In an age of mass digitalization, companies are transforming the way they communicate with their audience, personalizing their messages, and curating their advertisements. For companies with deep pockets, they find themselves diversifying their campaigns through multi-channel marketing – which is a wonderful approach to prosper, but not all businesses have access to those same resources. In a situation where you may not have a massive ad budget, you’ll want to turn to reliable and trusted mediums that have been directly proven to contribute to your bottom line. Put simply, that measurement is Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising.
OOH advertising is so much more than just billboards and banners – the industry has evolved into a modern, cutting-edge medium with highly traceable results. Technological advancements and location tracking have opened the door to a new dimension of what it means to advertise in person.
When speaking to the digital evolution of OOH over the years, the bulk of the credit can be linked to mobile data. People’s cell phones are a data mine of valuable information for marketers and when considering that people don’t leave the house without it, OOH ads have the ability to understand their customers better and more importantly, reach their customers more easily. Data-driven + mobile campaigns are a remarkably engaging and effective component to this medium that, in many ways, has injected new life into OOH. By utilizing all the data available to marketers, data-driven advertising has the ability to crystalize a company’s target profiles and map out their customer’s journey.
Location-based information courtesy of “IoT sensors, camera analytics, Google traffic, and mobile devices data; including social media, GPS, and search history” has opened the door to advanced profiling, targeting, and tracing of the interests of those passing by OOH sites. This is an absolute game-changer to the outdoor medium because, by nature, the ads are “static”- unlike digital ads which find the customer wherever they may be indoors or outdoors. Outdoor advertising has to be able to assess locations, identify hot spots where their target audience frequent, and present their ad in an almost predictive fashion. Needless to say, location-based data is able to navigate the “noise” of the advertising world and present highly targeted ads to their audience in a compelling way that digital marketing simply lacks.
Although we could spend all day discussing the digital overhaul the OOH medium has undergone in recent years, let’s move on to the next vital factor that makes OOH as trackable as it is.
Tracking ROI Made Easy
If a business can’t trace its advertising dollars, its campaign has failed in many ways. Maybe this was because the goals weren’t properly established at the beginning, or perhaps you were trying to reach your audience in the wrong place. Whatever the case may be, OOH makes it easy to track and implement the right KPIs for your advertising campaign.
Seeing that OOH has been around since the early 1800s, years of research have gone into making each campaign more measurable and effective than ever. With the onslaught of mass digitization in the marketing realm to boot, OOH is an advertising force to be reckoned with when considering measurability and ROI. Here are a few KPI’s your business can look to when assessing the success of your outdoor campaign:
· Vanity URL Clicks: Unique website domains for advertising campaigns
· QR Codes Taps: Users are able to scan the code using their smartphone camera and are then taken to a landing page
· Promo Code Usage: Companies can put their promo code directly on the billboard
· Tracking Number Calls: Numbers your customers can call
· Shortcode Texts: Often five-digit numbers your customers can text for promotions or more information
· Hashtags: Get the word out on social media using a unique hashtag
OOH is the Highest ROI in Advertising
Out-of-Home advertising has proven to be a reliable source of ROI for businesses all around the globe. Managers who want to know that their marketing efforts will pay off, turn to OOH to drive conversions. Comparing this fact to other advertising methods, OOH has the third-highest return on investments next to online and radio (see graph).
According to a recent Statista report, the digital OOH category comprises the majority of the OOH advertising medium as a whole. The ad revenue in the United States amounted to 8.56 U.S. dollars in 2019. Over the years, outdoor ad revenue has steadily grown by over 25% since 2009. If that’s not convincing enough, it was also the medium with the third-highest return on ad spending (ROAS) in the country in 2018, gaining approximately $6 USD on each invested ad dollar.
Growth, Growth, & More Growth
Among the collection of traditional marketing channels, OOH advertising remains the only medium experiencing rapid growth. Comparing this fact to other sectors in this domain like TV, radio, and other print media such as magazines and newspapers – widespread changes are taking place in response to the onslaught of digital marketing stemming from social media and the Internet. Since 2012, digital billboards in the USA alone have undergone a whopping 102% growth rate in 2020.
The growth temporarily slowed at the beginning of the pandemic, mainly due to restrictive containment measures, social distancing, remote work, and the widespread closures of industries. Despite this bleak period, the future of the OOH market is beginning to look promising with commercial activities and travel slowly opening in mass-vaccinated areas. The market is expected to not just recover, but thrive by 2023 reaching $31.8 billion at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CARG) Of 6.8%.
OOH Cuts Through the Noise
In many ways, OOH is the ultimate hybrid of high-impact visuals commonly associated with television, with the capabilities of state-of-the-art targeting often found in digital marketing. With the noise of today’s advertising market, OOH ads have the competitive edge of cutting through the growing chatter. Today, people are constantly being bombarded by advertisements – a 2021 study recently quoted the number of ads people see in one day at around 6,00-10,000! With figures that nearly double that of 2007, you may be guessing what accounted for such a leap.
This should come as no surprise, but the massive increase can largely be attributed to the internet and new technologies – giving businesses the ability to reach their audience with the push of a button. Keeping all of this in mind, as the number of ads we are exposed to increases, the less effective they become.
So, you may be asking yourself why we’re all saying this? Well, when comparing recall rates, OOH blows all other mediums out of the water with the highest rate of 67%. Some key factors go into this impressive number – for one, OOH appears when their audience is actively engaged in their environment. Another can be attributed to the fact that OOH is not a content-based ad channel. What this means is that contrasted to other mediums like TV and mobile channels, OOH ad placements are not placed amongst other programming ads and are not vying for their audience’s attention. Most importantly, it’s not like you can download an ad blocker extension to your day-to-day life – OOH is a real-life advertisement that can’t be skipped or delayed.
For Businesses of All Sizes
Historically, OOH advertising was reserved for big companies with advertising dollars to spend. At that time, a significant amount of labour and time was dedicated to these types of campaigns to effectively schedule, implement, and track. Today however, automation has been a saving grace for small businesses giving them the opportunity to shine.
What we’re seeing now are self-service buying platforms that in essence, cuts out the middleman. These platforms are able to schedule and purchase time slots that are best suited for your business. Gone are the days where companies have to buy 4-week billboard campaigns.
With that, we are beginning to see local businesses take advantage of OOH channels. Why you may ask? Because it’s relevant. Local restaurants, for example, are able to advertise their spot in a nearby radius, prompting locals who walk by the ad every day to establish brand recognition.
Is OOH Right for your Business?
With the endless advertising options available to businesses today, you may still be wondering if OOH is right for your business. Ultimately, the answer to this isn’t necessarily black or white. Every company is unique and there really is no blueprint to successful branding.
Here’s a list of a few industries who haven’t yet fully embraced OOH media in their marketing mix but can undoubtedly benefit from their advantages in terms of generating quality leads.
• Local Hospitality Service Industries
• Financial Services
• Education Industry
• Promotional Events
Many companies attribute OOH advertising to taking their businesses to the next level, while others have found it difficult to navigate the OOH channel and draw the results they were looking for. One thing that can be said for certain is that the better you know your audience, the more successful your marketing will be.
If you’re thinking of running an OOH campaign and have some questions, contact us at Movia! Our goal is to design the most effective OOH ads that are best suited to meet your company’s objectives and maximize your results.