Can You Measure the Effectiveness of Outdoor Media?

Outdoor Media, outdoor advertising, billboard advertising

If you’ve considered the pros and cons of using outdoor ads, you’ve probably heard that they’re hard to measure. And that would seem like a fair assumption. After all, most billboards are flat, and passersby don’t touch or interact with them in any way. Considering the cost of these ads, it would seem better to avoid that this often ignored and immeasurable medium.

However, outdoor media is easier to measure than you may think. Like many things, the concept of measuring OOH just has been taught well to most business owners. Fortunately, we’ve got a few lessons for you to take notes on if outdoor ad measurement seems like a limiting factor. 

Look Out for the Obvious

Everyone agrees that assumptions are dangerous, especially in the advertising game. But one of the best ways to judge if your outdoor media is working is to compare pre and post-campaign sales figures.

True, you can’t say for sure that a billboard contributed to a 30% increase in sales, especially if you’re using a mix of advertising and marketing media. But you can still attribute increased sales (and even calls or web traffic) to a billboard if 1) There was a sudden and significant increase in sales right after the billboard’s installation, 2) You can attribute what your other measurable advertising has accomplished and what it’s not responsible for.

In either instance, this necessary check won’t yield any definitive numbers, but it will indicate that the billboard is working.

Add a Digital Component to Out of Home Media

Advertising that combines the physical with the virtual can be quite useful – the same goes for out of home media. So if you have a truck ad or billboard, you can include a CTA (must be a strong one) that directs passersby to a social page, microsite or even your website.

For a social page, the use of campaign-specific hashtags can be a tool for engagement which you can measure. For example, you can run a contest that encourages pedestrians to visit your social page, where they have to use a hashtag to qualify for a prize.

The amount of engagement you get on your social page could be directly traced back to your billboard. Or you could include a CTA on your outdoor media that encourages viewers to go to a specific website URL. Again, you can attribute this traffic to the billboard itself.

Just Ask Your Audience

When in doubt over your ad’s performance, you can always ask your them about the billboard itself. There are plenty of old-school and new age methods to get this done. A customer survey (i.e. where did you hear about us?) still serves as one of the simplest ways to do this. Unless a person memory fails, they’ll likely tell you truthfully where they first saw your brand. And if it were in a billboard, you’d have hit the jackpot.

Look at the Traffic Potential

Although these numbers won’t give you right audience KPIs, you can still dig into traffic data to contextualise your ads performance. In other words, the number of people passing by can give you a good idea as to whether your ad has a chance of performing well or not.

You can access what’s known as Daily Effective Circulation (DEC) and Opportunity to Contact (OTC). The Daily Effective Circulation (DEC) refers to the number of vehicles and pedestrians that pass by a billboard on a daily basis. The Opportunity to Contact refers to the number of people who could walk past and see your ad.

You can uncover both of these numbers with the use of surveys, road traffic counts and commuting data, and even GPS tracking devices by willing survey participants.

Who Says You Can’t Measure Outdoor Media?

The truth is this: you can measure outdoor media just as well as any other medium if you approach it correctly. And with many digital tools at your disposal, you can track an ad’s performance whether it’s a static billboard or a truck advertisement.

So don’t let the old way of thinking be the reason why you’re not advertising outdoors. Consider the methods listed in this blog post and give your brand a new means of exposure!

Here at Movia Media, we use a mix of traditional techniques, GPS and Wi-Fi technologies to count the exact number of impression our truck ads generate for advertisers. Thinking to start up your truck advertising campaign? Contact us now.

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