How to Market DOOH

Clear Channel Sarah SpeakeAfter spending seven years at Google and just over a year at ITV, Sarah Speake joined Clear Channel this year as the company’s chief marketing officer. She was discussing marketing (of course!) for the DOOH industry.

Before beginning, Speake said that it would be remiss of her not to be mention the incident in Tooting Broadway this month (Woman Injured by Falling Sign). The company’s thoughts are with the lady, but Speake could not comment further.

The key message from Speake was, “Where’s the Thinkbox equivalent?” Thinkbox is a marketing body for the entire broadcast sector, and she said that DOOH has a fantastic opportunity to do the same with the ‘new’ Outdoor Media Centre, which in January gained a new leader in Mark Craze.

Broadcast claims reach – OOH does that. Radio and print claim reach and contextual targeting – OOH does that, too, said Speake. These other mediums claim to be contextual, but OOH’s context “is life” – which sounds deep or cheesy, depending on how much caffeine you’ve had!

Although many people are interested in OOH, the knowledge around it is not all it could be – another argument for a marketing body. Speake showed a slide that claimed that 45% of non-users of OOH thought that the medium was ‘out of touch’ with new technology, and 40% believe that it has no future. 54% of marketers believe that it is difficult to measure OOH’s impact (the rest of the room agreed with this one). Two final statistics that could be a cause for concern are that only 18% of marketers are aware of NFC and QR code technology, and only 13% are aware of facial recognition technology.

Speake argued that people working in OOH media seem to have a frontal lobotomy when they get into work in the morning – forgetting about all the unusual and creative adverts that they’ve seen on their commute. Speake showed a campaign that Clear Channel ran for Cancer Research UK, which placed a screen in four store windows. The screens ran a looped video of a researcher, sitting at a desk with nothing to do. If people tapped their NFC phone or contactless payment card against a designated spot, they would donate £2 and the researcher would get up and start working. The campaign, which was a huge success, was a way to raise funds after the charity saw significant drop-offs in the donations they were receiving from people in the street.

Speake’s final message was, “Let’s keep working together and driving reach”. We have a “fantastic opportunity” with the OMC to have a credible marketing body, and an opportunity to “amplify brilliance” with other brand ambassadors. She thinks that the DOOH industry should use celebrities for promotions more than it does today.