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    #BizTrends2023: Out of home media will shine, says Tractor Outdoor MD

    Thanks to a serendipitous combination of factors, it's outdoor media's time to shine. After a short- lived setback courtesy of Covid-19 (it's pretty hard to sell out of home when we're told to stay at home), people are once again out and about in their droves.
    Ben Harris, Tractor Outdoor MD. Source: Supplied.
    Ben Harris, Tractor Outdoor MD. Source: Supplied.

    According to a recent report, the size of the global digital out of home (DOOH) market, which was valued at around $18.8bn in 2020, is predicted to hit just under $55bn by 2030.

    And – largely due to the rapid progression of digital tools and technologies accelerated by the very pandemic that initially knocked the outdoor industry so hard – we are now able to offer marketers and brands deeper data, new audience insights and targeting capabilities and more innovation than ever before.

    Here’s what we’re doing in 2023:

    We’re pushing the boundaries of tech

    Newer technologies and capabilities such as programmatic buying, anamorphic creative and dynamic DOOH that includes conditional triggers activated by external elements such as the weather still in their infancy, at least locally – but this year, we’re seeing these rise to the fore.

    And we’re pushing the boundaries even further. We’re layering these capabilities with one another and working with specialists in other fields to produce jaw-dropping campaigns that deliver measurable results. One recent example was a first-of- its-kind ‘anamorphic programmatic’ campaign that Tractor Outdoor’s sister company Innovocean worked on for client RE/MAX of Southern Africa, in partnership with Mark1, Hivestack and Admakers International. The result was a stunning DOOH display optimised via programmatic buying, incorporating larger-than-life 3D visuals that appeared to be emerging from the billboard – all while achieving a level of sophistication in audience measurement that South Africa had never before seen.

    Programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) will be the buzzword for 2023 and budgets will continue to grow –and along with this investment comes further advancement, new capabilities and ultimately more out-the-box executions.

    We’re paying attention to aesthetics

    As an industry, we’ve always been creative in our approach to solving our clients’ business challenges through impactful and memorable campaigns – but perhaps less so when it came to the actual aesthetics of our sites.

    Say goodbye to generic, ‘copy-and-paste’ inventory designs. This year, we’re seeing smarter, prettier sites designed with the aesthetics front and centre; no longer an afterthought. While we’ve seen examples of this emerge over the past year or so, it will become more prevalent in 2023, as media owners strive to differentiate themselves in an increasingly cluttered market.

    We’re looking at previously untapped areas

    Inventory oversaturation is becoming a very real problem; we’re running out of space for sites in provinces and cities that are typically in high demand by advertisers.

    As a result, the industry will be forced to be more strategic in how we think about our campaigns and access target audiences. As space becomes limited in high-traffic areas, we anticipate that smaller towns, suburbs and other points of interest will hold more appeal.

    Smaller towns and suburbs will be a point of interest for the out of home industry

    But don’t equate lower demand with less potential: by being clever and targeted in how we engage consumers – and thanks to advanced measurement tools and deeper data – we’ll have the opportunity to boost brand relevance and resonance while reducing wastage.

    We’re integrating better with other channels

    Multi-channel integration will play a huge role in outdoor media this year and will become pivotal in ensuring that a campaign unfolds seamlessly and effectively across multiple consumer touchpoints. I anticipate that we will see a spike in the number of television and social media campaigns that are supported by outdoor media – and vice versa.

    We’re caring more

    The past few years have made us realise that for our businesses to flourish, the greater community needs to flourish too. With this comes a deeper sense of empathy and care for all of our stakeholders – clients, employees, partners, suppliers, audiences…and even our competitors. As a
    result, we expect more industry initiatives that prioritise the collective well-being of our stakeholders.

    There’s also a growing awareness about our responsibility towards the environment – partly driven by the increase in DOOH sites and facilitated by technology. Digital sites, while offering a host of benefits, consume more energy, which needs to be offset down the value chain.

    Thanks to technological advancements, we are now seeing more low-electricity and solar energy sites, which will ultimately contribute to a more sustainable, responsible industry. Parallel to this, and as new DOOH sites increasingly outpace static sites, there will be a reduced need for materials such as plastic and vinyl, which can harm the environment.

    About Ben Harris

    I am a hard working individual who enjoys a good challenge. My excellent communication skills have contributed to my leadership qualities and people skills.
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