Fabian Cowan, Director, Posterscope India, talks about disruptions in the OOH industry and how the agency has grown in the last five years

September 2019

In the last few years, the out-of-home industry has witnessed many changes, today it offers new opportunities for clients to connect in a much advanced way. The industry has embraced innovation in all parts of the business to keep pace with advertising and the consumer.

Posterscope India, the out-of-home specialist from Dentsu Aegis Network, has been one of the key players and a game changer. The adoption of open data and the live audience measurement streams developed by Posterscope, are making it possible to identify the returns of OOH spends.

What are the disruptions you are planning to get in the outdoor advertising space in this fiscal year?

We created disruption since our inception. Posterscope has always believed in building the OOH business in India with an innovative approach and this will continue to be our endeavour in the future as well. From OOHZONE, our very own automated planning platform that launched in 2017 to ROOH, the digital out-of-home ad exchange activated early this year, we have pioneered many firsts. We shall be making new announcements on other pioneering projects soon.

According to you what are the trends in the OOH space in India as well as globally?

Globally many matured markets have embraced Digital Out-of-Home because of the significant inventories and digitised networks that are available. Campaigns can be updated in real time using location-based and behavioural consumer data.

Additionally, increased accessibility to consumer data has given marketers the opportunity to create highly relevant and contextual messaging that helps improve campaign efficiencies overall. We are experiencing a marked shift in how OOH is being viewed by many advertisers as a medium. Large brands and even tech companies are using OOH more prominently than before, Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook to name a few.

In India, we are seeing similar patterns today as the adoption of automated planning and operational modules is considered as the new normal rather than an exception while the mindsets are getting broader.

What is the size of OOH industry in India?

As per our proprietary data driven intelligent tool COOHMP info covering 100 markets across India, the collective industry is worth close to Rs 5000 crore.

What do you think is the future of DOOH in India?

From an out-of-home perspective, India is on the verge of what we call the Big Bang moment for OOH. With the spread in DOOH we see three very distinct advantages that brands can leverage. One is the non-intrusiveness of the medium, second is dynamic content and number three is the power of context. Digital OOH allows brands to be able to use content in a contextual manner layered with possibilities of programming that content which will then be served at the right time to the right audience. The combination of these three factors makes the medium extremely effective and adoption will only increase in the future.

Do you see OOH increasing its share of the total advertising pie in the coming year? How is Posterscope leading the OOH industry?

We are positively optimistic about the increase in share, albeit marginally; but we are certain that the medium will continue to grow in double digits this year too. Posterscope has grown above the industry average for the last five years in a row and we are confident that this trend will continue.

What are the challenges the OOH industry is facing and what needs to be done to transform the landscape?

Consolidation, a single measurement currency and standardisation are key aspects that need attention. If the industry can collaborate on these the pace of growth will be much faster.

What is your take on programmatic digital OOH across markets?

As mentioned earlier, the power to play ads at the right time to the right audience in the right location is only possible in the out-of-home space and programmatic digital OOH has placed that power in the hands of brands today. No other medium can boast of such a possibility and that is precisely why we are optimistic about the future of DOOH in India.

How does Posterscope ensure high ROI?

The adoption of open data and the live audience measurement streams developed by Posterscope will and is making it possible to identify the returns of out-of-home spends. Our proprietary planning tool OOHZONE is equipped with LIVE data feeds that allow advertisers to now get specifics of their campaigns resulting in an indication of returns on investments made.