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Outdoor advertising on your smartphone is coming to Australia

Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Outdoor advertising company Adshel is rolling out a network of 3000 beacons across Australia, taking outdoor advertising into the digital age.

Beacons are small, wireless devices that communicate with nearby smartphones through Bluetooth. Shopping centre retailers have been adopting the technology as a form of push marketing to attract passing customers.

It will be the country’s first, large-scale, data-rich outdoor advertising product.

Adshel’s beacon network will initially take a “Listen and Learn” approach to build customer and advertiser insights. The network will ultimately give advertisers with beacon-enabled smartphone apps the ability to send geo-targeted marketing to consenting customers when they’re in the area. It also allows advertisers to leverage their existing customer database to generate additional data via time of day positions and movement trends.

The data generated by the beacons can also be used by advertisers in profiling Adshel outdoor sites, improving audience targeting.

Adshel CEO Rob Atkinson said the network will reposition the way outdoor media is bought and sold.

Adshel is a joint venture between APN News & Media and Clear Channel Outdoor. It has 16,000 sites in Australia and New Zealand and specialises in bus shelters and railway stations, focusing on smaller scale outdoor ads and digital advertising.

APN News & Media CEO Michael Miller said beacons had proved their effectiveness in marketing internationally

“We can expect them to similarly deliver success locally for advertisers,” he said.

Mobile adspend is the fastest growing component of the digital sector, worth $138 million with growth of 200% in 2013 according to IAB Australia.

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