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Out-of-Home Holding Its Own Amid Digital Onslaught

OOH campaign

Agency Zenith has released its global advertising forecast through 2020, envisioning strong growth in many markets. The US and China are the two big ones but other markets are meaningful contributors.

The largest beneficiary of new ad dollars will be the “mobile internet,” according to the forecast. However, there’s also some projected growth for some traditional media channels, including outdoor.

Top contributors to ad revenue growth: 2017 – 2020 (US$m)

Zenith ad forecast

The chart below envisions display overtaking search this year, much of which will come in the form of mobile ad growth. It’s also worth noting that “classifieds” is predominantly a “local” ad category, given that these goods and services are mostly sold or fulfilled offline. (That may not be what Zenith envisions, but it’s what I’m arguing.)

Internet ad spend by type 2017-2020 (US$billion)

Zenith ad forecast

This brings me to the point of this blog post: outdoor advertising. If this forecast is accurate, outdoor is growing in part because it’s becoming a “hybrid medium.” What I mean is that traditional outdoor advertising is now measurable because of mobile-location data. Andy Stevens, Clear Channel SVP of Research, Insights & Analytics demonstrated this at The Place Conference in New York in this past September.

Zenith ad forecast

To varying degrees, TV and cinema can also be measured using mobile-location data, which can track ad exposures to store visits. Exposure to outdoor ads (whether traditional or digital) can also be the basis for mobile and online retargeting campaigns as well.

This is what I find fascinating: traditional media that many digital marketers had given up for dead or predicted would die are being reinvigorated through mobile-location data. We’ll be discussing this both at LSA18 (Eric Hadley, CMO GroundTruth) but especially at Place Conference 2018 in New York again.

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