People do not fully understand the way that advertising influences people. In a gigantic industry, there are endless ways to reach people and make them aware and interested in a particular product or service. Place-based media, particularly DOOH, is not an immediate connection for a lot of marketers. We as networks have a lot of work to do to get more traction and long-term ad sales.
There are many ways to go about raising sales, but fundamentally ad sales are run by relationships and reputations. As a start-up network, it is difficult to ring enough of a bell alone to attract serious attention. The answer is to tap into existing relationships and get included as a part of a broader ad buy.
External sales agencies can be a good place to start. Agencies with a reputation in non-traditional media are especially capable. They have already worked with clients to do something out of the ordinary. Since DOOH is still relatively new, they understand the ways of presenting the opportunity to their clients who are the most receptive. DOOH is a great complement to TV and traditional out of home, and being represented at the time of the buy increases chances of inclusion. You will not be included if you are not there.
Ad exchanges are also good places to broaden exposure to marketers who use the platforms to search out networks. The ad platforms knock on a lot of doors and can get more attention due to their scale. Again, you will not be found if you are not making yourself visible. It is the same strategy: Be included in the greater ad buy while a marketer is most receptive to the idea.
Additionally, DOOH network sales should be organized and led by product type. Because DOOH is delivered in a certain context, there are some products that fit naturally. For example, the marketing agency working for the publisher of the official Derek Jeter biography recently bought a digital display package at Yankee Stadium. The representative from the agency saw the digital screens and made the connection that the ads for the book needed to be there.
Think about the most obvious and less obvious connections that can be made, and approach the companies and agencies responsible. These companies would generally be more receptive to hearing the pitch than companies that see no immediate connection. Clearly, a large portion of sales come from advertisers that might not be immediate connections based on the context, and a good pitch is key. But organization is crucial to success in sales, and the products that fit the context are not a bad place to start.
Joe Matriss, Managing Director of Park Cast Network, an ad-based DOOH network with screens in public parking facilities in New York City and Chicago, shares his experiences, strategies and ideas to encourage more open dialogue between network operators for success across the medium.