After 22 years occupying numerous agency boltholes, the move to the world of media ownership felt nothing short of terrifying.
One hundred days on, I can’t believe it took me this long to make the leap.
In three short months, I feel utterly re-energized by the opportunity and challenges that the medium throws up. However, the one challenge that has surprised me most is one that I hadn’t even considered.
As I have trawled my way around town eulogizing about digital out of home, the words uttered most to me from clients, creative agencies and even a few media agencies have been, "I never knew you could do that".
Everyone seemed fully aware that OOH remains a great brand-builder and that in times of TV fragmentation and falling press readership it delivers a powerful broadcast audience.
Everybody is excited by the fact that you can’t skip it, avoid it or block it and are excited by the knowledge that people are spending more time out of home than ever before and at those moments are at their most receptive to advertising.
Clearly it’s no coincidence that it’s consistently the media of choice for other media brands.
So what kind of stuff didn’t people know about?
They still don’t view DOOH as the solution for instant messaging requirements and default to press, as if tomorrow would be soon enough.
They still forget that different messages to different audiences at different times of day not only make sense but are readily deliverable.
They still don’t realise that DOOH can be bought for the times they want, not just in historic fixed-time slots.
DOOH is still thought of in isolation, rather than benefitting from the value which can be added by simultaneously (and automatically) linking it with other media.
And, people are totally blown away when you explain that, via a simple web portal, a client can take control of the screen messaging in real time so that they can link their communications to real-time sales data.
These are just some examples of the almost limitless possibilities which digital technology has brought to OOH media.
The futuristic world envisaged in Minority Report already exists in terms of technological capability, meaning a client’s opportunities are only inhibited by habit, knowledge and imagination.
The task I have set myself for the next 300 days is to break down those three barriers by working with as many clients, media agencies and creatives as possible.
Then we can truly unlock the potential of what I have discovered to be an extraordinarily exciting, but above all highly creative and effective platform.
Helen Weisinger is chief client officer at Outdoor Plus.