The best brand plans are built on the rock of consumer truth. Yet for many brands, the most desirable consumers are increasingly hard to reach. Savvy and affluent, they are the time-poor ad skippers, engrossed in their social lives both online and off, who use their smartphone as their portal to the world.
New consumer trends are converging to create a compelling media combination. Out-of-home time spend continues to increase, with consumers spending 25% more time out of home than 10 years ago. At the same time, carrying a "personal supercomputer" is becoming the new normal; not only do two-fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone, the same proportion say that their phone is the most important device for accessing the Internet.
I believe that consumers who have invested in precious screen space and bandwidth have some tolerance for advertising on their device - but not for brands that overly intrude. Awareness of outdoor advertising is high, and consumers accept that they spend much of their out-of-home time in a commercial space. This big canvas carries powerful creative, right to where the consumer is the most active with their mobile.
Research shows that out-of-home works brilliantly with mobile. We know that out-of-home is more likely to drive online search than any other media, with two-thirds of consumers who have seen an outdoor advert searching the Web as a direct result.
We have seen such successful media pairing based on consumer behaviour before, with browsing on a smartphone or tablet while watching TV now common for many consumers. Smart brands have embraced the rise of the dual screen through multimedia planning that actively exploits this simultaneous media consumption.
Combining out-of-home advertising with immediate consumer reaction through mobile devices gives advertisers the best of both worlds - big creative freedom combined with an immediate, insightful response. The brand achieves the outstanding audience and reach that out-of-home is famous for, and the personal engagement through mobile that we know is the future of the personal Internet.
At Clear Channel, our mission is to understand what brands need to succeed - and to make it easy for them to use these tools brilliantly. That's why we are rolling out the UK's first national, permanent high street mobile platform for out-of-home media. At 10,000 prime 6-sheet locations, advertisers will be able to invite consumers to convert their interest to interaction by simply tapping their phone on an NFC tag. For brands, this means even deeper engagement with consumers through interactive content, exclusive video clips, or social media integration. For the consumer, it means being rewarded for their interest through apps, vouchers, and promotions. All using the same kind of quick, efficient technology that they use when "tapping in" with their Oyster card or making contactless payments in a store.
This is not a future of technology and widgets. It is a present reality about people and brands: respecting consumer truths, harnessing technology, and the timeless power of out-of-home advertising to help brands meet people.