This conversation took place during Road to ATS Singapore 2019 between moderator Jodie Collins and the following panellists, Niraj Nagpal, Rochelle Chhaya, Janette Higginson & Jonathan Ye. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel here.
Jodie Collins: Can I ask from your perspective, are you seeing greater interest and demand for other alternative types of programmatic inventory? Are clients pushing for this and is this something that’s key on your agenda?
Rochelle Chhaya: Definitely, while a lot of money is being spent on digital, that doesn’t mean that alternative types of media are not being used at all. In fact, if we look at APAC in general, there is an estimate of $20 billion being spent in out-of-home in 2019, which makes up about 10% of the total advertising predictions for 2019. That’s very significant in APAC because when you look at that in comparison to global projections, it is 56% of the global out-of-home predictions for 2019, this trend is something that we’ve seen a lot moving forward.
A lot of us are looking towards automation and the usage of data in out-of-home, Maybank launched a programmatic out-of-home campaign for their golfing tournament in late 2018 where they used online and offline data to make decisions of where to buy and what content to place. We are seeing a demand from a client perspective, publishers and sales are making supply available as well so for marketers and agencies, it’s important to ensure that we’re not only in line with the space but also ramping up the skill set of our teams.
Jodie Collins: How are we building this into the planning process? Are agencies geared up for it? Are clients really starting to think about this in a neutral way across different platforms?
Rochelle Chhaya: Actually, what has been interesting is that it’s not about agencies gearing up, it’s agencies partnering with the suppliers to actually make this happen. Programmatically, agencies have moved into a space where we know how we are planning for our clients. Publishers and launch partners also being part of that planning process is making it very convenient for us to upskill our teams and ensuring that when the product is launched in the market, it is being launched in a way that it can be utilised.
Jodie Collins: Jonathan, how about a client perspective on this, is this something that’s a focus for you and your planning for 2019?
Jonathan Ye: Yes, I agree with what Rochelle has said. We’ve been asking our agencies and networks for these sort of innovations but I’m still getting the same proposals coming back, still balancing out-of-home sites and MRT stations, so no innovations along that space have been made apparent to the team. We have money and want to spend it correctly but I’m not seeing an ROI from out-of-home. So, I keep looking out for opportunities to merge offline with online, I’ve tried to create campaigns to do that but we’re not been very successful.
Rochelle Chhaya: In all fairness, from a programmatic perspective, digital out-of-home is something that’s being developed as we speak. In APAC, what’s going to be very important is taking examples of what has been done globally and seeing how it can be improved. The key thing is going to be data integration in APAC because agencies need to know market by market what are the data sources that we’re going to be able to use and apply. Our client McDonald’s has always been kind when it comes to allowing us to experiment and move forward in that direction. In 2018, there was a digital out-of-home campaign in the UK where McDonald’s worked with online and weather data to build content based on the weather and the stock exchange that was integrated on their website delivery system where all their main menu icons were turned into weather icons.
I think that’s where Jonathan says we’re always going to have to be very aware to keep asking for more. From an agency’s perspective, I’m definitely going to start feeling the pressure to step up our game.
Jodie Collins: The role of creative in this, especially if we’re talking about digital out-of-home, these non-standard formats. Are creative agencies geared up for this? I haven’t seen a whole heap of evidence for that so far.
Jonathan Ye: It’s true, inventory is sort of dead, these are all the predictions and trends we see coming. We talk to JC Decaux and they also tell us that it’s coming, but I’ve heard this 3 years ago, so I’m not seeing any movement there on that part.
Jodie Collins: Janette, I’d love to get your perspective on this as well because I know that this is on your list of predictions too, what’s your prediction on this?
Janette Higginson: Channels is one of those words we throw around on the lexicon, it can mean a lot of different things for different people. When I refer to channels, I’m talking more about the fact that supply and tech has become so much more transparent that more data is available. We’re seeing byside trends form to what we refer to as SPO (Supply Path Optimisation) and according to the data, it’s leaning towards outdoor.
Another point to add to be fair to agencies, they are waiting for the tech to catch up and what happens is that the tech doesn’t want to launch something that’s going to flop. We don’t want to present this amazing without it being ready, especially when you’re dealing with new tech that’s trying to innovate in outdoor space.
Jodie Collins: That is an excellent point and I cannot think of any examples of AdTech companies partnering up with creative agencies for instance on different types of inventory formats.