OOH trends forecast: Experts share 3 things we can expect to see in 2022

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Posted: 31 Jan 2022

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This is the year that outdoor media’s star is expected to rise to never-seen-before heights. As Covid-19 restrictions gradually ease across the world, and the global economy starts to turn a corner, people are ready to once again connect with each other in social spaces. For outdoor media, this means a renaissance.

Experts from one of South Africa’s leading media owners, Tractor Outdoor, share three things we can expect to see in the out-of-home (OOH) arena in 2022.

DOOH will explode

One of the biggest shifts in the OOH arena was the rapid move away from static to digital billboards in 2020, catalysed by Covid-19. According to Lizelle Mc Connell, sales director at Tractor Outdoor, we can expect a more aggressive DOOH expansion in 2022. “We also anticipate more roll-outs in outer lying areas, as the metros reach saturation point, while technologies become increasingly sophisticated to cater to a more discerning marketer and consumer.

“We’ve also seen a growing demand for DOOH networks, such as roadside digital (RSD) networks, airports, transit, taverns, malls, and our very own Forecourt network,” she adds.

“These networks provide incredible reach and can be highly targeted to specific audience profiles.”

New technologies will continue to proliferate

Over-saturation in OOH is increasingly becoming a problem, particularly in high traffic areas such as cities. This makes it challenging for media buyers to review thousands of billboards — yet this is an important function, particularly from a regulatory and compliance perspective. Even in the case of DOOH, media schedules with single site selection are becoming rare, due to the sheer volume of inventory.

“This has galvanised the industry to try and find ways of simplifying the buying process. Thus the programmatic buy will continue to gain momentum, says Remi du Preez, commercial director at Tractor Outdoor. “We expect to see more international tools enter the local playing field which aim to streamline the buying process; as well as more pick-up from marketers.

“As marketers and media owners, we’re now able to bridge the gap between online and offline and truly provide a cross-channel campaign delivery. This allows for truly integrated campaigns with far more reach, dynamism and impact.”

Mc Connell adds that these tools and technologies provide incredible flexibility for clients, and she foresees a bigger uptake in 2022. “New ways of buying includes allowing for clever dayparting, location-based and contextually relevant campaign optimisation. We’ve seen a big shift from loop-based buying to programmatic buying. This saves clients’ money as it allows marketers to buy their key audience, at an opportune time and at their chosen location, versus having to adopt a more ‘spray and pray approach’, through looping 24 hours a day,” she says.

Growing expectation for outdoor to show demonstrable ROI

That brings us to our next point: in 2022, marketers are under more pressure to demonstrate return on their client’s investment. We saw more stringent DOOH auditing in 2021 — and we can definitely expect more of that as we enter 2022. Says Simon Wall, CEO at Tractor Outdoor, “Marketers are after campaigns that are transparent and trackable with measurable data-backed results. Analytical tools become more intelligent and reporting offers richer insights, in order to accommodate this. And in return, there’s greater responsibility placed on marketers and brands to more clearly define success metrics at the start of the campaign, and briefs will become tighter as a result.”

One thing is for sure: it is going to be an exciting year for the OOH industry, and we can look forward to a great deal of growth, innovation and dynamic collaboration.

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