How OOH is rapidly changing consumer reach and purchasing behaviors
By Jonathan Frangakis
In the Wild West of the consumer market today, there are thousands of variables to consider if advertisers want to reach the right audience, in the right location.
It’s no secret there’s more data to follow than ever before, uncovering where prospective consumers are and ultimately what makes them purchase. To stay competitive, an appropriate ratio of ad frequency and retargeting can help brands level up and influence consumer behavior.
The more advertisers can niche into what they want to promote, the better the results and the more likely to lead to repeated successful, profitable campaigns. Why? In the diverse world of advertising, data no longer means solely being able to measure campaigns and reach an audience to create conversions.
While Google and Facebook have been huge players in advertising for nearly two decades, out of home (OOH) advertising in all of its various formats – static and digital billboards, moving ads, bus wraps, etc. – remains a popular and highly effective channel. Thanks to advances in geolocation technology, OOH can now be measured the same way as digital channels. Brands can measure offline and online impact wherever OOH campaigns run, and retarget exposed audiences via social and display for cross-channel campaign impact.
Unfortunately, there are also many traps that marketers can fall into when first approaching OOH, and even seasoned pros could make these mistakes if they aren't aware of them.
1.) Exposure environments
Thanks to privacy-compliant, precise location data, it is now easier than ever to get a more complete picture of a consumer and what drives them to buy. Mobile advertising IDs are the offline equivalent of cookies, helping marketers better understand the impact of advertising on consumer behavior with rich data.
In fact, recent recommendations by the OAAA’s Data Use and Analytics Committee have suggested more uniformity for data broadcast. According to OAAA, “Quality information trade is a new, groundbreaking commodity that has extensively improved the value of OOH advertising for brands and organizations.”
But, simultaneously, the advertising landscape has expanded dramatically and changed over the past few years, from TikTok to YouTube Shorts. It’s not the same digital landscape as even a few years ago. As a result, you need to know even more about analytics and what makes buyers tick.
It’s no longer just about who saw an OOH campaign, what the exposed audience's income level was, or who viewed the ad. Advertisers need deeper data beyond these traditional surface metrics to tell a bigger story and help correlate ad exposure to consumer behavior. Therefore, OOH needs to be measured similarly to digital channels, but with a more holistic approach.
What does this look like? To put it simply, it’s a blended customer acquisition and customer activation channel. For instance, OOH routes are different from your typical GPS point-A-to-point-B routes. So instead of a traditional tracking system, there’s more data to gather and consider when measuring OOH. This may include things such as the direction and speed a branded vehicle is traveling or where the ad appears on the vehicle – top, side, front, wrap, etc.
Other scenarios for routing data may look like this:
● Latitude/longitude coordinates for waypoint A and waypoint B
● Distance between waypoint A and waypoint B
● Timestamps associated with waypoint A and waypoint B
● Duration between both waypoints timestamps
● Surface the vehicle is traveling on (land or near-shore water)
● Type of vehicle
The location of the display, in combination with the physical place of the media, also provides more context, not to mention the runtime of the media within the display. With all these viewpoints, it's no longer just about a bus that drove down Times Square heading north. A more sophisticated approach is one reason why companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers.
2.) Conversion environments
Consumers are bombarded with advertising. The aggregate figure of reporting from various outlets states that the average person sees anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day across various media types. How can you influence consumer behavior and convert buyers?
It’s a double-edged sword to convert, as today’s consumers can simply research any product before making any purchase decision. So, getting in front of them is not the end-all-be-all. But, when you can position your solution as trusted, more reliable, and of better quality than the competition, you can truly stand out in today’s purchasing environment.
With web-based and app-based purchasing, the more personalized and targeted the ad, with repeated impressions, the more likely the conversion. Whether running these ads in traditional place-based digital ads or moving out of home, your job can be easier by measuring who visits any brick-and-mortar after exposure to your OOH media.
When consumers are offline and not scrolling for purchases, they are still visiting stores. In fact, almost 72% of digital shoppers consider in-store experience as the most important channel when making a purchase. So, with better data, you can correlate how you got the consumer into a brick-and-mortar store, a restaurant, an auto dealership, or any other consumer-oriented business.
Simultaneously with these adaptations, OAAA has a working group that is addressing the variables in moving versus static displays are accounted for in the big picture. This helps ensure that the development and deployment of the displays are incorporated into the data as well.
3.) Data quality
It’s essential for marketers to have information that is usable and contains valuable data points to help tell the story for a particular brand and sale.
OOH results are often showcased in the same manner as traditional digital channels. This is where multichannel analytics come into play for many decision-makers on where to put their valuable ad spend dollars and what to cut back on.
Advertisers need access to fully custom reporting showing exactly how an OOH campaign drove in-store visits, web traffic, app installations and usage, and brand awareness. While there are limitless factors for how a decision-maker may look into spending, advertisers can be as informed as possible by having data that tells that story. Again, this is imperative for repeat campaigns and seeing aggregate growth in a particular avenue over the duration of time that it's been exposed to consumers. The 4-Prop Measurement Methodology is one such approach.
Case study: Measuring moving OOH data for a major apparel brand
Here’s a quick example of measuring moving OOH attribution in practice: Reveal Mobile, in partnership with Adomni, was able to track net lift for a major apparel brand in New York and Los Angeles this past year. The campaign started this past Thanksgiving and ran through the New Year. Reveal Mobile used privacy-compliant location data to measure net lift to determine who was exposed to the campaign.
Reveal Mobile ingested Uber OOH waypoints and digital ad logs and then tied the mobile ad IDs that were in sight-distance of the ads as they passed by to determine the exposed audience. Reveal Mobile also constructed a control group that mirrors the exposed group in demographics, geography, and fidelity.
Using a 14-day conversion window, 12.72 percent of consumers exposed to the Uber OOH ads visited one of the client’s stores compared to 7.86 percent of the control group. Within the New York City and L.A. markets, exposed consumers were 52 percent more likely to visit a store than consumers in the control group. More specifically, the L.A. market observed a 38% net lift, and the NYC market saw a 67% net lift.
OAAA’s Framework for moving OOH campaigns
With all of these consumer variable changes and the continual digital transformation, there have been many updates to OAAA’s framework for moving OOH campaigns. And the number of variables for moving OOH can change depending on the use case. For example, their latest reporting contains an exposure measurement methodology for on-vehicle ads.
The OAAA’s work also encourages greater adoption of moving OOH ad formats. This includes supporting working groups that ensure that the development and output are standardized and have better inclusion for mobile tracking.
Ultimately, all of this work helps today’s marketers maximize exposure data and campaign measurement to better influence consumers.