By Mrs. Jayanthi Sekhar
Director, Micro-Tech Global Foundation
The road network of India is 2nd largest in length across the world, spanning over a total of 5.9 million km. This road network transports 65% of all goods in the country and 90% of India’s total passenger traffic uses the road networks to commute. It reflects that there is a huge scope of revenue growth and GDP by capitalizing on them throughout home advertisements (OOH).
The OOH (out of home) worldwide is expected to increase from US$38 billion in 2018 to US$42 billion in 2021 and India OOH is expected to grow 7% in 2018, and by the end of December 2019, the revenues are expected to be to the tune of US$556 million (INR 3,743 Cr).
Billboards have the potential to accelerate sales and thereby contribute to development and growth. The increase in Digital Billboards which is at a nascent stage in India has a huge scope for an upsurge in numbers and to accelerate growth
The safety of the drivers and their security can be ensured by displaying key information.
They can be formed as a Nano hub which will be used as a tool not only for commercial ads but also as a tool for social, spiritual, political and other generic messaging such as location, maps, etc.
This Nano hub on the highways can be expanded in the future as a hub to accommodate facilities for public travelers such as food parks, toilets, malls, and boarding, etc. by using the concept secured governance by which the place will become self-sustained through valuation and minimum government intervention.
It can also promote small scale commercial units generating employment and revenue for the defined region by promoting local produce and crafts.
Advertisement, in general, has a very positive impact on the economic development as it is one of the factors leading to increased sales and revenues on companies and an increase in tax collection and thereby further growth in infrastructure and employment
As a component of advertising in billboards both physical and Digital has evolved with time and grown over some time as a percentage of the total Advertising spend.
Billboards are generally a very large board on which advertisements are shown which are generally at the side of a road. This form of advertising is very effective as
- Effective and eye-catching to a large number of commuters traveling in vehicles daily on roads.
- Repeated crossing the billboards en-route leave a lasting impression in the minds of people and larger the chance to convert into sales
- This form of advertisement is free to people as they need not buy papers, magazines, etc. to see and hence it reaches people faster and is cheaper than any other mass marketing methods
- These are 24*7 on for some time and hence there is ensured an audience for the same all time
- Plain Advertisement is now gradually becoming more and more digital and can be connected, altered programmatically and can be more dynamic and interactive.
- It is part of the industries advertisement budget and a large share and for a long period is from successful brands
Worldwide the billboard industry is to the tune of US$150 billion (INR. 7.5 lakh crores). Revenue from the uses of billboards in the US exceeds US$40 billion (INR. 2 lakh crores) each year and revenue from the uses of billboards in the UK exceeds US$25 billion (INR. 1.2 lakh crores) each year.
The global advertising spend will increase US$399 billion in 2010 to US$560 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase to US$790 billion in 2022. The Digital Advertisement like mobile, internet and other social media is expected to increase from US$283 Billion to US$517 billion by 2023. The outdoor media marketing of billboards and transit advertising is expected to grow by 15% year on year. The OOH worldwide id expected to increase from US$38 billion in 2018 to US$42 billion in 2021. Leading the pack in advertising in North America followed by the Asia Pacific and Western Europe.
India will be the 10th largest market in ad spends and 3rd highest contributor to the incremental ad spends. Indian advertisement has seen a growth from INR. 27,433 cr. in 2011 to INR. 50,908 cr. in 2018 and is expected to go up to about INR. 77,623 cr. by 2020. It is said that roughly 13% of the advertisement budget is spent by organizations outdoor advertisements such as billboards. The largest spend on OOH is by the government and NGO”s. Transit Advertisement accounts for about 40% OOH budget and 3% of the total advertising spend. Billboards and transit advertising is expected to grow from INR 3,085 Cr in 2017 to INR 3,395 cr. in 2018. The total advertising market in India is expected to be worth INR 1 trillion by 2022.
2017 approximately 1.2 lakh OOH ad units in the top 30 cities of India, of which around 1,000 screens located in Delhi and Mumbai airports were digitally enabled.
In India, smart digital billboards, are still very nascent and is worth only INR.100 crore, just 2% of the overall out-of-home (OOH) media industry.
It is estimated that the global advertising expenditure will grow at 3.6% in 2019, India would be witnessing the fastest growth at 14%, this would be roughly two times the estimated GDP growth in India. This could bring in sustained and stable media investment across categories.
Growth of billboards and economic growth and development:
The commercial and social aspects of this form of advertisement have a manifold impact on consumer behavior and as a result of the country as a whole. It enables them to understand the meaning and the utility of the content advertised and hence on the consciousness of the public in a positive way. The lifestyles of people are shaped and it gives a clear direction of acceptance of the content in the socio-economic forum. Whether the quality of the content or product advertised, the cost, the need for new products etc can be easily surveyed by the consumer pattern and hence plays a crucial role in deciding the course of production activity and the improved results. This ensures healthy competition in the market and caters to good quality products delivered to the consumer at a competitive rate.
The economic decisions of spend and acceptance of the product by the consumer will be decided by the content of the billboards and thereby increases demand. There is a continuous and dynamic change in demand and wants if the people as development take place. At various stages of development there comes in satiation that calls for a newer range of products to satisfy their wants. This, in turn, leads to a faster increase in the supply and achieves better economies of scale to meet the demand. These changes in the demand-supply help in economic growth and development. Hence it can be stated that their direct link between the growth of the demand through billboards growth and thereby the supply growth and economic growth.
The social fabric also can have a positive and progressive impact when such billboards can highlight the changes that need to be brought in for a progressive economy and society by running many social campaigns and thereby improving the strata of people and their willingness to invest in the country.
SAFETY OF COMMUTERS BY EFFICIENT USE OF BILLBOARDS:
It has been observed that large of commuters on the roads are accessing their mobile phones and other digital devices while driving and has been a cause for accidents in many cases. Hence the billboards can be planned strategically such that it has to impart important information to drivers/passengers, directional guidance, show location, indicate sites of local services, state the speed limit, and warn of upcoming changes or hazards, etc. The billboards have to be placed at such locations along which are away from the roads but can be easily readable and accessible. The billboards must be designed and placed in such a way that road users can locate, read and comprehend them and can help in decision making in tune with the purpose of it. Through the effective placement of billboards at regular intervals………
As per Secured Governance strategy for each kilometer set up two or four billboards on the NHS, SHs and urban roads. Each billboard will be a revenue center with small selling points such as petty shops, small tea stalls, emergency telephone, and internet centers, small medical shops for an emergency, minor motor service centers and a variety of stores for selling confectionery, cool drinks, stationary, etc.
Revenue form billboards for Infrastructure and Economic Growth through Secured Governance:
India has a huge network consisting of National Highways, Expressways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads and Village Roads which can accommodate and can give returns through billboards and Navigation Signage. This could be an interval of 250- 500 meters at highways and from approximately 25–100 meters across national roads and main roads. The billboards can cost from INR.5,000 per month to a few lakh of Rupees depending on the location and size etc.
On top of different ad serving technology, including programmatic bidding capabilities, digital outdoor signage can adjust more dynamically based on elements like daypart, mobile location data, and weather. These factors helped to make out-of-home ads one of the more powerful marketing tools for getting shoppers into physical stores.
There has been a rapid shift in out of Home advertising in digital format as against the static media and this is expected to be the driver growth of the industry and the economy as a whole. These digital media applications can create a very state of art experience through the interactive medium and hence will help in the future growth of outdoor. Being programmatically managed it can be dynamically changed and can give dynamic location information along with the weather and other such parameters. Hence the scope of growth manifolds.
Also, there are many initiatives by the government to expand digital billboards at all mass rapid transport systems including the railways, airports and this will also boost the growth out of home advertising in a big way. The government themselves have been using this medium during elections, social messaging, etc. and it has increased over some time.
As per secured governance, private party’s investments in billboards will account for huge revenue which could be used for the development of infrastructure in and around them. Every billboard will be a Nano HUB. The purpose of a NANO HUB along the roads/highways is to provide for the development and also to serve to facilitate public utility space for the travelers but also promote small scale commercial units generating employment and revenue for the defined region.
A typical Nano-HUB will be spread over an area of 500 to 1000 sq. m, comprising of facilities like Roadside Stations, Motorway Service Areas, Retail & Minor Ancillary Uses, Toilets/Washrooms, Parking Facilities, Internet Cafes, ATMs, Handicraft shops, canteens, Restrooms, etc.
Every investment on Billboards will be self-sustained in a few years and bring about more investments in them as the cycle of more demand and supply will increase the profitability and hence increase in the number of signages. Also, the valuation of Nano hub as a profit center will grow its newer and newer such profit centers. Building Nano-HUBs at a regular interval of the state roadways/highways could generate 3 – 5 million direct and indirect employment opportunity and an estimated revenue through Lease/Rentals from these HUBs will be INR.1.34 lakh crores annually and there could be about 11.2 million billboards placed in a strategic way across the road network for generating huge revenue and provide massive employment opportunities. Highways and Expressways in India can accommodate and can give returns through billboards and Navigation Signage’s at an interval of 250- 500 meters. At the same time, National roads and main roads this interval can vary from 25–100 meters across the road network in India. Wherein each signage generating revenue between INR.10,000 – 30,000 per month. Taking the vast network of roadways into consideration, if tapped properly, billboards in India can fetch a revenue of around INR. 2.6 lakh crore each year through effective placement of billboards and Navigation Signages at regular intervals.
To make this an effective and profitable venture it is suggested that the government should make a separate corporation to ensure commercial success with social responsibility and cater to the growth of the economy as a whole.