Accuracy, privacy and more: Our takeaways from IAB’s OOH forum

The May 1 forum discussed accuracy and privacy in the changing landscape of the DOOH market.

The second annual Business of Digital Location Based Advertising forum was held in Toronto May 1, bringing together some of the industry’s leading voices to discuss the shifting landscape of data-driven advertising.

Presented by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the discussion centred around three major points regarding the development of out-of-home advertising – the gaps in accuracy, what’s being done to improve reach, and how privacy plays a key role in the industry.

Here are three key takeaways from the event.

There are still major gaps in accuracy (but that could change)

Speakers discussed the difficulties in whether or not a consumer has actually seen an ad, or how many times they’re encountering it.

And while OOH has come a long way, it was made clear by panelists that more needs to be done to improve the accuracy of place-based data. Although there may be challenges to real-time location data, Amanda Dorenberg, VP marketing and tech at Outfront Media and Debbie Drutz, VP of Astral both noted that changes are afoot.

According to Drutz, the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB) is in the process of implementing methodology changes that will improve impression level and audience details in the OOH space.

The improved methodology will lead to a more accurate measure of how people moving through the city experience ads. This, in turn, will aid in pre-campaign planning and execution, utilizing data from start to finish, she said.

Polygons could change the game, if stores let them

The use of polygons – outlines drawn from the birds-eye-view of a building – may help in the industry’s quest for visibility and accurate targeting.

Chameleon Digital Media and Adapt Media president Jamie Thompson, as well as Chameleon’s general manager, Alan Sifuentes and UberMedia’s SVP of mobile partnerships, Jayson Ayers (who joined via satellite from Boulder, Colorado) said that while polygon drawings are expensive, they provide a more detailed understanding of a specific location and its surrounding area.

According to Ayers, they bring an entire area into focus, including perimeter spots like parking lots. The drawings provide insight into what’s there and what’s missing from the area, opening up opportunities to improve accuracy.

The perimeter is still as close as companies are going to get for now, however. Thompson said that unless stores are willing to put beacons up in stores, which would take accuracy to a whole new level, the closest many will come is to simply knowing that someone is in a mall or shopping centre, rather than at a specific store.

The ad fraud conversation extends to OOH too

According to GroupM CEO Stuart Garvie, agencies have a responsibility on behalf of their clients to ensure they are buying inventory that is actually being seen by humans and isn’t fraudulent. Now that more OOH inventory is being traded programmatically, the conversations around ad fraud could extend to place-based advertising.

The issue of fraudulent open exchange inventory has been apparent for a number of years, but is becoming an increasingly troubling issue for the industry.

“It’s really important that we make sure client money is going to trusted sources,” Garvie said to president of IAB Canada, Sonia Carreno.