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What can SA learn about CMS best practice from other markets and what trends are predicted for 2023 in this space?

Jonas Glad


Jonas Glad

Jonas Glad

March 30 . 5 min read . Opinion

Credit: Ocean Outdoor Sweden / DoohClick



The South African OOH market is a hot category and development is accelerating, but not all of it in a positive way. To get an in-depth view, I’ve spent the last few weeks working in Cape Town and other cities, talking to SA media owners and buyers.

The ambitious and entrepreneurial are readily embracing change, but in some places, SA OOH still feels a little like the Wild West. I think we’d probably all agree that a penchant for illegal billboards doesn’t do our industry any favours and creates media buyer confusion.

In the legitimate OOH market, supply is a little crazy right now, in Johannesburg for example, which means some media owners are having to build more sites simply to maintain market share. But over supply will affect price points and the media value of OOH.

I also get the feeling that some OOH media buyers opt for the easiest routes. They don’t have the time or energy to ask specific questions about how they can leverage OOH inventory for advertisers and that is affecting both performance and revenue opportunity.

It’s time for the industry to start thinking outside the box and professionalize the way it does business with brands and agencies. To do this, OOH and DOOH media owners need to become more unified to eliminate confusion. Much like other markets, there’s currently too much disparity.

One example is how media buyers buy space from different media owners in different ways. One might offer a 1 in 12 ad Loop, another a 1 in 6 loop and the third a 1 in 24 Loop. This makes it difficult for media buyers to understand what delivers best value for money because they are buying share of voice differently on each screen or billboard. But the reality is that advertisers don’t think in loops, they think about audiences and exposure.

To attract revenue share from the online ad and TV markets, so we need to start selling and using our inventory differently. Locking buyers into a loop is not the way.

In the Nordic countries it’s different. The media buyers are the people pressurising the media owners to adopt common terms with regards to both OOH currency and language so that they can compare different offers. They buy OOH dynamically by share of voice. This in turn unlocks revenue from advertisers who previously may not have had the budget to spend on OOH.

This way, instead of discounting a slot in a loop you can actually give the client what their budget is worth in share of screen time.

Some media owners are also not transparent about proof of play. This needs to change. The industry has to become more unified in how it is reporting, setting better standards.

The ad management platform or tech stack you choose to sit behind your OOH or DOOH business is the engine room that will power such improvements, driving your business – and the OOH industry – forward.

It’s a real eye opener, I promise.

A company which switches from using spreadsheets and word documents to a more systemised, efficient way of working is a liberated company because the people doing time consuming admin tasks can focus instead on other areas like customer service.

An example is ad operations. An ad network management system like DoohClick eliminates both complexity and silos. It allows the ad ops team or person to quickly create accurate campaign reports based on real time data. Having a structured process eliminates human error but also introduces the flexibility agencies require today.

A complete ad management system will transform every department of your business, but we accept that changing the operational structure takes time and everyone needs to be on board.

My suggestion is to try a staged approach. Start looking at one particular area you need to improve. It you want to introduce a new workflow so that sales can create proposals more quickly, or if your ad operations are overwhelmed, tackle these bottlenecks first.

A sales proposal shouldn’t take an hour to put together because you need to access several different spreadsheets and then call somebody else to ask about occupancy. The reality is that it can be done in less than a minute.

Accurate data to make the right decisions is key. Not all media owners understand the power of data because they have never been presented with it. They might dig out the stats once a year, but sometimes you need to make big decisions about asset investment for example based on a forecast or information about how an OOH category or location is performing.

Having that data available on a live basis is transformative. You can see the revenue performance of every single billboard or screen, what’s in the pipeline and what revenue has been generated per contact or eyeball. It would take some kind of genius to create the same kind of report on a manual basis.

Going forward, data sits at the centre of emerging developments in the OOH AdTech space. We are seeing a greater use of third party audience data for both programmatic ad buying and direct sales.

In the markets that don’t have strong audience measurement systems like Route or Geopath, real time data will take over and become the currency because programmatic OOH requires a better understanding of the audience.

In terms of ad operations, clients will be given more control over their campaigns via a direct uploading system which makes the delivery mechanism more flexible and faster. Every media owner can save time on these processes. It might not happen this year, but it’s coming.

The really important thing is to invest in the right player for your LED screens to support what your clients are asking for. It seems to be a common mistake to invest in cheaper built in players that can’t be upgraded. It’s a false economy that will cost you more in the long run. The platform you choose is important because it will need to support new and future tech, such as audience measurement.

Above all, OOH must come together and agree on a set of standard definitions for measurement, targeting and delivery. It’s a big industry problem. We operate in 11 markets and the number of times we have to adjust the language on dashboards and tools is unbelievable. It varies even from media owner to media owner. So is it play, playout or impression?

Just one of the problems we will be working with to address. The message is less complexity please. If you can’t present what you are selling in an accessible, understandable way, then you need to rethink what you are doing.

If you want to find out more about DoohClick, have any questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Jonas co-founded DoohClick in 2019 after the Swedish owned proprietary ad platform was demerged from NASDAQ listed AdCityMedia. Originally developed over a 10 year period and previously operated as StarCorp, DoohClick provides global media owners with real time ad serving ecosystems which facilitate complete sales support, dynamic scheduling, improved analysis and fast reporting.

Prior to the formation of DoohClick, Jonas was chief operating officer of AdCityMedia AB. Having started his career there in sales, Jonas was instrumental in using the company’s progressive digital software to expand its acquisition trail, leading to its NASDAQ listing in 2017.

Under his leadership, DoohClick is now a fully independent company providing new business opportunities and updating legacy OOH systems across 11 markets.

It is Jonas’s vision to incubate an international network of like-minded collaborators under the auspices of DoohClick to introduce improved, common standards and support new and emerging technology across the OOH sector.