MUMBAI: India's out-of-home (OOH) sector is experiencing a surge as advertisers explore new ways to reach consumers and as operators upgrade their measurement capabilities.

"In India, lack of a common currency (to measure outdoor) has long been a concern for advertisers and OOH agencies and has often been cited as one of the reasons for the industry's lack of growth," according to Nabendu Bhattacharyya, chief executive officer and managing director of the Milestone Brandcom agency.

But that picture is changing, the Business Standard noted, as network agencies have brought greater structure and organisation to a sector valued at Rs 3,000-3,500 crore and which still includes a large unorganised element that is beyond any media measurement service.

"Established players are launching new methodologies (to measure outdoor) and investing in data, research and analytics," noted Sanjeev Goyle, CEO, Rural and OOH at IPG Mediabrands.

Kinetic, for example, has spent the past year collecting data on outdoor inventory in 16 cities before launching its Aureus tool which enables the agency to target consumers precisely based on the client's brief.

"This allowed us to develop a robust system, which harnesses local market insights including traffic counts, hoardings and other outdoor points to craft effective solutions," explained Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, South Asia & Middle East, Kinetic Worldwide.

The range of proprietary systems now available – from Kinetic's Aurora to Madison Outdoor Media Solutions' View on Street – gives advertisers greater confidence that money is being well spent on OOH.

And they are now demanding new tools that will enable them to target ever more specific locations, such as malls, multiplexes and airports.

In the future, the spread of digital OOH is expected to open up new possibilities for advertisers to create location-based campaigns linked to mobile.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by WARC staff