How Adclever, the Flipkart of outdoor media, systemizes the Rs 1,039 billion OOH sector

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Out-of-home media (OOH media), worth Rs 1,039 billion in market size, is highly unorganized and out-of-date. Acquiring any information related to outdoor advertising is a daunting task. The duplicity of information, varied prices for the same space, and lack of information regarding traffic are some of the major problems that riddle the sector. In a nutshell, there is no way to track ROI, nor is there any way to calculate the best space. In India, 90% of the outdoor media is offline. The outdoor advertising industry is similar to the real estate or travel industries, as they were 10-15 years ago.

So when a Pune-based outdoor media platform discovered that the OOH sector is exorbitant, antiquated, and fragmented, they decided to overhaul it.

In January 2014, Sandeep Pagi, Amit Jain and Naimath Ullah launched Adclever.in. The website connects buyers and sellers on an online platform and provides them with tools to make the job faster and more efficient.

“Analytics and verified data are two important features of Adclever. Innovating is what makes Adclever stand out from the rest. Unlike many others, we have different modules for each outdoor media type. We want to stay in the lead by providing complete solutions for OOH media; i.e. from ad designing, and buying ad space, to printing ads/posters and daily status reporting/verification of ads on spaces already in place,” says Sandeep.

He points out that media owners are happy with the idea of an online media space. Earlier, each had had to develop their own platform, an expensive process which also costs a lot to maintain and market. No aggregator had so far made available such tools and features. So media owners can now update information, run reports and reach potential buyers through the platform.

Buyers are also finding the idea useful. Advertisers in Delhi, with the help of Adclever, can actually evaluate their spaces located in Pune. “We have signed a nondisclosure agreement with media owners, with no broker in between. It assures buyers that they will get the space at the best price. Analytics and live traffic information work like a charm for advertisers,” says Sandeep.

Adclever is bootstrapped; the co-founders have invested around Rs 200,000 in the venture so far. The money was largely used to initially set up the venture, and to acquire verified data from Delhi. It is in initial talks with an investor. The venture is looking to raise around Rs 1.25 crore.

Growth of venture

Adclever primarily earns through a brokerage fee against each media space booked. Also, it has premium services for buyers and sellers. “We are at the pre-revenue stage, but are adding 100-200 media spaces to our inventory every month. Our expected revenue for 2015-2016 is around Rs 2 crore,” says Sandeep.

Challenges faced

The sector faces challenges like non-transparency, time consumption, and too many brokers for the same space. The Adclever platform provides very good solutions to these things. The website is up-to-date, has a map-based user-interface, live traffic, and analytics for spaces like nearby malls, colleges, school, parks, movie halls, ATMs, restaurant options, etc.  Besides, brokers are eliminated by direct signage of a nondisclosure agreement with the media owner.

Taking on competition   

“The outdoor market is very young, from an e-commerce perspective. In the segment, there is just one player that is mainly operational in Bangalore. However, it has a lot of unverified data on it. Changing mindsets from traditional to e-commerce is a hill that we have decided to climb,” says Sandeep.

Adclever banks on the services it provides to consumers. It considers its best offered prices, huge inventory, analytics, verified data, and ROI tracking service catalysts for growth of the venture.

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