The post-lunch panel discussion at Delhi Talks OOH - an event organised by VJ Media Works and sponsored by Pioneer Publicity, on December 18 at the Capital - explored whether Delhi has the potential to attract more OOH spends, and why Mumbai is considered the Mecca of outdoor advertising.
The discussion was moderated by Pratap Bose, chief operating officer, Mudra Group. The panelists were: Gautam Chadha, country head, TDI Media Services; Diptakirti Chaudhuri, head of marketing, HT Media; Gaurav Tandon, national director, business development, Navia Asia; Raj Mohanty, senior business director, Poster Publicity; and Asim Mathur, national marketing manager, Microsoft India.
Chaudhuri was positive and said, "With public transport coming up as a visibility option and certain resources in place, the market can be taken to a new level. Obviously, this will happen gradually." Mathur of Microsoft India agreed with Chaudhuri, adding that the market in Delhi had become more competitive.
Giving the agencies' perspective, both Tandon and Mohanty believed that Delhi-NCR was expanding as an OOH market and there was need to utilise this opportunity.
The next point raised by Bose was that Delhi's outdoor market was often not considered as professional as other markets (read Mumbai) in the country. Speaking as a consumer, Mathur opined that Delhi had adopted a fresh approach to outdoor and clients were able to see impressive ROIs.
Chadha stated that there was constant comparison between Mumbai and Delhi. "I can see a harmony between media owners and civic bodies in Mumbai. Also, the media owners there are more enterprising," he added. Coming forth to defend Delhi, Tandon clarified, that here, the business ran more on the basis of relationships.
Bose asked the panel what agencies could do to ensure smooth functioning of the business. Providing a client's point of view, Chaudhuri said that media agencies should work more closely with creative agencies. Chadha emphasised that agencies should be fair to clients and vice versa. Mohanty expressed the desire of outdoor agencies to be involved in the creative process.
The next crucial issue discussed by the panel was the importance of vendor or media concessionaires in building relationships with clients. Chadha observed that they were certainly an important part of the chain; as they were responsible on the back end. Other members of the panel expressed similar views.
The final topic of debate was whether Delhi had the potential to cater to demands of clients - especially the telecom sector that is buzzing like never before and contributes to 40 per cent of the outdoor revenues per year.
Mathur began on a positive note, explaining how the Commomwealth Games in 2010 would provide advertising options for clients. Chaudhuri added that the availability of more OOH formats would make Delhi a better market.
According to Chadha, there was room for improvement. "There is focus on very familiar formats. There is a need to move out of billboard/unipole centric plans and shift to newer formats," he said.
Mohanty felt that in Delhi, there was either clutter or media dark areas that needed work. He stressed on the importance of relation-based business opportunities with resident welfare associations and retail outlets. Tandon agreed that Delhi may not have many options in terms of format, but it had the quality.
Chauduri also suggested that OOH agencies should come forward and help creative agencies in better execution and fair ROI calculation.
Bose concluded the session by saying that with a more professional approach and speedy and neat execution, Delhi could do wonders and grow to be a Rs 400 crore market within the next two years.