dmexco hits the spot for OOH

By Dr. Kai-Marcus Thaesler, Managing Director of Posterscope Germany
dmexco is Europe’s biggest trade fair for digital marketing, and it continues to grow with this year’s event breaking all previous records and attracting more than 50,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors.
During these disruptive times, new technologies are continually emerging and the pace of change is faster than ever before, but the translation of new technologies – such as video, artificial intelligence, programmatic ad buying, virtual reality and much more – into the real-life out-of-home (OOH) business is not necessarily immediately apparent.
But this year’s dmexco theme “digital is everything – not everything is digital?” really hit the spot. With the rapid progression of digital transformation, it is clear that the technology on display at dmexco is an enabler for more data opportunities from the increasingly connected consumer.
The Outernet: connecting everything everywhere and how mobile data changes communication in public space
One of the major trending topics at this year’s dmexco was mobile. At first glance not groundbreaking news, but besides being one of the fastest growing communication channels, mobile is also adding new valuable dimensions to reaching audiences out-of-home. As Tej Rekhi from Sizmek pointed out “where you are is just as relevant as who you are.” Geodata has always been the basis of out-of-home communications and with GPS, NFC, beacons, wifi, apps and IP-targeting providing a comprehensive toolset of technologies, mobile data becomes key to reaching audiences on the move.
Mobile’s ability to provide sophisticated audience and location data will have a big impact on OOH. It enhances our already very comprehensive geodatabase and helps us identify the right time, right location and relevant context for out-of-home communications. Out-of-home and mobile are synergetic media and they can be even more powerful when synchronized.
Leaving behind the silo mentality
This way of thinking about different media formats was everywhere at dmexco. TV and mobile, mobile and OOH, online video and TV, even online video and OOH are interfaces that are or will soon be accessible enough to allow a cross-media connections. In out-of-home, this cross-media development is driving change as leading media owners such as Ströer continue to invest heavily in their digital proposition.
Cross-media campaigns, delivered to mobile, TV, online and digital out-of-home (DOOH) will become reality by 2017.  Once programmatic advertising is fully developed in DOOH, concepts like dynamic creative optimization (DCO) will be available, and while the general consensus is still that “content and creativity is king”, digital marketers are embracing automation – and out-of-home advertisers are following suit.
A recent study by Posterscope revealed that placement of creative ad executions tailored to specific audiences, and shown at relevant times, increased the effectiveness of digital OOH campaign by up to 15%.
VR is everywhere
Virtual reality has been a dream for 20 years – now it’s real and it’s everywhere. There was a multitude of booths at dmexco where you could test the different VR goggles, play tennis, furnish your apartment and even paint walls. The technology has benefitted from a number of advances in the last couple of years and whoever doubts that VR will be a big thing in the future, has probably still not tried it. But is there a value for this immersive technology besides gaming and cinematic storytelling?
There most certainly is and developers from all industries are experimenting with the new format. Marcus Kuehne, strategy lead of immersive technologies digital business at Audi, showcased a VR project that will soon help customers in Audi car showrooms get a much greater understanding of their vehicle of interest.
Equipped with VR goggles, it is not only possible to stand in front of the chosen Audi and view it from all different angles, in all colours and configurations, but also the customer can virtually go inside the car, inspect the tiniest bolt inside the engine or learn exactly how the gear shift mechanism works.
It is hard to imagine that VR will be a technology for the masses due to the high cost of quality goggles but once you put on the glasses and immerse yourself in the virtual world, you understand that this technology is made to create unforgettable experiences and is thus a perfect way to engage people in a new and exciting way.
While it remains to be seen how VR might fully play out in digital out-of-home advertising, one thing was very clear; dmexco reinforced how we really are on the edge of data driven, programmatic out-of-home communications that will deliver deeper, more connected and more relevant advertising campaigns to our audiences.
By Dr. Kai-Marcus Thaesler, Managing Director of Posterscope Germany
About Kai:
Kai-Marcus has been the Managing Director of Posterscope since January 2014. Prior to this he held several management functions at Ströer, where he successfully launched the world’s largest digital outdoor-channel in train stations and malls in Germany, and pushed the digitalization of outdoor-media and its interlinking with online- and mobile media.
Kai started his career as a journalist and editor at several newspapers and TV-channels and graduated as PhD in 2003. Today he still teaches media Management, Marketing and media psychology at FOM (University of applied science for Management).