After his financial education, Matthias Grawitter studied economics in Hamburg. His professional career lead him through multiple banks to the software consulting firm Media Stand By, to OMG Outdoor GmbH in 2000. Since 2002, he has been the engaged Managing Director for a team of nearly 50 people.
Q: Can you provide us a short overview of your services and products in the Digital out of Home industry?
Within the German branch of Omnicom Media Group’s network, OMG Outdoor is the agency responsible for all Out-of-Home products. We have a special business unit for media planning in the Digital Out of Home sector. This media planning does have several commonalities with other media: It involves cross over planning with traditional OOH Media, Ambient Media and TV. Therefore, we work on several projects to develop tools and software to make that process easier and more professional. We also support market research projects to find out more about the awareness and recall numbers of DOOH.
Q: Where do you see the biggest challenges today?
We are currently facing a very heterogenic market, in which one constantly has to work to maintain their overview and yet which we have to be able to summarize clearly for our clients. The biggest challenge for us extends from the DOOH sector being logically connected to several media channels like traditional OOH and TV. It is not clear where the budgets come from and where there is the most efficiency in terms of supporting a basis medium. Also, the performance figures are not comparable to other mediums. Therefore Cross-Over Planning is difficult to implement, and it is hard to find arguments in its favor. Furthermore we cannot report a net reach, which often forms the basis for planning in other channels.
Q: What is your view on the Digital Signage industry in your home country compared to the rest of Europe?
Germany has moved into digital signage more slowly than countries like England. However, the OVAB index shows that people here are confident that it is growing fast, and it is! Germany is on a race with the other countries and it already has surpassed some other markets. It is quickly becoming more professional. The first initiative to set standards here has come from the biggest players in the country. The German DOOH market does have some strong and professionally run networks that have developed now. But Germany does not have a Piccadilly Circus (a “Must Book” in England). That is likely in part for legal reasons, but we do have the first all Digital Train Station, we have the first 3D network and soon will have an amazing digital tower that can also physically move. We will go from there.
Q: Which European countries do you think have the biggest potential in terms of Digital out of Home networks?
The most exciting news always comes from England. They have strong networks and also are building a lot of Outdoor LEDs.
Q: What was the reason to join OVAB Europe?
The DOOH Market in Germany is growing fast. We appreciate the efforts of the OVAB to set standards and want to offer our help to implement those fast. We think that the DOOH market needs a home. And because opinions differ on whether DOOH should be part of the Ambient sector or the traditional OOH association, it is good to set the discussions aside and handle the coordination from one central body. We hope to encourage more agencies and suppliers to do the same, so that the majority of the advertising market players can soon all sit at one table and discuss how to move forward from here.
Q: What will be your engagement within the Association?
Our knowledge about media planning can be very valuable in the discussions about standards and research. Furthermore, we have long years of experience working with associations and supporting research. We also see ourselves as being a representative for our clients, the third voice in the market.
Q: What is your vision about the Digital out of Home industry and market for the next 3-5 years?
If we had our wish, we would be able to compare accurate performance figures of DOOH to other mediums in 3-5 years. The suppliers have agreed on a single type of booking units (e.g. impressions) and agreed on one way of delivering their data to the agencies. The service platform for DOOH is ready to use and it is easy to plan and buy DOOH media space – and when I say easy, I mean that the handling of data is easy – of course we are excited about the strategic challenges we will have at that point.