Just-released 2013 Blue Book on Chinese Outdoor Media Reveals Bullish Trend in Outdoor Digital Media

Jun 19, 2013, 09:00 ET from Global Brand Insights

BEIJING, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2013 Blue Book on Development Trends in China's Outdoor Media Sector was recently released in Beijing. The Blue Book, co-released by the National Institute of Advertising of China, China Advertising Association of Commerce's OOH Communication Institute, CTR MarketResearch and iResearch, provides a clear overview of China's advertising industry and an in-depth look at the current status and development trend of China's outdoor mobile digital media sector. The book includes extensive data provided by authoritative data research firms CTR and iResearch evidencing the ever-increasing importance that advertisers are placing on outdoor and digital media and their growing market share. The numbers clearly show the need for the country's outdoor media to move to digital and aggressively take advantage of the O2O marketing model as it becomes the most important and direct way of reaching the end user through outdoor mobile digital media.

A survey undertaken by Global Brand Insight magazine pointed out that many businesses in China has already begun to aggressively deploy the O2O business model, including the traditional internet giants, new start-up media firms and even outdoor media groups with a strong foothold in the market and several years of operational experience. Outdoor mobile digital media firms are finding out that they can improve their competitiveness through deployment of O2O while the larger outdoor media players who have long-term agreements with and strong ties to many advertisers possess even more advantages.

Outdoor Media on Track to Going Fully Digital

According to the 2013 Blue Book, from 2004 to 2011, revenue across the Chinese outdoor advertising sector grew annually. Outdoor advertising moved into second place as the second-largest advertising medium following television in terms of placements in 2012, with overall placements increasing 10 to 15 percent compared to the prior year. The growth rate was much higher than those of traditional television, newspapers and magazines. Among all outdoor advertising media categories the advertisers used in 2012, placements in subways approached the total placements in traditional print media. Subway advertising delivered a year-over-year increase of 13.2 per cent in turnover for 2012.

Digital media placements ranked third with 16.6 percent market share in 2012, but reported the largest annual growth rate at 15.5 percent. Digital media are expected to exceed newspapers in terms of ad placements in 2013. Revenues across China's mobile internet market reached 55 billion yuan for 2012, an increase of 96.4 percent. iResearch expects the market to continue its rapid growth over the next three to four years. The prevalence of smart terminals provides a solid foundation and environment for the rapid development of mobile marketing. Advertisers are forecast to prefer the internet, mobile terminals and new outdoor media. Accordingly, going digital is the inevitable next step for any outdoor media outfit.

Chinese Firms Each Beat a Different Path to O2O

In 2011 and 2012, China's three leading internet companies, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu, all sharpened their focus on and increased their investment in the local service-based O2O market, while strengthening their positions in the field through their mobile internet businesses.

Tencent launched dianying.qq.com in 2008, entering the local service sector. In October 2010, the firm increased its investment in the O2O sector by launching meishi.qq.com, a local restaurant review site. In 2011, Tencent invested more than US$100 million in group-buying sites Gaopeng.com and Ftuan.com and in June 2012, the firm officially launched the Weixin Membership Card, attracting offline businesses, including local service providers. In November 2012, Tencent acquired customer relationship management (CRM) service provider Tongka Network Technology in a move to enhance its technical and offline capabilities, while in December of the same year Weixin teamed up with Gaopeng.com in launching a microblog-based group-buying app. Weixin plans to collaborate with Tenpay to form a closed loop O2O business chain.

In 2006, Alibaba acquired koubei.com as a vehicle to enter the O2O sector, and in October 2010 the group's group-buying platform, ju.taobao.com, announced its entrance into the local service market. Since 2011, Alibaba has gradually merged koubei.com into life.taobao.com, and in July 2011 led an investment in the group-buying site meituan.com. In October 2012, life.taobao.com launched ditu.koubei.com to improve its position in online maps. In November 2012, Alibaba announced a strategic investment in ddmap.com to enhance its offline capability. DDcoupon acts as an important channel on Alibaba's O2O e-commerce platform, and helps Alibaba coordinate multiple businesses in its mobile segment.

In September 2012, map.baidu.com was officially transformed into a local service site, meeting demand from consumers for an in-depth information platform about services including restaurants, cinemas, KTVs and shopping malls. This served as an indication that Baidu has begun to strategically deploy and boost its mobile internet-based O2O business.

Several other Chinese firms are taking a lead in the digital mobile O2O sector, including shanlink.com, dianping.com, mogujie.com, yihaodian.com, movie.douban.com and gewara.com.

In November 2011, Balintimes Media Group, China's leading public transportation out-of-home advertising firm, launched its "Shanlink mobile social and advertising platform" strategy, providing a one-stop solution for advertisers. Consumers will be connected to Balintimes' Shanlink platform whereby they can view an ad, capture the information and complete purchases when visiting any of the proprietary Wi-Fi hot spots in Balintimes' wide Wi-Fi network, enabling smart applications to connect the mobile internet and the outdoor media location, successfully closing an O2O loop.

Balintimes Media Group formed a strong Wi-Fi network by placing Wi-Fi hotspots in various public transportation and frequently traveled pedestrian thoroughfares while persuading shop owners to open their networks. In March 2012, www.shanlink.com formally went online, offering a wide array of local life service information and other online information. In August 2012, the "ShanLe living circle" marketing model was created around Balintimes' "ShanPai" app, providing consumers with product information, local business directory, promotional information and social features such as reviews, while, at the same time, providing advertisers and business partners with a two-way promotion model whereby the out-of-home ad and mobile ad form are integrated to create an O2O complete loop of "Offline to Online to Offline."

Taking "Pi Magazine," a customized Balintimes product as an example, an advertiser in Pi Magazine can easily deploy the O2O model by running a Pi Magazine ad on Balintimes' outdoor media spaces on the subways, in theatre chains and at the airports. Interested viewers of the ad can capture the necessary information from the ad using the "ShanPai" app that they have downloaded to their smartphone and getting connected instantly to advertiser's mobile internet feature page. Balintimes Media Group's "Shanlink mobile social and advertising platform" can provide a comprehensive suite of advertisement services to advertisers at an era of, what can be termed, "media convergence". In addition, the firm has turned the traditional concept of advertising on its head, enabling consumers to see, get and enjoy the services through the O2O model.

O2O Business Model Gains Popularity Among Outdoor Mobile Digital Media

With the O2O model, companies can use this synergy of outdoor, online and mobile media to reach and provide a compelling experience to any person walking through a business district, shopping center, mall or store, while enabling the integration of online stores with physical ones and pushing major brands to overhaul their marketing model. Outdoor media businesses who want to make the best use of the O2O model can leverage their existing media resources, high-quality audiences and extensive media coverage while bundling online and mobile media as well as other new forms of media, to develop the O2O model for local merchants as well as the reverse (offline to online) approach for online operations through outdoor advertising. The O2O model offers companies a variety of business model choices and innovative approaches. The model allows larger outdoor media companies to enhance their competiveness by taking advantage of their long-term and in-depth cooperation with their advertiser clients.

Advertisers Eye Outdoor Media

The Blue Book noted that as people spend more on tourism and leisure activities as well as on high-tech products, outdoor media has become a new attractive alternative with a much faster rate of growth as compared to traditional television, newspapers and magazines. Outdoor media is the only advertising medium serving as a city's media terminal and what it conveys is not only the advertisement itself but also the culture. As a result, outdoor platforms are expected to come to dominate the advertising sector in the future. Rising out of the terminal, outdoor advertising is witnessing an upward trend. The transition from "Made in China" to "Created in China", together with the integration of new technologies with new media, will help create a new revenue source across the outdoor advertising market. Looking at outdoor advertising revenues over the last decade, we can predict that outdoor advertising is bound to maintain rapid growth over the next five years as the macro economy starts to bounce back.




SOURCE Global Brand Insights