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QMS’ Sara Lappage on the strength of OOH

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QMS’ Sara Lappage on the strength of OOH


Many media and advertising professionals have had a tough year; economic conditions have tightened budgets and spending has markedly fallen. But there are enclaves of impressive growth within the sector, one such star being out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

In a continued post-covid regeneration, the OOH advertising industry has had an impressive 2023, with new brands investing in its potential and innovations catching the viral attention of consumers. An Australian leader of that success is QMS, an outdoor media company that has been delivering on major contracts. 

QMS chief operating officer Sara Lappage says a momentum driver for the brand has been a “transformative journey moving from asset-led, transaction-based selling to audience-based customer solutions”.

Marketing Mag recently spoke to Lappage about this growth trajectory of QMS and the state of outdoor advertising.

Marketing Mag: Across the board OOH seems to be thriving in a difficult economic climate that has seen comparative industries struggle. What do you think has been driving this trend?

Sara Lappage: OOH delivers advertisers exactly what they want – scalable audience reach with impact that influences behaviour. 

The immediacy, flexibility and accountability of digital OOH (DOOH) provides a level of precision targeting and creative amplification in a trustworthy and brand-safe environment that advertisers are seeking, and the industry is benefitting as a result.

MM: Are new technologies playing a part in the strength of the sector as brands are finding success with their innovative efforts?

SL: The constant innovation of the sector is absolutely a driving factor of its continued growth.

Most recently we are seeing the rapid rise of programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) as one way for advertisers to enhance their DOOH campaigns, providing further precision, control and flexibility in campaign delivery. At QMS, 95 percent of our network is digital, so naturally we are experiencing an increase in demand to trade programmatically, and we envision this will only continue to grow in line with advertiser needs.

Creative amplification through 3DOOH and full motion animation capabilities is leading to some amazing new scalable campaign opportunities that are providing valuable and memorable moments of brand impact and influence. 

In fact, the demand for these innovative creative executions has been so high that we have increased our in-house creative services team, QUBE, by 75 percent this year.

Innovation via the industry’s continued investment into aligned platforms and processes is ensuring it’s easier and more efficient for advertisers to transact, particularly in the lead up to the launch of the MOVE 2.0 audience measurement system next year. Future proofing our operations for ongoing technology advancements and integrations like MOVE 2.0 is a priority in our connected systems roadmap for 2024 and beyond. 


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MM: How has QMS been able to capitalise on this moment, and what are some noteworthy highlights for the company from 2023?

SL: SMI has recently reported an increase in our revenue of 33 percent in the 12 months to 30 September this year. This significant growth trajectory is a result of a precision-like focus by the business on digital innovation, strategic asset development and data-led creativity, all of which are designed to build on our foundation as a digital first business and accelerate our vision for the future of DOOH. 

Equally, we have been on a transformative journey moving from asset-led, transaction-based selling to audience-based customer solutions, which has been a key driver of our success in 2023. One example of this is the overwhelmingly positive response from advertisers to our first to market launch of real campaign audience reporting for OOH in Performance+. 

The ability to provide accurate, audience-based post campaign reports for our clients is not only providing a new level of transparency and trust, but also helping to grow greater confidence in the industry as a whole. 

Our City of Sydney network has also hit its straps in its first full year of operation, re-imagining the street furniture category of Australia’s most prestigious OOH geography. Delivering over 26 percent greater impact than the previous street furniture network, it has proven its ability as a premium screen network to consistently deliver results for advertisers as well as provide ‘brand fame’ during major global events such as Vivid, Sydney WorldPride, SXSW Sydney and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

MM: How do you think this industry growth will carry forward into 2024? Will the strong results continue?

SL: We are confident the industry will continue to grow as advertisers seek to achieve scalable audience reach with campaign impact that influences behaviour.

The launch of the MOVE 2.0 audience measurement system next year is a critically important milestone for the OOH industry. It will provide more granular audience data and a new level of measurement and accountability for advertisers – delivering a level of confidence in the medium we believe will ensure its growth well into the future.

As mentioned previously, we are seeing more advertisers understand the precision, control and flexibility provided by programmatic as an enhancement to their DOOH and broader omnichannel strategies. This ease in buying a digital and data driven DOOH network will also play a key role in the industry’s continued growth throughout 2024.


MM: What can we expect from QMS in the new year?

SL: More growth and more innovation! We are focused on key strategic development opportunities that complement our digital-first network, particularly in NSW, where 65 percent of our digital development pipeline for 2024 will be concentrated.

We will continue the fantastic momentum we have created around our City of Sydney network, with a suite of exciting new opportunities for advertisers to influence through impact, including sponsored content partnerships, activations and special builds already in planning.

The results of our world-first OOH attention study will be released in 2024. Together with audience measurement company Amplified Intelligence, we are excited to see the results of this ground-breaking study help our clients understand the relationship attention has in OOH advertising as well as how it relates to memory retention, brand choice and growth. 

And finally, as the Official Outdoor Media Partner for the Paris 2024 Australian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, bringing our ground-breaking Olympic Digital Screen Network that is the platform for our innovative partnership packages to the market will be an absolute highlight. 

It’s fair to say that 2024 is going to be a year of Olympic-sized proportions! 

Read about the importance of sustaining innovation next.

Images attributed to QMS.


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Ned Lupson

Ned Lupson is an Assistant Editor at Niche Media.

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