Nokia’s HERE Wants to Optimise Outdoor Advertising

Nicholas Goubert, HEREThe global ‘digital out of home’ (DOOH) advertising market is forecast to be worth $10 billion in 2014. It’s also one of the most interesting areas of digital advertising because of the challenges associated with ensuring the right ad is hitting the right people at the right time. One of the companies trying to work hot to best optimise outdoor advertising is HERE, a division of Nokia. Here Nicholas Goubert, Head of Enterprise Product Marketing at HERE, discusses how the product works and the role Nokia wants to play in the oudoor advertising market.

Could you explain what HERE is and how your product could be used in advertising?

HERE, a Nokia company, is a global mapping business with a vision of offering the world’s freshest maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems. Our platform powers enterprise, consumer and connected car applications with our customers spanning the likes of BMW, Toyota, Yahoo! and many more.

Because our largest customers are other businesses, we’ve been closely looking at how our platform and location analytics can empower brand advertisers to make better outdoor buying decisions. Using location analytics, it’s possible to create a visualisation of a city which shows a brand advertiser how many people pass a location, analysed by day and time – something that’s invaluable for helping get the best ROI for money spent on billboard advertising.

After building these location analytics for billboards with our platform, we tested them with a leading mobile phone network. We got the raw data from the partner mobile network operator, processing it using our platform and ‘location-enabled’ this raw operator data (cell tower counts) to create an interactive visualisation tool.

Such insights provide an idea of the type of area a billboard is in. A site that gets busiest on Friday and Saturday evenings, for example, is likely an entertainment area for young people. This level of insight is particularly important if an advertisement is targeted towards a particular demographic.

(Video inserted in article at VAN’s request)

So is this the beginning of a move by Nokia into outdoor advertising or do you intend to stick to the data side of things?

HERE is a mapping and location intelligence company. That’s our DNA and that’s why we’re partnering with operators. We know how to unlock the value of their data – something an operator will struggle to do with its own datasets without location partners such as ourselves.

Where does the data for HERE come from?

Our business is rooted in almost three decades of experience in cartography. We collect data from 80,000 sources including our own mapping cars to support our location analytics. As such, we create a ‘base’ map with hundreds of attributes, which we combine with activity data from fleets, phones and apps to create location intelligence.

In terms of outdoor advertising, we’ve partnered with a global operator based out of Europe, combining out data with theirs. As part of the collaboration, we’ve been able to achieve a deep insight into the operator’s data which they’ve not been capable of unlocking alone. Processing this data, we’ve been able to present a compelling solution to advertisers looking for yield management tools in the outdoor advertising space.

Are there privacy implications?

We’re still a long way off from the scene in Minority Report where the adverts address Tom Cruise personally – and none of us actually want that. As with all the data we collect, we’re interested in the aggregate meaning, not individual activity.

How have outdoor advertising companies received your product?

We’re having very positive conversations with operators and agencies. Everybody in this space sees the value of getting a better understanding of who is seeing billboards and when – and of paving the way for refined and detailed management of billboards.

Is it possible to integrate data into campaigns in real-time?

We’re already doing this when it comes to traffic services for consumers. Here, we can build on our knowledge of traffic patterns based on historical data by adding real-time data which allows you to modify traffic models to offer more accurate data to users.

Operators don’t yet have the same level of granularity in terms of real-time datasets, but it’s still possible to incorporate near real-time processing by day and time to show how many people pass by a billboard in real-time, enabling brands to choose advertising space that makes most sense for a campaign.

It’s also possible to adapt billboards to offer a degree of personalisation. Yield management can be based on time of day for example, and adding demographic data can enable statistical modelling to determine the age and gender of those who’ll be looking at the advertising at a certain time.

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