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Unlocking the potential of IoT in advertising

The Internet of Things (IoT) is still nascent; whilst there have been some interesting case studies of IoT in advertising, these are still isolated. Before the IoT can create real economic value in the ad space, technology needs to continue to evolve, so that we can truly embrace the data-driven decision-making opportunities whilst overcoming the data security and privacy issues that come hand in hand with IoT systems.

As the DOOH landscape continues to grow, we are making movements towards using the IoT by implementing innovative technologies, such as beacons, and developing new partnerships to serve our advertisers with targeted and efficient campaigns.

What does the future of advertising look like?

As more devices and physical assets connect, the implications in the ad space will be huge. Coordinated understanding of aggregate levels of data will enable brands to communicate with individuals using relevant ad messages across a variety of mediums. There is a huge investment happening in DOOH - but as an industry, we haven’t yet realised its full potential. The IoT will give us the opportunity to realise the flexibility that DOOH provides, and in turn will transform campaign optimisation.

The IoT will shift the way we interact with and understand our surroundings through optimisation and prediction. It will be able to tell us things about the urban environment, such as adaptive traffic control and environmental monitoring, so we can deploy contextual messaging to the right audiences and at the right times. It is this in-depth knowledge in real-time that will give us the ability to act quickly enough to take advantage of it.

How important is data when designing an ad campaign?

Data only has value when it has utility, and from a marketing perspective, this means commercially relevant insight. Advertisers are used to receiving a deep level of insight from online channels and are compelled to use this to justify planning and decision-making. The biggest driver for increased data usage in advertising is to communicate, engage, and serve customers better and provide more intelligence around campaigns, both in front-end planning, in-campaign, and back-end measurement stages.

OOH media owners, driven by their advertising clients, want the ability to segment and target audiences with wide-ranging interests and behaviours, whilst also achieving scale and context. Data enables companies to do exactly this. By overlaying volumetric data with behavioural sources, we can better understand audiences, and plan and execute campaigns. This makes OOH as a medium more attractive because it can still fulfil the large broadcast-scale needs of advertisers, but with its ability to cluster audiences, it can also be more targeted and relevant.

We use third party data to track consumer’s movements and behaviours to help advertisers select what OOH media sites to deploy to increase advertising awareness. In the coming years, we will see a shift towards using real-time data, such as travel, client, and mobile data, rather than simply using historical data as a predictor. The IoT will be an enabler of this.

Is data sentiment analysis going to become critical for marketers and companies to succeed?

Sentiment analysis lets us measure brand perceptions more dynamically – as the results are captured in real-time. This is potentially more valuable and critical to advertisers because it enables them to adapt their ad messaging to react to negative sentiment immediately.

However, OOH is becoming increasingly measurable thanks to data. By fusing locational intelligence with modelled, qualitative, behavioural, and real-time data and successfully leveraging this, companies can optimise the sale of unique advertising propositions to become a market leader.

What would the perfect ad campaign using IoT and data look like?

The perfect ad campaign using the IoT and data is one that best utilises the vast range of data that is available, including client, media and consumer data. The flow of this data would need to be streamlined so that the gap between collecting the data from the physical world and analysing it closes, in order to be able to act on it in a timely fashion.

It is only once media owners have the in-depth knowledge and data provided and analysed in this way that they will be able to provide the right advertising to the right audiences, in the right place and at the right time.

And finally just one word of caution: we have to respect consumer’s right to privacy and ensure that we use these powerful new sets of data responsibly.

Mick Ridley, ‎Head of Data & Technology at Exterion Media