The out-of-home (OOH) and mobile industries have an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate to improve audience targeting, according to JCDecaux’s sales and partnerships director Ben Maher.
Maher, who left his role as EMEA boss of Mashable to join JCDecaux last May, will today (15 March) issue a “call to arms” to the IAB’s Data and Innovation Conference in London on the integration of OOH and mobile capabilities.
Speaking to M&M Global ahead of the speech, and on a topic he jokingly refers to as ‘Mooh’, Maher said the joining together of mobile and outdoor is “significantly different to other media channel collaborations”, as it offers value in “both directions”.
“We have a chance to break down the walls between mobile and OOH, we’re just scratching the surface,” he said.
Among the deluge of mobile data – from GPS to beacons – Maher said it will be vital selecting the most relevant information to drive the performance of different campaigns. It added that the mobile industry must be careful not to “overcomplicate” the conversation.
“If you use the wrong tools for the job, you get the wrong results. We need to understand the right data, to fully understand consumer behaviour. [Mobile partners] need to focus on which facet of mobile works for which job,” he added.
The introduction of mobile data will allow greater opportunity for more tactical, commerce-driven OOH campaigns. There have already been plenty of ‘shoppable’ poster trials in Western Europe, including a “bus-stop supermarket” promotion with Dutch retailer Jumbo.
Nevertheless, Maher is sceptical that many consumers outside of metropolitan “media bubbles” will be willing to use mobile devices in this way. He uses the example of Shazam, which he describes as a “fantastic piece of technology”, but for many something that does not feel “natural” to use in the middle of the street.
And he insists that outdoor will always remain a reach medium: “We want to drive engagement where we can but OOH is bigger and bolder than other media. We should always strive for brand fame.
“We’re not drilling down to one impression; we’re drilling down to the best aggregated view of our audience. We are one-to-many, not one-to-one.”