Indrajit Sen: Hinterlands to provide huge scope for OOH

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In OOH News | February 10, 2011

The increase in the number of marketing managers using OOH as the main media and not a 'reminder' media is an exciting indicator of things to come. Also, the innovations that are taking place in the OOH media are happening at a far greater pace compared to any other media.

Thirdly, the players in the OOH industry are waking up to the huge possibilities that await them if they structure themselves and work towards self-regulation in terms of installations, designs, pricing and policies. This is working well for the industry. Also, now that the brands have started actually investing in upcountry, the potential of OOH coming up in the hinterland will provide huge scope to everyone connected to the business.

Lastly, various formats in OOH are also gaining prominence, giving huge opportunities to innovate and get closer to the audience. For example, with transit points like airports, OOH media is now able to offer more avenues to reach out to a niche, more premium audience. Similarly, as railway stations, bus terminals get spruced up, OOH's potential can only grow.

On the flip side is the fact that with newer media gaining importance, fragmentation in the industry will rise. At present, there are over 4,500 media owners across India. Moreover, the lack of a metric for audience measurement will continue to be an issue in 2011 though the IOAA has initiated the Indian Outdoor Survey in association with MRUC.

Also, the fact that government and local bodies are not responding to the changing scenario is scary. I believe they need to show more empathy towards our needs and involve media owners in the decision-making process rather than making ad hoc policies.

Corruption in all facets of this business - and a lack of transparency - is fast becoming a hallmark that can spell doom. Blatant exploitation by clients of the fact that this business has so many open ends often equates larger players in the industry with smallest ones and reduces all their efforts to naught.

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