The OOH Ecosystem - Who Are It’s Stakeholders?


Out-of-Home (OOH) media is one of the highly sorted mediums for marketers to reach audiences. It has come a long way and the digital transformation that was anticipated to come around in the next 5 years or so was addressed much earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before deciphering the whole OOH ecosystem and think about using the medium for your campaigns, let’s take a quick look at the stakeholders who are involved and actively transacting in the medium. Across the spectrum; from the media owners, buyers, to the enablers supporting this. Here are some of its prominent stakeholders:

The Media Owners

Media Owners are the stakeholders who own the media assets, in OOH’s case, the screens. Sometimes known as Billboard owners, these media owners or simply ‘sellers’ own inventories that fall into one of these six main categories: billboards, street, roads, highways, transit, and alternative. However, media owner assets are not only limited by these. There are newer forms of media assets like tabletops, lift lobby screens and kiosks that have emerged recently. So as long as an asset is up for monetisation, the asset owners by default become media owners and play the seller role in the OOH ecosystem. 

The media owners are a resilient bunch, during the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than switching off, digital screen owners and other industry stakeholders converged to execute effective and informative campaigns that amplified Covid-19 statistics. 

The Advertisers

The ‘advertiser’ is a brand or individual practitioners that are seeking to buy media spaces from the media owners for the purpose of playing their advertisements. They are looking for the unique capabilities which OOH offers for an opportunity for their target audiences to consume and engage with their brand. They can also be known as the ‘buyer’ or ‘marketeer’. 

Advertisers recognise the importance of moments and the role they play in the consumer’s path to purchase. Maximising campaign results by adapting strategically-placed messages allow advertisers to have a presence when and where decisions are made, to deliver more relevant information to consumers.  Brands can improve marketing Return-on-investment (ROI) with well-placed messages targeting consumers in the right state of mind when they are close to points of purchase. 

Brands can leverage OOH campaigns as part of an omnichannel strategy. The versatility of OOH offers opportunities to synergise brand campaigns, such as integrating with mobile platforms to gain audience insights for retargeting. 

The Agencies

In the OOH spectrum, Media Agencies sit in between both media owners and brands, acting as active account managers for campaign planning and execution. They are generally in charge of putting the best set of audiences in front of the client, in an effective campaign mix. 

Media agencies differ from digital agencies and creative agencies, in case you might be thinking they are one and the same. Media agencies handle everything about outdoor campaigns from booking, to negotiating, creating proposals, identifying the best sites to conduct campaigns, based on their experienced understanding of people and location. They provide strategic and technological development of screen-based products and services. 

Digital agencies are similar to media agencies, with a key differentiator. Digital does online, while Media is offline. Sometimes, both agencies can cross-buy media, creating mix-channel campaigns, which are possible in Digital OOH (DOOH).

Creative agencies on the other hand develop and implement imaginative solutions, with a heavy focus on design and bringing an idea from storyboard to final product, the final advertisement. 

The Technology Enablers

Now it gets a little bit confusing here. It used to be the big three, media owners, advertisers and agencies. The advertiser buys, the agencies plan, and the media owner delivers. 

However, the rise of digital screens and technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled advancements in the traditional technology. This means that there are more stakeholders involved in the OOH spectrum to enable these digital capabilities. Companies like Moving Walls are one to sit on the spectrum as an advertising technology provider, enable automated campaigns and effective audience targeting.

Traditional OOH does not allow marketers to plan and buy in real-time. Though that being said, the application of these advanced technologies in OOH has befitted all stakeholders in OOH. All the stakeholders play an important role in the advancement of the industry, depending on how susceptible they are to adopting change and new technologies.

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