We are excited to announce our first Holiday Special for new and existing ADstruc clients. Purchase an outdoor advertising campaign through ADstruc between now and the end of the year, and we’ll cover up to $2,500 in printing.
To get started on our new and improved platform, just visit ADstruc.
Take advantage of this special, just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADstruc + Telmar
We are pleased to announce a major product integration and strategic long-term partnership with Telmar. An industry first, Telmar’s planning software now seamlessly connects into ADstruc’s buying software, creating the most efficient planning and buying system for the outdoor advertising industry. For more information, click here: http://adstruc.com/telmar
The easiest way to buy and sell outdoor advertising
At ADstruc, our sole focus is on building the best platform possible for buying and selling outdoor advertising.
Today, we’re excited to unveil a whole new platform that provides media buyers with the most effective and efficient way to buy outdoor advertising. This isn’t an announcement about a new tool or a feature to come in a few months; this is a complete workflow solution, ready for you today. This is, without exception, the easiest way to buy and sell outdoor advertising.
We literally spent countless hours with media buyers and sellers at every level to understand how ADstruc can best support them. ADstruc’s new tools were designed with our colleagues from the OOH industry to streamline the process of buying and selling OOH, while supporting everyone involved at every step of the process. From discovering inventory, to planning campaigns, to executing plans, ADstruc’s advanced tools are here to make your life easier.
How to Build Better Technology for OOH
Innovation and Efficiencies in the OOH industry
It is no secret that the OOH industry can benefit vastly from innovation, but it is important to define exactly what kind of innovation will deliver the best results. Recent ADstruc blog posts discussed the good and bad of utilizing external innovation technologies like QR codes and NFC. However, our post today, and ADstruc’s main focus, is on driving innovation from within the OOH industry. We believe that smart technology built by people solely focused on the OOH industry can best address the inefficiencies which exist in the industry today.
Communication and workflow are the two primary areas where innovation through technology can most benefit the OOH industry. First, technology improvements to the various channels of communication used by OOH buyers and sellers will enable everyone involved to conduct their business more efficiently. Secondly, the workflow behind the process of buying and selling outdoor advertising needs to be streamlined with the help of technology solutions.
At ADstruc, we built a company that consistently creates innovative and game-changing technology products for the OOH industry. We were the first to actually listen to the entire industry about its needs, rather than just trying to sell to the industry a product built on assumptions. We were the first to focus on educating the industry about technology solutions, rather than just trying to disrupt the industry with technology. By focusing on efficiencies the industry is asking for, we were the first to create a patent pending RFP automation system. Today, local and national operators, local and national businesses, and media planning/buying agencies throughout the country utilize our products because they were built as a solution to the issues the OOH industry asked to be solved.
Ideate. Develop. Deliver.
It is with our years of experience in building software and with outdoor advertising that we are able to consistently ideate, develop, and deliver quality products for the OOH industry. Our development process does not happen in a closed room. It has always been a transparent process with the entire industry, which enables us to gain insights from all stakeholders and rigorously test our products across large and small companies. This process enables us to deliver a comprehensive solution for both large and small buyers and sellers.
Innovation Cannot be Outsourced
Technology innovation for the OOH industry must come from within the industry. It cannot be outsourced. Engineers have to be passionate about the products they are building and even more passionate about the problems they are solving. Passion for building OOH products and solving OOH problems is rooted in OOH industry experience. ADstruc engineers are not just good; they are great! This is because not only are they some of the best engineers in the highly talented NYC developer community, but also because they eat, sleep and breathe outdoor advertising. ADstruc’s engineers attend client meetings with the business team; share and test products with our clients at every stage in the development process; and, most importantly, build relationships with our clients that facilitate seamless communication. Building the best OOH advertising products is their one and only job. They aren’t also working for other companies in other industries. They start and end every day with outdoor advertising.
Our team is our greatest asset and explains how we have been able to create such an innovative company within the OOH industry. However, that’s just part of it. Here is a brief overview of other key components to building innovation from within the OOH industry:
- Gaining first-hand knowledge of the domain by working in it.
- Making technology development a core competency and never outsourcing your core competencies.
- Hiring the best talent and challenging them constantly.
- Listening to advertisers, agencies, and operators so that you can incorporate their feedback into every product.
To paraphrase Steve Jobs, “innovation is what distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. We take pride in the fact that many companies have taken “inspiration” from our products, but have not been able to keep up with their evolution. Our products continuously evolve as the industry’s understanding of what it needs and how to get it evolves. Our product roadmap is thoughtfully planned out, yet flexible enough to support change.
Some of our competitors committed a cardinal business sin. They outsourced what should be their core competency – technology development. We experienced the problems associated with outsourcing technology development first hand 5 years ago when we started developing the idea behind ADstruc and outsourced the original product. It took 18 painstakingly long months to get our idea even looking like a product, and each iteration, each idea, each “move that button over there” took too long and was too expensive. It was a constant battle. New ideas drown as your outsourced tech team can’t move at the speed and evolution of those ideas and business needs. They will never sync. Development shops do not understand the challenges that the OOH industry face and have no long-term incentive to create quality products. Further, for an industry that has not been a great adopter of new technology in the past, one cannot hope to create the right product in the first iteration. A process of continual technological innovation needs to be followed in order to create a product that addresses all of the major and minor needs of the industry.
Being open to new ways of operating is the first big step. If, as an industry, we continue to focus on what we are good at, while understanding where we can improve, then we can become better at what we all do together. Creative agencies are good at creative. Media planning agencies are good at media planning. Media buying agencies are good at media buying. Technology companies are good at building technology. When we all work together, we learn together, and thereby drive innovation across the entire industry, together.
A Creative Review: Celebrities and Billboards
Welcome back to A Creative Review with James Cooper. Today Coop takes a look at ads featuring celebrity spokespeople.
If you read any historical books about advertising, there is a famous quote from a client who says something along the lines of ‘I know 50% of my advertising doesn’t work, I’m just not sure which 50%’. It’s a familiar problem. Advertising is not a science. There are no guarantees. However, it is assumed that one of the less risky options is to go with a celebrity endorsement.
Photo credit: Jockey Buzz
The theory here is that Jennifer Anniston and Tim Tebow et al. are instantly recognizable and of course desirable. ‘She drinks it. I want to be like her. So I’ll drink it.’ For many marketers this seems like a no brainer and yet there is no real evidence to suggest a celebrity endorsement will help a brand. In some instances, (probably anything to do with Charlie Sheen), an endorsement can have a negative effect.
Photo credit: Daily Billboard
I think there may be some merit in long term associations such as William Shatner for Priceline or Ashton Kutcher for Nikon. Clearly they will involve some serious bucks - yet over the long run they will probably pay off. However, these billboards feel like a one off. They will give the brands a little bit of a lift, but it’s what the brands do after someone sees Jennifer or Tebow that will really help sales.
That’s all folks! Want to get involved? Send us the best or worst billboards you’ve seen and we’ll choose one every week. Just email email@example.com.
Out-of-Home Revenue Continues to Grow
The Outdoor Advertising Industry reported Q1 2012 growth of 4.5 percent compared to Q1 2011. The industry boasts eight straight quarters of positive revenue growth.
The latest revenue numbers continue to demonstrate the power of the Out-of-Home (OOH) medium. Additionally, with the announcement of the OAAA’s rebranding last month, the industry is particularly well-positioned to capitalize on this growth.
The industry’s success correlates closely with ADstruc’s continued growth, having added 124 new partners to the platform in the last 30 days. New advertisers to OOH, such as Pebble, have launched campaigns on ADstruc in less than 2 weeks.
Be sure to read the OAAA’s press release below and includes a breakout of Outdoor Advertising Expenditures by category.
(Washington, DC) –Out of home (OOH) advertising revenue rose 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, accounting for more than $1.4 billion, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The increase in revenue highlights steady positive year-over-year revenue growth since the second quarter of 2010.
“The out of home industry continues to perform well each year,” said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “Ad agencies and advertisers have realized the value OOH can offer when part of a comprehensive media plan.”
Misc. Services & Amusements recorded the highest revenue dollar growth as the segment continues to lead OOH spending each quarter. OOH ad revenue also grew in the Government, Politics & Organizations segment, which is expected to continue to grow as the election season nears.
“The political season kicks off earlier each election cycle,” said OAAA Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas. “Political advertisers spent on OOH last year and have already proven OOH to be a strategic component in campaigns this year, with spending increases of more than 9 percent thus far. Both candidate and public issue ads will continue to increase spending in the coming months as political action groups and front runners prepare for the November elections.”
OAAA issues full industry pro forma revenue estimates that include, but are not limited to, Miller Kaplan and Kantar Media (which is not adjusted to reflect changes in data sources), and member company affidavits. Revenue estimates include billboard, street furniture, transit, alternative, and cinema advertising, as well as digital platforms for advertising spending.
ADstruc would like to introduce you to Pebble, ‘the first watch built for the 21st Century’ and the highest grossing project ever on Kickstarter! Pebble’s own Eric Migicovsky approached us a few days ago about his idea for a simple, but well executed billboard on the 101 in Silicon Valley. Their goal was simple, to advertise to software developers that Pebble is the next big platform and that by introducing Pebble to developers in the Bay area, they can help build a larger catalog of apps for all Pebble users. By using ADstruc, Eric was able to go from an idea to a posted billboard in ten days.
How did we get a billboard up in less than two weeks? By streamlining the entire outdoor sales process!
Before ADstruc, there were two choices to discover & purchase outdoor advertising: 1) do it yourself by calling each individual vendor, asking for a proposal, and comparing sales sheets, or 2) engaging a media agency and giving up control of the process.
With ADstruc, it took Eric about five minutes to submit a single Request for Proposal (RFP) that reached outdoor advertising companies covering the 101. The RFP included all of the timing, budget, location, and demographic details that vendors needed to understand and process his request.
After reviewing the RFP details, each vendor identified units that matched Eric’s criteria and added them to an online proposal. Over the next few days, Eric received an email every time a vendor submitted a proposal for review in his ADstruc dashboard.
Instead of receiving oversized email attachments, illegible PDF maps, and countless rows in Excel, ADstruc’s platform automatically organizes all the information into one consolidated, interactive proposal, complete with Google Maps and Street View. By viewing the billboards side by side in one consistent format, Eric could compare each location based on multiple criteria (e.g., proximity, photo, marketing description, price, etc.) and select the perfect board for Pebble.
After selecting the perfect board, ADstruc initiated the contract between Eric and CBS Outdoor, the winning vendor, to reserve the billboard space. Finally, Eric worked directly with our partners at Circle Graphics, who printed Eric’s billboard in a record two days and shipped it out to SF for next day installation!
We’d like to thank our partners, CBS Outdoor, and Circle Graphics, as well as everyone who participated in the RFP. Of course, we couldn’t be more excited about working with Pebble - be sure to check out their Kickstarter project here: http://kck.st/HumIV6
If you’d like to see the billboard for yourself, it’s located near Exit 403 on the 101, just North of the East Palo Alto Ikea.
Out-of-Home Media Conference Recap
After spending last week at the annual TAB/OAAA conference in Miami, I want to provide some thoughts on the industry’s repositioning as well as look at some trends, threats, and opportunities ahead for the outdoor advertising industry.
First of all, congrats again to the TAB and OAAA for putting on another impressive conference. Sponsors like CBS Outdoor, Lamar, Clear Channel, Vector, Van Wagner, and Security CheckPoint, among others, provided incredible entertainment as well as ample food and drinks throughout the entire conference.
It is great to see industry leaders take a closer look at the OOH brand to maximize its positioning. Education certainly needs to be the focal point behind the repositioning and will provide the infrastructure from which we can continue to grow as an industry. To learn more and download additional information, click here: www.oohtakeanotherlook.org. Over here at ADstruc, we fully support the repositioning.
Nancy Fletcher, Chair of the OAAA, kicked the show off by reviewing the industry feedback and research they gathered throughout the course of their deep dive over the last year. Nancy said that the new brand guidelines “represent the hard work and commitment of our entire industry, who worked collaboratively to research, define, and develop a unified vision for what the OOH industry stands for, and where it is headed”. She focused on the following seven key brand attributes:
Key Brand Attributes
- Creative Impact
- High Quality/Well Maintained
I think these are great brand attributes that strongly represent the benefits of outdoor advertising. I want to focus on “Innovation” as I believe it will be the driver for the industry’s future growth. First, let’s look at the OAAA’s definition of innovation, “OOH is putting innovation to work in all parts of its business to improve the customer experience and keep pace with where advertising and the consumer are headed. From digital technology, to mobile, social and interactive solutions, to improved business practices and a new TAB ratings system, OOH is embracing innovation to help advertisers take their message further.”
Innovation across customer experiences, digital technology, mobile experiences, and TAB ratings will provide OOH advertisers with multiple touch points centered around understanding campaign ROI. This will be incredibly important for the industry as the need for understanding campaign data and performance increases. Another important aspect to using innovation is ensuring there is enough education about how to effectively use innovative technology. We can all agree that the use of QR codes in OOH has not been effective. If we treat NFC or other forms of innovative technology in the same way (e.g., not focusing on the consumer experience), I fear that we will sour the industry’s willingness to try the next innovative product.
Finally, one area I think needs to be included in the definition of innovation is the need for advertisers and agencies to plan and buy OOH more efficiently. During the conference, Andrea MacDonald, CEO of MacDonald Media, talked about the need for RFP automation. If we as an industry can make it easier to discover OOH, communicate with multiple vendors, and efficiently purchase outdoor advertising, then we will improve the demand for our medium.
Some of the trends that were discussed throughout the show were:
- Social Media
- Mobile Integrations
- TAB OOH Ratings
- RFP Automation
Social media and mobile will continue to merge with OOH to provide advertisers with more access to consumers through integrated campaigns. TAB OOH ratings were, and should remain, the focal point of many discussions and seminars as we all need to better understand its implementation and benefits.
What does RFP automation mean? How can it benefit agencies and operators? Why was it continually discussed throughout the course of the conference?
RFP automation simply means making the RFP process (i.e., sharing campaign details with operators and receiving proposals) between buyers and sellers more efficient.
The benefits are very straightforward. For agencies, RFP automation removes the manual, time-consuming process of contacting multiple operators via email and then aggregating data from confusing spreadsheets. For operators, RFP automation means better organizing multiple, incoming RFP requests and more effectively sharing information back with clients. This removes the need for file sharing services, massive excel spread sheets, and large PDF files of photo sheets.
Of course, we are particularly pleased to hear from both agencies/advertisers and operators about today’s need for RFP automation, as this is ADstruc’s core function. Agencies and advertisers need to consume data faster and more effectively. Technology helps speed up the workflow process and provides powerful analytical tools for agencies and advertisers to evaluate the best Out of Home locations for their campaigns.
ADstruc’s technology enables agencies/advertisers and operators to communicate and buy OOH more effectively by automating the RFP workflow. Today, agencies and advertisers benefit from using ADstruc in the following ways:
- Easily plan campaigns;
- Connect with multiple media operators;
- Eliminate stacks of photo sheets and maps; and
- Evaluate proposals in a single, interactive format across multiple operators.
To learn more and receive a private demonstration, just call us at (646) 692-4966 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are super excited about the industry’s new look and vision for the years ahead. Stay tuned for our next blog post as we help answer the question: What is a buying platform?
A New Look for Out of Home
Hello from the OAAA conference in Miami! ADstruc is live at booth #22, and there is big news in the air: The OAAA just launched a new repositioning campaign encouraging advertisers to take another look at Out of Home:
Advertising is constantly changing. With new platforms, converging technology, and increasing audience fragmentation, advertisers today are looking for innovative ways to engage and interact with consumers.
In response, out of home advertising has been changing, too. Today’s OOH offers new technologies, new formats, and more creative thinking to help advertisers take their message further. — OAAA brandbook
Congratulations to all the OAAA committees and contributors who worked on this project. Committing to innovation is an important step for the industry, and we’re excited to be part of it. We’ll be posting our full reaction and analysis later this week, but right now we have to get back to our booth!