23/05/2019 - Blogs

Can OOH take a 'Smarter as Standard' approach to growth?

Five years ago, I left Los Angeles to move to London. Aside from the obvious weather benefit I was excited to be more closely connected to my travel bucket list and had a keen ambition to set my career on a more international path. Cut to 5 years later…I’m now International Operations Director for Talon, sitting around a table in Dubai with the founding partners of our global OOH network, Plexus, before we all embark on the three day FEPE Congress. The 20 characters around the table include a range of experience and talents including industry veterans and relative newbies. Over 10 nationalities in the room and even more languages spoken by our collective group.  

Well. That escalated quickly.  

This year’s FEPE Congress was my first, and I was very pleased to see that our industry was well represented, and that a lot of hard work is going in to further our global connectivity as an industry. A set of excellent speakers took the stage – Nancy Fletcher shared her impressive journey and highlighted that unity and collaboration were at the forefront of how we will shift the needle to increase OOH’s global share. We saw how the South American market is working together now entering ALOOH’s second year and using OOH to improve the quality of people’s lives with projects like Vía Verde. Rick Robinson reminded us that while OOH has fame, we need to keep earning the right to be in the people’s space. And Talon’s own Barry Cupples issued a challenge to the room declaring, “We need to be braver,” and come together better as an industry to drive top and bottom line growth for our clients.  

At Talon we understand how critically important it is to continuously evolve our approach in an ever-changing OOH landscape. It requires creativity, agility, and genuine expertise, and it is our ambition to make global OOH Smarter as Standard. 

At the start of April we launched Plexus, our global network of Talon and partner offices, and the rebrand of our International Planning and Buying team. Alongside Plexus we also introduced Latitude, our service specialising in reaching the Connected Traveler.  

Inspired by the biological term representing a connected set of elements working toward a common goal, we have brought together Talon offices with like-minded independent global partners allowing us to serve clients from 20 offices around the world to cover over 75 markets. Built on a philosophy of Speed, Simplicity and Trust, Plexus offers a transparent approach with a focus on adding value and ensuring that OOH is playing its best possible role in the media mix to help our clients achieve their business objectives. And working together as a group of experts we want to deliver on Talon’s Smarter as Standard philosophy and our pledge to the market for:  

    • A dedicated global OOH team with a common purpose 
    • A network with operational consistency across markets  
    • A place where brands can expect transparency and accountability 

Following the FEPE Congress I think we all need to be making a pledge – when we get together in Toronto next year (as the newly branded World Out of Home Organization - WOO), what will everyone bring to the table to show what has been achieved in our respective markets? How will we show we’ve been brave? Will key industry players show actual leadership and collaboration to work together towards a common goal? 

I’m not sure yet what the next five years will bring, but I’m looking forward to being a part of this collaborative path forward. Bring it on. 

Shabnam Irilian is International Operations Director for Plexus, part of the Talon group.