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OOH and the Tower of Babel

A Lesson from Babel for Outdoor Advertising

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David Pal, CEO of Ads On Top,
shares the importance of collaboration with OOH and the Tower of Babel

 

David Pal
CEO, Ads on Top
www.theadsontop.com
david@theadsontop.com.
Ads on Top
Phone: 732-861-3474
Connect on LinkedIn

 

 

 

OOH and the Tower of Babel

One of the oldest stories in the Bible is about how God prevented the construction of a tower that would reach the heavens by giving people different languages, making it impossible for people to communicate and collaborate. The Bible story is meant to explain the origin of different languages, but I think it can also be used as a metaphor for how communications and collaboration promotes growth.

a metaphor for how communications and collaboration promotes growth.

We’re all looking for our Tower of Babel – everyone wants their business to reach new heights. Over the past few years we’ve been seeing a lot of growth across old and new OOH – Digital OOH, Experiential OOH, Data-Driven and Dynamic OOH, Programmatic OOH. We’ve seen billboards win Academy Awards and high-growth companies alongside the established Fortune 100 “Feel the Real” of OOH. But sometimes, in order to reach our goals, we need to work together and help everyone around us grow.

we need to work together and help everyone around us grow.

In the software world at large, it is becoming easier to build high power tools with easier integrations between systems. As REST APIs, the cloud infrastructure, and advanced platform tools [I know, blah blah blah] become more popular it is easier now than ever to build intelligent and connected systems. These systems having become popular in the last 10 years, or so, came after most Content and Inventory Management (IM) Systems were developed. It’s hard to build new software while maintaining old software, especially if the new systems use different technologies.

It’s going to take a significant effort on the parts of existing OOH system developers and some buy-in from existing OOH networks on the value of collaboration to make this shift.

It’s going to take a significant effort on the parts of existing OOH system developers and some buy-in from existing OOH networks on the value of collaboration to make this shift.

  • Networks: It’s early, but we’re already seeing significant buy-in from network operators. Networks want better tools for scheduling complicated content sets and want to be found by more advertisers. Networks (especially the smaller or regional networks) understand that there is immense value produced when spaces are packaged alongside other similar networks. It may mean that they’re a part of a larger network, it may mean they can be bought as a part of a larger Outdoor Advertising national buy, it might mean that they can connect faster to programmatic advertising. This is enabled by being able to connect to an integration layer that can translate quickly between internal and external systems.
  • System developers: CMS & IM developers, like most software companies, are always looking for ways to provide new value to their clients. These teams have been very excited to work with new integration layers that make it easier to connect and expand. With a single integration point, these partners are able to quickly expand their reach. These companies realize how important they are for summoning change in the industry and have been quick to realize the opportunity.
  • For 3rd party vendors – like camera analytics and beacon companies – they’ve also been excited to connect in first-class ways to these CMS and IM systems. This provides even more tooling and opportunities to showcase their power.

Ads on Top (www.theadsontop.com) is building tools that help to integrate all of these disconnected systems together and provide a common language for all of these systems to communicate. They produce both APIs and User Interfaces to make it easy to engage and connect. Ads on Top believes that if the industry at large can actually start speaking the same language between networks and software, the OOH world can support each other and build their Tower of Babel. If we don’t start to communicate with the same language, we will stay fragmented and isolated, and limit the market’s potential.

provide a common language for all of these systems to communicate…everyone would benefit from standardization.

A lesson from Babel: While we don’t need to share secrets, everyone would benefit from some standardization. We saw it in Babel, we’ve seen it online, we’ll see it in OOH.

 

 

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