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.
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?
Billboards for Everyone #2
ADstruc, the online marketplace for Out-of-Home media, has created a ‘Billboard with Feelings’ in downtown New York.
Partnering with Tronic Studios, for the design, and Fuel Outdoor for the billboard, which sits near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, the ad simply reads, ‘Today I’m Feeling _____’. Using a unique GPS Augmented Reality app, GoldRun, passerby’s or drivers stuck in a jam can see if the billboard is happy or sad or, whether it feels like dancing or cheering on its favorite team.
Because the billboard is GPS tagged, a number of different images can appear at the same site making it more interactive than normal Augmented Reality applications. Essentially, taking a traditional billboard and making it digital. For example, users can change the feelings themselves using large-scale emoticons, and then post them to Facebook or Twitter.
This unique billboard is part of the ADstruc’s ‘Billboards for Everyone’ campaign that partners with artists and designers to help promote creativity and innovation in the outdoor space.
Previous billboards have included a piece by Shephard Fairey’s Studio Number One depicting migrant workers painting a billboard before being chased by police. This billboard was placed on the freeway in Arizona earlier in the year: http://blog.adstruc.com/tag/billboardsforeveryone
The ‘Billboards for Everyone’ program is helping promote ADstruc’s innovative online platform that makes buying out-of-home inventory simple and efficient for individuals and corporations alike.
Many, many thanks to our partners involved in this great program: JWT New York, SPREAD Art, Fuel Outdoor, and Culture Magazine. We will continue throughout 2011 with more contemporary artists and designers - stay tuned for the next one!
Recent Outdoor Campaigns
We couldn’t be more excited about all of the recent outdoor advertising campaigns that have been built, sold, and launched through ADstruc. Within the last two weeks alone, we processed over $100,000 in campaigns and that’s just the beginning. These recent campaigns will launch from Seattle to New York over the next few months.
Our goal continues to be making it easier to get involved in outdoor advertising and each new client we work with loves how simple it is on ADstruc. To make it even simpler, we will launch a newly redesigned site soon (we’ve already started by making search easier (below) so stay tuned)! If you are thinking about advertising, please contact us as we would love to discuss the effectiveness of outdoor advertising and how we can help.
Also, be sure to check out some more cool stuff below:
Gary Vaynerchuk Promotes Book Through ADstruc
More information about the campaign and photos to come this week however we had to share with you the first of many outdoor advertising installments in NYC. Soooo, if you want to call him directly, you have to find one of his ads in NYC to get the number….the first one is at the 23rd and Park Avenue subway station.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s ”The Thank You Economy” is a book about saying much more than just “Thank you.” The Thank You Economy represents a much bigger movement. This book could easily have been called The Humanization of Business or Manners Marketing. To purchase, click here: http://amzn.to/bzvl1u
Proposal Generator: New Feature!
Simply, the easiest way to respond to RFPs and generate custom proposals.
We are excited to announce the launch of Proposal Generator. latest feature, the
ADstruc’s Proposal Generator is simply the easiest way to help outdoor companies respond to RFPs and create custom client proposals. It enables sellers to instantly search through their inventory on ADstruc, select specific units and then add them to a client branded proposal. The typical arduous process of charting and mapping is now completely automated.
In the time it takes to order a coffee the proposal is complete and ready to be instantly shared online through a unique link. Simply email the link, no attachments or formatting issues.
The Proposal Generator is just one of ADstruc’s many smart features that aims to take the outdoor industry’s buying and selling process online, creating huge efficiencies and ending time wasted on tedious spreadsheets.
Enhanced Communication Tools
Based on feedback from several of our users, ADstruc improved the communication tools between buyers and sellers through our platform. As of this morning, we released a new “Contact” feature (see image below) that enables logged-in users to contact the seller directly, ask questions, confirm details, etc.
We are excited about this new feature because it advances our goal of bringing efficiency and transparency to the process of buying and selling outdoor advertising. Tools like our new “Contact” feature will help buyers and sellers communicate more effectively while inevitably improving the efficiency of the overall transaction. Of course, if you see anything else that we need to improve, we’d love to hear it! Just contact us here.