight away and discuss each one in more detail below.

1. How many software vendors do we need?

2. Big Company Intoxication

3. The Cost of Content

4. Digital OOH Revenue Eats Traditional OOH Revenue

5. Nervous Brands

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: “How Many Software Vendors Do We Need”

This is a very valid question because as we all know that there is no shortage of companies that provide digital signage software and everywhere you turn there is a new company popping up that offers DOOH software which, as Mr. Cotterill pointed out, leads to a lack of innovation. He also makes a great argument here by saying that instead of just developing new software, digital signage entrepreneurs should focus on creating solutions that address an immediate need of the DOOH industry by using insights gained from the current trends.

David vs. Goliath: “Big Company Intoxication”

I felt that this should have been #1 on the list, however in this discourse Adrian addressed how big companies with endless resources do not have the focus that their money should afford them. I agree with him. Besides the obvious examples of Intel & Cisco, Mr. Cotterill points out how if display manufacturers understood software that Samsung would be as big as Apple. Since I normally always bet on the underdog, I liked the fact that Mr. Cotterill actually picks on the big guys in the DOOH industry like they are bullies or the giant gorilla or elephant in the room.

How Much Is One of those Going to Cost Me?: “The Cost Of Content”

Here Mr. Cotterill points out that the cost to create content for digital signage is 4 to 5 times higher that it actually should be and sometimes it can be 6 to 10 times higher than it should be. Although, Mr. Cotterill points out the main reason for this problem by saying ‘two words’. Agencies. Culprits.

Even though we may need a sort of disintermediation of the agencies to help lower the costs of content however, I believe that the methods used to create content more efficiently should be explored.

Out With the OOH, In With DOOH: “Digital Eats Traditional OOH Revenue”

In one of the first presentations of the day, a presenter shared a figure that forecast DOOH Revenues will reach USD 5 billion by 2015 and that 30% of all OOH media spends are digital. It only seems normal that digital place based media #dpbmedia will begin to eat up the budgets of out of home and if you ask most brands or agency folks they will most likely tell you that DOOH is a part of the OOH Media spend, but they just call it Digital.

Stop Hiding From Your Boss Under The Desk!: “Nervous Brands”

Being a thought leader in the ad industry is not easy. Have you ever tried to introduce new and exciting ideas or technologies to a brand or an agency?

99% of the time you are going to get shot down because of a lack of education and understanding of the concepts by the target you are pitching. I know this all too well. I agree with Mr. Cotterill 100% on this because I have seen so many brands and agencies lose out on an opportunity because they were afraid to try something new, because scared executives were too busy hiding under their desks from their bosses hoping that they wouldn’t have to explain what this new concept was about.


4 Responses to “5 Undeniable Truths About Our Business”

  1. Nurlan Urazbaev Says:

    Regarding the cost of content: agencies will never be interested in creating low-cost, effective content for DOOH. They want to sell big ticket items. The creative geniuses’ ambition lies not in helping the client sell more products, but rather produce something that could win an award for “brilliance” of an idea and “cleverness” of execution. How many award-winning ads actually sold products? Digital signage/DOOH is a pragmatic medium, the last 10 feet to the consumer purchase decision. Networks should look for content producers that understand that and specialize in DOOH-specific content at low cost but big volumes (multiple versions for different day parts and location types). DOOH content should move products off the shelves. It is not realistic to expect that from traditional agencies.
    Agencies were built for selling TV, radio and print and most of them are still structured for that purpose, despite all the “re-engineering” noise in the late 90s. For the same reason, when it comes to assimilating DOOH into the media mix, agencies act more like inhibitors rather than catalysts. Agencies got used to the idea of selling online advertising, but it took them a long time to adjust. When they felt the pressure of small digital shops, agencies eventually started acquiring them in bulk. The future of DOOH advertising is in specialized DOOH media selling shops that may or may not become part of big agencies.

  2. Are Agencies Friends or Foes of Digital Signage/DOOH/DPBM? « digital signage advertising Says:

    […] Cotterill of DailyDOOH raised the issue of content creation for DOOH campaigns. He told the audience of the recent Digital Signage Investor Conference that “…the cost […]

  3. Glyn Meredith Says:

    I like some of the points here but I really do struggle with the idea that content is 4/5 or 6/10 times more expensive than it should be and it’s all the “agencies” fault. Sure you can get content made for $25 or even free from some vendors but the issue I have with this is it looks like that value. Where is the user or viewer experience with solutions like this? Nurlan made a good point about being in the last 10 feet of a purchase decision and that is where real value can and should be added, not by repurposed template styled low end content but by premium, bespoke solutions that really can influence somebody.

    If you kill off the content providers that think and create beyond a “cheap and cheerful” approach then I can’t see this sort of industry growth suggested. More engaging, informative and even personalised content going forward will make advertisers and bosses hiding under their tables more confident to spend their ad dollars in this industry.

    Placing a screen in a store, or location playing out passive content just isn’t going to work any more. Creative, engaging solutions will push this industry on.
    We live in the connected world and one of our primal instincts is to play, now fuse that with curiosity and engaging content then we are looking forward.

    Software is software, hardware is hardware and screens are screens. What’s the glue that makes this all work? Creative, engaging, informative and interactive content.

  4. Kiat Huang Says:

    Found points 1,2 and 3 most interesting.

    Making content easier to produce and manage can be achieved by disconnecting the process from the delivery of the content. Free up the rigid connection between content and delivery. Make delivery of the content cross-platform but both easier and cheaper to do. Lower the barrier to entry to massively open up DOOH growth.

    The DDOH content and player systems developed by numerous vendors is a throw-back to the old days of Unix vendors or Mobile vendors, where every hardware manufacturer effectively managed and built their OS and hence the app ecosystem. Linux solved the fragmented Unix problem and Android solved the fragmented Mobile OS problem.

    To truly “Stand on the Shoulders of Giants” DOOH companies of the future will specialize in OS, Apps, Content production, cloud delivery and integration – but leave the rest to partners.

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