All New Proposal Tools
Over the past few months, we’ve spoken with a lot of Out-of-Home operators about how they create proposals on ADstruc. We learned that while we had all the right features, we needed to improve the process of how those features worked together.
New Workflow for Creating Proposals
We kicked off 2013 with new ways to upload, search, and add inventory in proposals. Now, we’ve brought it all together to help operators build proposals more efficiently and intuitively. Our new workflow guides you through proposals in three easy steps.
Map-Based Inventory Search
Visualize inventory by market to identify the best units for a proposal. Search by unit number and export a list of selected units to confirm availabilities with your team. This is, by far, the fastest way to build proposals on ADstruc. Hosting your inventory on ADstruc will make your sales team more nimble and collaborative.
Flexible Packages & Pricing
Out-of-Home is more than just billboards, and we’ve updated our proposal tools to support alternative formats and pricing. You can now propose multiple units for a package rate. Considering a showing of posters, street furniture, bus panels, or media without lat/longs? No problem, draw your coverage area on our interactive map.
We improved our platform’s compatibility with excel; now accepting Excel’s standard .XLSX, .XLS, and .CSV file formats.
Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with our team, just email us at email@example.com.
This article highlights the traditional process of buying outdoor advertising. For our readers, it’s important to understand how OOH was previously bought, in order to appreciate the new innovations in the market today. At ADstruc, we have brought the OOH industry online with powerful tools to help buyers and sellers better manage their operations. We hope you enjoy the post.
Out-of-Home advertising for your business
Out-of-Home, outdoor, or OOH, advertising refers to a broad range of advertising media including billboards, closed-circuit TV networks, cinema advertising, transit media, and even skywriting. In fact, any time you travel, commute, or walk out of your front door - OOH is all around you!
Whether you are launching a new product, directing users to a retail location, promoting an upcoming event, or just building brand awareness, you can achieve your goals with outdoor advertising. You can learn more about how advertisers are using Out-of-Home here.
Advertising firms which own and rent billboards are referred to as operators, and include large integrated firms such as CBS Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, Van Wagner Communications, Adams Outdoor, Titan 360, Fairway Media Group, and many other local and independent firms.
A detailed look at planning an OOH campaign
Planning your first Out-of-Home campaign need not be daunting. The following flowchart illustrates the traditional buying process, including major milestones and the average time necessary to put up your first billboard. To avoid delays, we recommend planning your campaign at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
Submit a New Request For Proposal
In order to find billboards and get quotes, you must contact individual operators and send them a Request for Proposal, (RFP).
This process is very similar to your last home remodeling project. However, instead of inviting contractors into your kitchen to evaluate your old cabinets and countertops, your RFP is a document that defines the goals and criteria of your advertising campaign including location, timing, the type of media, and budget.
However, using ADstruc, you can submit your online RFP to dozens of operators with one click. We work with hundreds of operators across the country so that you can focus on finding the right billboard instead of the right phone number. You can learn more about creating an RFP through our online tutorial.
Once an operator receives your RFP, a sales rep will identify which of their billboards fit your criteria and send you a customized proposal. This proposal can be online (via ADstruc) or offline via Excel spreadsheets and PDF maps. Depending on the number of markets and operators you send your RFP to, it can take several business days to receive all of your proposals.
ADstruc proposals live online and use interactive Google maps to illustrate where each board’s location is and why it was selected for you. Instead of shuffling inpidual spreadsheets and email attachments, you can compare price, location, and other sales data in one streamlined view.
Negotiate and Accept a Proposal
As with most service proposals, OOH pricing is often negotiable. It’s a good idea to compare pricing and coverage across operators before negotiating a discount. If you are purchasing multiple units from an operator, you may be able to secure a discount or other concessions.
You can use ADstruc’s built-in messaging tools to negotiate with each operator on individual billboards or entire proposals. Afterwards, you can accept the proposal to initiate a media contract.
For an explanation of the factors influencing OOH costs and a comparison against other media, please refer to our detailed help center article.
All outdoor advertising operators will require you to sign a contract to secure and finalize the purchase of a billboard. The contract will be similar to a self-storage lease and covers the terms and conditions of the sale. Operator may also require a basic credit check for new customers.
Whether you use ADstruc or go direct to operator, contracts are always written between yourself and the operator.
Deliver Art to the Printer
If you’re new to Out-of-Home, printing a billboard may sound trivial, however it’s an important component which affects your budget and campaign timing.
A standard billboard is 14’ tall, 48’ wide, and printed on special type of vinyl. As a result, you must contact a specialized OOH printer to produce it. Most printers will accept digital art files (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). Both the artist designing the advertisement and the printer will require production and design specifications which will be provided by the operator.
ADstruc has partnered with Circle Graphics, the leading OOH printer in the country, to offer you extremely competitive production rates.
Print, Ship, and Post the Vinyl
Regardless of the printer, it takes several days to setup, approve proofs, print your billboard, and deliver it to the operator’s installation department. Operators typically ask that the billboard vinyl arrive 10 business days prior to your campaign’s start date. Once the operator receives your billboard, an installation crew will install it the evening before or morning of the start date specified on your contract.
Receive Photo Confirmation
A couple of days after your billboard has been posted, you will receive a Proof of Performance report from the operator. This report will contain photos of the actual billboard and certifies the date it was posted. If you are buying the billboard as part of a co-op marketing program, you will need this report for reimbursement.
Of course, ADstruc always has your back - you can reach our account team by calling 646.692.4966 or emailing us.
A Creative Review: The Dark Knight Rises
Welcome back to A Creative Review with James Cooper. Today Coop critiques one of the fantastic promo billboards for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Photo credit: Rob Sheridan, via Instagram
Will people talk about this billboard? Of course they will. Ok, you have a rabid fan base that is just waiting for any Batman related content - but still there is an epicness (if that’s a word, spellcheck seems to think not) about this that would work even if people weren’t nuts for the Dark Knight.
Holy editing Batman! We talked about trying to keep text to a minimum with the mini ad last time. This does that brilliantly. Six words? Nah, try six characters.
There have been a lot of billboards destroyed for effect so this is nothing new, but I like the bat shape. It draws you in and is not gratuitous. There is a reason for the destruction. It’s always great to see a bit of sky in the middle of a billboard. I just think it makes people do a double take.
This is an ad for a film. A moving image, a highly polished moving image that is super-fast high-paced adrenaline pumping non-stop! It’s hard to capture that on a flat piece of board. Yet this has all of that energy. In your mind you visualize a giant bat ripping this board to shreds and streaming down the highway. Crap, I really need to go see this movie!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Creative Review: Mini
Today we’re introducing our new weekly feature, “A Creative Review” by longtime friend and advisor James Cooper. ‘Coop’ enthusiastically volunteered to share his thoughts on some of the most innovative and effective Out of Home ads he’s seen around the world.
Based in New York, James has spent over 15 years leading creative projects for several top agencies including Anomaly, Saatchi, and JWT where he was the Chief Creative Innovation officer. He recently won a Gold Lion for Mobile at Cannes for the Band-Aid app featuring the Muppets. James is now pursuing consulting, tech start-ups and entrepreneurial projects in the retail, film and music industry.
Photo credit: Coloribus Creative Advertising Archive
Can A Billboard Go Viral?
Pretty much every client I have worked with over the last 10 years has wanted a viral. What they mean by that is that they want to do something that will reach a ton of people without spending any money. Of course it doesn’t work like that. Who could ever predict that a cat playing a keyboard would turn into a cultural phenomenon? The more you try to force that the more obvious everything becomes.
So really the only thing left is to create a piece of work – it can be a film, a billboard, a postcard – it doesn’t matter, but it needs to be so simple and interesting that people feel compelled to share it. If people want to share something they will find a way of doing it. I don’t think this piece is the strongest in terms of sharability but it does have a simple strong message that a lot of people would have found engaging. I would assume some people shared it with their friends.
Is Your Piece True To The Product?
It seems simple to say this but a lot of billboards just don’t feel like they belong to the product. They don’t ring true. However, this one does. The best thing about it is that although it’s a static image, everything about it implies movement. The ropes and the copy are all about speed and trajectory. How many times have we seen billboards with tire tracks in an attempt to do the same thing. This works so much better. It also leaves a little to the imagnation which is great. The consumer creates in their head what would happen if the catapult was released. Anything where the consumer fills in the last part of the story is also great – as everyone will have their own version.
Just Two Words
The general rule of thumb was that if your billboard uses more than seven words then it’s too complicated. Maybe now that’s not as true, as people are more used to deciphering messages at speed, but for me it still makes a huge amount of sense. And two words is better than seven. Of course everyone knows what a mini is so there is no need to waste any time explaining the product – this is pure branding but it’s still brilliantly economical. If your billboard is purely visual then I would suggest that a visual that can be summed up in seven words or less will also work much better than an intricate piece of layered art.
Not only is the visual intriguing, the copy is too. Agrippez Vous? What the hell does that mean? The literal translation in French is ‘Hold on Tight’ – which obviously works in this context. This was posted in France, so it makes sense, but even if you didn’t understand French this works. It has a cheekiness about it that feels spot on for a European brand.
On to the next one. Want to get involved? Email your favorite or worst billboards you’ve seen and I’ll choose one a week to critique. Just email them to email@example.com
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!