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Scott Anthony

Scott Anthony

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Friday, 22 May 2015 16:15

Spending your way to success

It has been a few years now since I fell in love with digital and what it can achieve. However, I find myself at a crossroads debating where we go from here.

You will recall from my previous blogs that I am a fan of interaction with the target audience. Many examples have been tried and tested successfully; for instance, I recently came across a very smart and sexy virtual reality interaction for a milk brand, and I have to say it blew my socks off.

The campaign was set in Dubai, and it is true what they say about this market: if it’s new they want it. The consumer had to walk into a refrigerator to gain access to the “cold milk”, then once inside they picked up the product and walked it to the cashier. Once it was purchased a dispenser machine made the real product available to the customer.

It truly was an encouraging example of where we should be heading with DOOH product and customer interaction, which increases retention rates by an incredible 500% against no interaction.

Having now worked and experienced DOOH across Europe, for example in France and Germany, through to Dubai, Pakistan, the U.S. and Canada, I am happy to see that DOOH is being very well received globally. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan are certainly taking the initiative – and earning the kudos from campaigns using the most up-to-date technology available.

Labour to execute this is, of course, comparatively cheap in these countries. But another important factor is that companies in the Middle East do embrace new technologies and put their money where their mouth is, or should I say their clients’ money. One agency in Dubai, Burson Marsteller, is an example of an agency with its eye on the ball for clients such as Nestlé and Ford

Even the clients have a slightly different attitude towards new media compared to those in the UK and Europe. They deem it extremely important to try out new technologies in the hope of placing them ahead of their competitors.

I appreciate that the recession changed the way we market our products, and it certainly affected spend; but it is also often true that the brands could literally spend their way ahead into a more prosperous return.

Thursday, 18 December 2014 06:54

The art of persuasion

Much of a DOOH marketing strategy is related to communication. Advertising is a specialised form of communication because in order to satisfy the marketing function it has to do a lot more than just inform. If it is to get even close to working, it has to persuade the target audience to complete the marketing strategy, which obviously is designed to sell at a profit for the brand.

However, many target audiences misinterpret the message being advertised; therefore the campaign is a waste of time and money. The level of misinterpretation has been discovered via several research studies.

So with DOOH advertising we must be extremely careful not to set up unintentional communication barriers: yes, we know what we mean and what we are pushing out, but does the audience know? Never assume that the target audiences know what we are talking about.

And this is where education about DOOH comes into its own.

What did you say?

Of course, it’s not just audiences that can need educating. When brands grow, maintaining the informal lines of communication with the target audience can be frail and it can also leave the managerial hierarchy overwhelmed.

There can also be conflicting communication between the agency and the client, placing the media owner in no man’s land. This lack of communication needs to be stamped out, because it affects the quality of the information used by the operations and marketing departments to define the success of the digital signage activity, formulate marketing strategies, and launch the advertising campaign with confidence.

Above all, though, the relationship between brand and audience is crucial. The general public are considerably more media-savvy than ever before in markets such as banking, drinks, retail and so on; relationship management with the target audience will pay dividends. The audience get it and they are happy to engage.

The fear of failure is still very present with brand and services utilising DOOH networks. To succeed you must be prepared to explode your campaign activity across all outlets, not just DOOH. Social media, for instance, is a very well established route to communicate with the target audience. I just wish that the communication between brand and target increased. At that point we will start to see some pretty smart content.

Imagine knowing before you even prepare the budget for activity that 80% is likely to succeed. How do we do that?

Communication, communication, communication.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:33

Think, think, and think again

Don’t waste money on screen media by running campaigns that ignore the medium’s fundamentals: that’s the advice of Scott Anthony, global marketing and technology director of iDOOH Media, in this month’s commentary exclusive to

Life is about choices, meaning that what you have to spend will determine what coverage you can afford to achieve. This can give marketers a troubled time when trying to reach consumers; but it simply means that brands must build better relationships with their target audiences.

The winning brands are going to be the smart ones, those that are attentive to detail, the curious, the energetic, the determined and the optimistic. The larger brands such as Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, Samsung and so on have certain things in common: ubiquity, very high awareness and strong attitudes capable of inspiring confidence, and sometimes even affection.

At the same time, digital out-of-home marketing is going to be at the core of a future which is more responsive to what consumers want. Screens are already becoming part of our lives. People put a lot of strategic effort into branding, and the power of screens can make the difference between failure and success. So why are we still seeing brands placing marketing budgets on screen networks which deliver more than 40 percent wastage?

These brands are surely fully aware that placing their content on a screen network may reach only 60 percent of their target audience. This misplaced campaigning has got to stop, and brands must engage with more R&D before letting loose on networks. I am fed up with seeing creative on screens that barely relates to its intended audience. Is it mere ignorance of what can be achieved by simply looking for it, laziness, or downright lack of intelligence?

As I have blogged before, and written in Your Marketing Guide to a Digital World, every campaign must incorporate research and action. The more research and action, the more accurate the campaign, diluting the wastage and saving the brands tens of thousands of pounds.

Brands that work stand out because they are different and get talked about. Not getting talked about is a marketing sin; you know you have something special and sexy when word of mouth takes over, and that’s when the multiplier of branding becomes active, when £1 of expenditure looks like £10. Digital allows brands to try things out cost-effectively, sequentially and above all efficiently in terms of reaching their target audiences.

Engaging with social media by way of touch interaction in malls, airports or stores will without question attract a target audience. And we must realise that the general public are more savvy than ever before; they expect to see formats of engagement, via a brand’s on-screen marketing, and through to their preferred social media.

Having the ability to approach a screen while trying on clothes via augmented reality, and having the capacity to send an image of what you are wearing to friends or family for advice using live social media, breeds confidence in the spend on behalf of the consumer.

Social media via screen interaction serves primal needs to be connected, to show off, to gossip, to see the latest brands and to be affirmed in importance. Understand the fundamental need that each element serves and you have a very successful campaign; ignoring it and merely placing content on screens because they look like they will deliver is marketing suicide.

So we all need to think, think, think, and think again before spending any budgets on screens. Does it reach my audience, will my content increase my target audience’s dwell time, is it measurable, will it create retention of the message above and beyond the competition? These are all fundamental to a successful DOOH campaign.

You cannot expect a square peg to fit into a round hole just because the media owner tells you it will. Do your research first and align your objectives based on this research, eliminating waste as you go; surely that has to be a positive start to spending on DOOH networks.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:13

Past, present and future

DOOH has always been a bit adversarial, but as times have begun to get tougher we should not underestimate how rough the competition can be. There is an urgent necessity from brands for DOOH campaign brilliance in order to provide them with a competitive edge.

Ten years, ago of the top 12 global brands, only two – Microsoft and Google – were created after 1940. By 2011 that number had grown to six, and my estimate is that by 2020 all 12 will be “modern DOOH thinkers and users” and that a third will be Chinese, Brazilian and Indian, due to the changing of times and the changing of media platforms.

Taking a long look at the ages of marketing, we have had:

1950s – the dawn of marketing.

1960s – mass marketing develops.

1970s – creative marketing arrives.

1980s – the time of the brand.

1990s – target and direct marketing.

2000s – DOOH.

Enter a new contender. Suddenly, if you were not spending half of the budget on the Web you were soon to be extinct. Search engine marketing was where the cash was going. It was the equivalent of derivatives and hedge funds to most marketers and media agencies. They didn’t understand a word but it sounded good; everything had a number against it.

Every DOOH activist is looking for the big idea, the big one of the 2000s and most powerful for 50 years. There is a general consensus that creative has a huge impact on screen performance and at least one analysis has shown that the power of DOOH creative is a stronger influence on ROI for DOOH than for any other medium.

We are now seeing a revolution in the DOOH world. Media competition will hot up with more news online, more commercials, more PR and more conversations online, so we must find the intelligent route of developing new ways to reach brand demographics.

Virtual reality will soon become a reality and transform design for DOOH activity. Use it to your customers’ advantage and create a very strong message retention system, take it viral and cash in for them. Study the brand and then develop it using screen networks. For example, Coca-Cola created the image of a fat, happy Santa in a red costume in the 1930s, giving both the legend and the drink a huge boost. In other words: Coke stole, or at any rate reshaped, Christmas.

Today, Coca-Cola is primed ready to exploit smart DOOH ideas during the World Cup, and  its first global real-time marketing plan around the World Cup will give it the real-time insight to avoid creating ill-conceived content in response to the greatest and most controversial moments during the tournament.

Social data is underpinning the effort, with the business claiming it will ramp up efforts to analyse and respond to real-time feedback from fans across 14 platforms during the World Cup. It says the tournament’s evening game times for the European market present the “perfect opportunity” to put the Coke brand at the heart of family occasions.
We, the general public, are significantly more media-savvy than we once were, with kids being reached via their very own iPads. More consumers are reacting to what they see on the DOOH screen network. In essence, the future must be to give the consumers what they want: fun, interaction, an experience. And to top it off, once this is done, then let them send it viral.

In the not too distant future, there is going to be a shift from World Cup brands which previously tried to convince fans that they were fans also, to strategies and understanding around the passion for sport. There will be more brands developing content that adds to that experience of enjoying and understanding football.

Virtual goal scoring on behalf of your favourite team, taking an iPhoto and applying it to Facebook, Twitter or Skype ticks those boxes. Give the consumers what they want. Engage and try new ideas; use DOOH to do for brands what no other medium was ever capable of doing.

Digital out-of-home intelligence will always be welcomed by consumers. Don’t be afraid of it, damn well embrace it.

Sunday, 02 February 2014 08:18

Tickling the target

A question that I’m asked almost daily is “how do we target brands intelligently via the growing number of DOOH networks; which ideas work and which ones don’t?”.

Let me start by quickly answering that question: plan, investigate, plan, investigate, plan and investigate again.

The only future for DOOH campaigns is to make categorically certain that you know more about the brand’s commercial status than they do, including demographic, market share, what’s worked, what’s failed, their key people and how they think, sprinkled with some creative intelligence. This will provide solid fundamentals.

It can be a delicate balance, but getting the right message to the right person at the right time establishes credibility and authority, creates brand affinity, and – maybe most importantly – reduces sales resistance.

So here’s a checklist:

  • Don’t neglect to do the groundwork.
  • Don’t focus on yourself – focus on the buyer instead.
  • Don’t pitch your product at every stage.
  • Don’t overlook calls to action.
  • Don’t forget that effective content marketing is a two-way street.
  • Don’t produce content that lacks substance.
  • Don’t treat content marketing as an afterthought.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of different formats.

Before you start any marketing activity (no matter how strategic or tactical), you have to know why you’re doing it. What does success look like? How does this activity translate to immediate or eventual revenue for the brand or service?

Digital out-of-home is changing marketing. Today we don’t tell – we guide, engage, and contribute to earn share of the wallet. Competition is fierce, informed target audiences are bombarded with messaging, and yesterday’s tactics have reached diminishing returns (and can even have a negative impact on top-line success).

The new rules of digital engagement demand a customer-centric, channel-agnostic approach to marketing communications. The goals are largely the same – revenue growth, market share, customer satisfaction, etc. These are all great goals, but without a strategy every path seems equally unlikely to lead to a successful outcome.

At the end of the day, what differentiates a top-performing organisation from other campaigns is strategy. I know that you have heard this from me before, but I cannot stress the importance of the groundwork enough. It entirely determines success or failure.

Brands and services do not just want to hear public stats, they want buying patterns, customer behaviour, and reactions to intelligent and well-thought-out ideas through the screens. They want to hear about alternative scenarios and how DOOH can capture customer reactions, analyse them and use them effectively to convert sales or awareness for their brand or service.

Marketers who do not build buyer insights or develop personas will forever revert to content oriented around products, because that’s what they know best. Focusing on buyers is a shift to skills that takes applied effort.

To succeed with a DOOH campaign you must think like the end user and get inside their psyche, not think like a media owner. Too many media owners and marketers are too focused on their way own of seeing the world. They talk too much about themselves. But great outdoor marketing is about education. It’s about teaching. And it’s about good old-fashioned communication and how interaction via the screens will create significant increase in retention of that message. To be great at interactive digital out-of-home marketing, the focus has to be about the end user.

If you capture and tickle an emotion in that target, you have them. It’s that simple: dislocating their current thoughts and attitudes with intelligent screen ideas.

Reach is critical, location is imperative, but the necessity of moving the target’s thought process away from less powerful conventional and safe media with an emotional tickle will govern the success and message retention of 99 percent of DOOH campaigns.

We need to educate brands, assist agencies, and remember that one peg does not fit all holes…

Thursday, 02 January 2014 17:17

Stop hiding creativity

I often wonder about the channels through which we can reach out to DOOH media platforms. After all, in order to create successful marketing we must engage with the industry news channels and assist them with PR stories and case study news as it happens.

A dictionary definition of marketing is “the provision of goods or services to meet consumer needs”. In other words, marketing is about finding out what the customer wants and matching products to that customer’s needs...and in the process the company makes a profit.

This highlights the necessity for media owners, media buying agencies and creative agencies to share their strategy, post-campaign of course, with the news channels available. This way we can all be inspired to progress into a brighter future.

People can feed off other people’s creativity, but if it is not put into exposure for the masses, that is a wasted opportunity. We must share this information and work together to make DOOH a more creative structure globally.

We can achieve this if we follow the four principal elements. We must share the following:

1. The product sold.

2. The pricing policy.

3. How is the product going to be promoted?

4. Methods of distribution.

Of course no-one wants to give away their strategy prior to the campaign commencement, but why not provide this information post-campaign, let creative people feed off it and be inspired to make the next campaign better and more creative for the overall target audiences?

This is the level of information that news platforms such as require. Don’t sit on this information; share it online via social media as well as DOOH news platforms. This takes your customer’s campaign viral at no additional cost, so it’s win-win for you and win-win for the client.

It seems to me that everyone is scared of exposure. “This is my idea and I will NOT share it with anyone else.” Well, that is bullshit. I always said that if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had shared idea exposure then we, as the consumers, would be ten years ahead of where we are now.

You see, keeping things secret only achieves secrecy, preventing growth and creativity in our DOOH market. We can pick up pace and push for more creativity and imagination for our customers’ campaign activity.

For example, at iDOOH Media we have just opened our new Middle East office based in Dubai. The guys in Dubai push their creativity to as many people as they can possibly reach. It provides them with significant creative growth.

They do not sit on the information, which they realise will bring them no return.

But UK and Europe seem to want to hide their creativity, and this makes it very difficult for news platforms to push it toward even further exposure.

Give these guys exciting campaign news and they will often print it; give them nothing and, well, I suppose you know the answer to this.

In the Middle East, a unified corporate objective to be number one comes directly from the top and filters down to the media owners who strive to be better, stronger and more creative day by day. They never accept anything less than first place. Remember, “reach for the stars and you will at least reach the treetops”.

With this in mind, they automatically create hype and buzz around their campaigns, because they not only share the infectious creativity, but also respect and share one another’s creative frameworks, applauding each other’s achievements.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 19:27

Doing DOOH right

In my last blog I suggested that strategy in campaign planning is critical to the success of the campaign on-screen. So I would love for you to think long and hard about the following advice when planning your customer campaigns or working with a team planning a campaign in the DOOH sector.

Ask yourself: can I make this brand a “love tag” brand? How open-minded do I need to be? Are we going to be competitive with regard to our customer’s market sector and competition? How can we make this happen and happen well?

Strategy is only half the objective of the game; execution and making it happen is the other half. Strategic research is critical at commencement level. It pays heavily to invest the most time and afford upfront, before the creative process begins, certainly not after all of the time and money has been spent. And the place to start is not – as happens too often – with the message, but with the potential consumers that your customer is targeting via the screen.

Who are their best targets?

What do they currently think about the brand/service?

What needs and wants can the brand fill; how does it fit into the target consumers’ lives?

Once you decide on the best prospects for the customer, and why their product appeals to the targets, it is a lot easier to decide what to say to them. Consumer segments, even for mass market products, are increasingly fragmenting into niches, each with its own characteristics. Most advertisers today have considerable information available in-house to begin to isolate attractive market segments; you just need to ask.

Exposure on the screen network without these considerations will ultimately fail. You all know how we have struggled to make brands and agencies trust our screens, work with them to reach levels not achievable via traditional media, measure audience interaction and measure the attitude and behaviour of the target demographic. So let us all make absolutely certain that we have done the best job possible for our customers via their campaigns on any screen network (or a single screen, for that matter).

They need to trust us; they need to be able to trust our judgement for their brand/product/service to succeed via DOOH. For instance, retailers find site location and mapping tools particularly helpful in discovering where their consumers cluster. The owner of one retail brand said to me recently in Dubai: “I know which part of town to place my campaigns in, and on which screens, but more importantly they can now advise me that the southeast corner screens will generate more traffic then the southwest screens – and they did!”

Trust breeds tomorrow’s orders, it’s that simple. All that you need to do is remember the golden rules and prerequisites, and treat them as the ultimate foundation for any screen-related advertising campaign. Use them as a template that must be mapped out before you even begin to get the creative process under way.

As another example of a golden rule we should always remember to use when laying the foundations of DOOH campaigns, I have been saying for five years that each and every screen should come with audience measurement. I begged screen owners to use it, but at the beginning they said no. Now I am happy to report that most are either using it, or considering it. The use of audience measurement will allow you to advise customers on many things that will aid their creative process, such as opportunities to see, dwell time and gender.

Of these, the dwell time is the principal frame for assisting your customer on their duration of exposure. Too short and it fails, too long and it fails; use available data (which I can supply if necessary) to get the duration perfect.

This is just another way that we can get the customer to trust us DOOH media suppliers. You owe it to yourself, and more importantly to the customer, to inform them of these facts, and start to place your experienced DOOH advice on top of what the customer already has focused on as the brief. It can only aid the campaign; never dilute it, guys.

Monday, 16 September 2013 16:17

Turning brands into love tags

I find it astonishing how many media owners, and that covers all media, just do not comprehend the true fundamentals of good marketing practice using their own media. They seem reluctant to stand strong with agencies and say: “You know what, if you executed this in a slightly different way the outcome would be hugely more beneficial.” But they don’t. It seems that they are just content to have the job.

This is ridiculous. A mechanic would not let you drive your car away with faulty brakes just because you said it was okay...

We must step back from the glamour of the current DOOH screen networks that we see and not just concentrate on the content pertaining to the target audience, but also work with the parameters of successful marketing to audiences.

Agencies can do an amazing job with TV, radio and press, but when it comes to DOOH it seems that the budgets are just not available to undertake a strong marketing strategy. Working with, and on, many of the UK and Europe’s top campaigns I am often asked to play advocate to agencies how successfully the DOOH part of the media mix will add significant weight to the overall campaign success, irrespective of the objective.

I always strip a strategy back to basics. Yes, it can be intelligent and interactive with touchscreen or gesture but the strategy is the most important part of any DOOH activity.

Strategy has to inform everything you do and wish to achieve. Everything that a company does, from the way it sells its new smartphone, to how long it takes to make a conscious POS decision on which chewing gum to purchase, through to what people tell their friends, communicates with the target audience.

Strategies beget brands, and brands in today’s marketplace transcend products. Brands are much more that what we simply eat, drink or wash our clothes with. Brand DOOH strategy is the summation of all of your communication.

The power of a strong brand is vivid in the photo of a muscle man tattooed with the Harley-Davidson logo on his arm, with the headline “When was the last time you felt as strongly about anything as this?”.

Brands began as guarantors of reliability and quality in consumer products and have evolved into representations of a way of life or a set of ideas. Take the Nike Swoosh logo and advertising evoking personal achievement. Nike’s marketers study their strategy in great detail with regard to their target audience and what do they do next, damn well make certain that all media representing the new campaign understand the strategy, and above all make certain that it works in that media’s format. Now it is DOOH’s turn to take that baton and lead the race above all other media.

Why, I hear you ask? Strategies in DOOH are the foundation of how that brand can be built, and can reach and communicate with the fast-moving target consumer. As long as we follow the following ten commandments, which should be engraved into the minds of every agency and brand marketing director throughout the world, we should not stray to far. These must-have fundamentals seem to get lost in translation when I view the ads coming though via today’s DOOH screen networks. Any agency that criticises your input should find another job...

Ten Commandments:

1. What is our objective via the screen network?

2. Who are we talking to through the screens?

3. What is the key consumer benefit or core idea?

4. What is the reason that the consumer will get what we say via the screen network?

5. What should our tone and manner be?

6. Create the two most essential ingredients, quality and emotion.

7. Don’t lose sight of the consumer.

8. Don’t rely on research alone.

9. Don’t use price as the strategy.

10. Don’t use popularity as a strategy.

Let me explain the tenth commandment. If coffee was the largest-selling grocery product and Maxwell House the largest brand, why not tell people that and suggest they get on the bandwagon? Well, marketers loved a commercial called “America’s favourite drink”, but it failed with consumers.

Popularity of a brand is a result, not a reason why. Screen networks MUST stand strong and input their views to agencies who may have simply not followed the commandments, when you know that the campaign mix on the screens is doomed. Keeping quiet is the easy thing to do. The time has come for us to speak up loudly to agencies, working as one team for the end product, and explain the benefits of marketing through DOOH screen networks. And it must start with the people selling the space.

The future objectives for DOOH have got to be brand security and trust via screen networks.

Have you heard of love tags? They are brands that have the unique opportunity to become household brands by intelligent marketing strategies: for example, Persil washing powder, Kenco coffee, iPhones and so on. We have an opportunity to turn brands into love tags via  consumer-screen interaction experiences.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 18:58

The king still reigns

It is not the screen size that matters, it is what you do with it that counts.

I am often exposed to screens of a variety of sizes in my job as global business development director. Airports, restaurants, shopping malls, high streets and many more locations in many countries that I visit have invested in screens to communicate brand messages and services.

But some of these screens have simply been deployed without a thought for strategy. It seems that as long as it is big then that’s all that matters; “content is king” does not even register on the radar, let alone a strategy. But why are we subjected to badly-positioned screens with many of them showing content which is as relevant as an elephant’s big toe?

Screens should be nurtured, treated with respect, enhanced and allowed to evolve through content and recipient interaction.

One possible route to assist these abusers of DOOH is to provide them with a skill set such as “build a stronger believe”.

This is the power of positive visualisation. Daydreamers are exceptional at this; they can drift off into a world of sandy beaches and enjoy the warmer climates. Others, like us, visualise screen content that works, along with intelligent creative and how it will be enjoyed by the target audience when executed. This is just one positive tool.

We all need to enhance our creativity and work with the intelligence of digital screen broadcasting capabilities. A recent opportunity which was put on my radar (I also consulted on this project) was the holographic use of creative content to enhance a product launch for Engro Foods, which has appointed Red Tape Media Group to roll out an amazing DOOH showcase in malls throughout Asia.

The launch of Engro’s new milk brand Olpers will be seen by hundreds of thousands of potential customers as Red Tape creatively takes the brand in its real-life packaging and allows interaction with the target audience through 3D moving product samples which parade around the stage with astonishing and striking visual content. This is truly an amazing example of how to utilise intelligent creative to interact with the target audience.

Red Tape Media CEO Najeeb Baig has lifted the lid on where we can go with intelligent strategies on behalf of the global brands that we serve on a daily basis. The bar has been raised, and this is a tough act to follow.

I had the pleasure during a business trip to Dubai and Karachi to see a rehearsal of this truly amazing showcase. Please take a look at things to come.

Think creatively and let the screens do what they do best. Don’t be afraid of new ideas, but be very afraid of old ideas because they are old. Ideas represent evolution of your brand. No matter how brilliant, ideas don’t sell themselves; they have to be sold, relentlessly, continually and creatively. An idea is not an idea until it is sold.

Brands are much more than what we eat or drink or brush our teeth with. Brand strategy for the DOOH market is the summation of all communication.

The creative content strategy should jump off the page to you, it should strike the target audience in the head and gut...and if the advertising execution is up there too, the target audience are a long way towards enjoying an intelligent DOOH campaign.

We have a professional duty to this DOOH sector of ours to keep pushing the boundaries of screen deployment via strategy and more importantly, increasing the brands’ retention of message with intelligent, well-thought-out creative content. Remember: creative content is king, and always will be king.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:39

Let’s see more commitment

Brands, agencies and the public sector could put digital media owners out of business.

Frustrations are running high at media owners of a variety of scales and sizes. For three years now digital signage has suffered as a direct result of brands’ and services’ lack of monetary committal to digital activity.

We all comprehend that the brands have increasingly reduced their budget spend. We get that. However, their continual lack of trust in digital signage could in fact end it before it even begins.

In order for our industry to flourish we must increase trust and accelerate the opportunity for digital signage to perform, and brands must do the same. You will all recall the transition from VHS to CD. We are at that point again from poster to digital. We require the same commitment from brands and services to the new format.

It is clear that media owners from blue-chip to SME level have capital expenditure in the millions invested into their products, products which they believe in and which bloody well work. But they are exposed to the risk element created by brands’ lack of support and trust. And this is becoming more of an issue as time passes.

The returns requested by the lenders are not being matched by sales revenue. Several significant products have already been removed from the market due to lack of sales. These guys do not get any second chances, they simply leave the market and rack up debt, with interest.

If this continues we are running a very real risk of losing several very good digital products to the banks if agencies do not start generating digital budgets, or creaming off from TV or press spend.

Some of the more established brands such as ours have not been affected by this, but I am aware of others who have. More and more very good DOOH products are available and if they are used with trust by brands, agencies and the public sector the DOOH sector will thrive beyond what we have predicted.

The UK digital outdoor sector has grown from £74m in 2009 to £128m in 2011. Clearly this is a significant indication of agency and brand commitment. My point is that we need to see more of that commitment. Come on, trust the DOOH sector, it will not disappoint you...

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