DPAA Conference: Growth Sector That’s Developing Strong Peripheral Vision

November 7, 2014 by guest author Irfan Khan, Benjamin Schmitt

Photo from @DPAAorg

Photo from @DPAAorg

GUEST POST: Steve Schildwachter, rVue

Having spent the entire day and evening at the DPAA’s Video Everywhere Summit in New York on Tuesday, I thought I’d add some points to Dave’s whirlwind report of his two hours at the conference.

My overall impression was summarized nicely in a quote from media industry analyst Rich Greenfield, who observed that “TV is soft in a relatively strong ad market, which makes Digital Place-Based interesting.”  Jack Myers added that DPB’s double-digit growth makes it “a good business to be in right now”.  As evidence, a lot of agency media planners showed up.

As Dave observed, many of these agency folk complained about the state of DPB audience measurement.  Yes, the industry needs better answers, and I should point out Nielsen was there.  Advertisers want reassurance that DPB will deliver eyeballs.

DPB should also deliver engagement, which is often catalyzed by Mobile, but the panel on Mobile delivered an embarrassing moment when the moderator asked for examples of great campaigns that combined DPB and Mobile.  The answer was silence.

I followed up by asking the panelists, a mix of advertisers and agencies, what the barriers are to making these DPB + Mobile campaigns happen.  The answer was “we don’t know if it will work.”  So I suggested a test case and the answer was “we don’t know if it will scale.”

Take heart, Digital Place-Based fans:  We will connect with people who have a little more imagination and courage.

Another theme of the day was having the right message, or right creative execution, not just the right medium.  (This cartoon on the subject was circulating among attendees.)  It’s hard for clients and agencies to keep up with the myriad creative formats  required across TV, Online, Mobile and Digital Place-Based, and like it or not, we’re last on that project list right now.

Because advertisers are juggling so many options, it’s impossible to sell Digital Place-Based effectively unless you understand the client’s overall media mix.  So it was good that the conference agenda included topics like programmatic media buying and multi-screen media strategies.

I admit this could be patience-testing for some people.  At one point another attendee complained that the programmatic panel wasn’t explicitly talking about DPB Media.  That could be because DPB isn’t bought and sold programmatically.  But we still need to understand it because our clients are thinking about it.  There’s a whole media ecosystem out there.  DPB won’t develop alone in its own petri dish.

Kudos to Barry Frey, who clearly has a game show host living inside him somewhere, for bringing not only great content, but great energy to a day well spent.

  1. Steve Gurley says:

    Steve, good article. But while the place-based industry wrestles with the measurement dilemma, allow me make a prediction for you.

    In less than five years, placed based screens will become the conduit for delivering billions of dollars of ads. But these ads will be managed, placed and accounted for in a way that is fully disassociated from and foreign to today’s current digital place-based ecosystem/industry.

    The current digital place-based ecosystem/industry will become a relic of history. Digital placed based advertising will be subsumed by a more powerful industry that possesses more powerful targeting and delivery capabilities. This industry will treat advertising on place-based screens as a utilitarian extension of their core offering — not as an industry. Don’t know what I mean? Well, let me give you an example. Do you remember when paging was an industry? What is paging now? It’s now a feature on your cellular service. The companies that formed the paging industry are dead and gone.

    How can I be so confident? I’ve seen what’s in development and seen who’s developing it. You may hate on me for saying it, but it’s coming.

  2. Steve, not only do I not hate you, I don’t disagree. In fact, I’ll up your prediction by saying that if we don’t pay attention to the larger forces you describe, we’ll be overrun by them.

    This dynamic is exactly why I stay abreast of mobile developments, because those will make possible the future you describe.

    This is the best time to be working in marketing — so many exciting things on the way.

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