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OOH is becoming one of the most measurable media channels - here’s how
April 20, 2022
Measurement within the out-of-home (OOH) industry used to be a challenge, but with recent advancements in both data and technology, marketers can now rely on trustworthy solutions for measuring their campaigns.
While online campaign measurement is often driven by direct site engagement, clicks and conversions, the impact of digital out-of-home (DOOH) exposure can be evaluated in multiple ways including brand health, foot traffic, web activity, sales lift and more. And, with the entrance of programmatic technology, marketers can readily understand performance of their entire DOOH campaign across all venue types and media owners, rather than receiving unique reporting from each publisher and trying to compare apples to oranges.
How is OOH advertising measured?
Today’s best measurement solutions are powered by verified exposure, meaning that you are assessing the impact of the campaign among individuals who have seen the DOOH media versus those who have not.
Defining an exposed audience requires knowing precisely when and where an ad is displayed as well as who is in the vicinity and able to see the ad. Best-in-class exposure methodology should take several factors into account when determining exposure for campaign measurement, such as ad log timestamps, device location, venue type and screen location (i.e. indoor vs. outdoor). Specific consumer behaviors of the exposed vs. unexposed can then be analyzed to understand the campaign effect on real-world actions.
What can I measure?
Despite popular belief, OOH is now measurable across the entire marketing funnel. While marketers previously used the mass medium as an awareness driver, today the world’s leading brands are using OOH to drive a variety of KPIs.
1. Brand health: Focusing in on the top of the funnel, brand studies are used to understand campaign effectiveness on overall brand health - including awareness, consideration, intent (purchase, sign-up, travel, etc.), favorability and recommendation. Brand studies are great for marketers launching campaigns around:
- General branding or rebranding efforts;
- New brand or product launch;
- Competitive awareness and conquesting;
- Loyalty programs;
- Intent or action-driving measures (tune-in, visits, download, etc.).
2. Foot traffic: Foot traffic studies measure lift in visits to a brand’s brick-and-mortar and physical locations driven by DOOH campaign exposure. Marketers from a variety of verticals — from retail to QSR, automotive to financial services, telecommunications and more — are finding immense value in foot traffic analyses around their OOH campaigns. Below are some trending campaign themes that are leveraging foot traffic measurement:
- When awareness is already high, drive intent and action for your brand/product;
- Steer people to your locations around big in-store sales and special promotions;
- Generate foot traffic to a group of new store openings;
- Pool together franchisee budgets to gain insight into consumer visitation patterns;
- Encourage visits to a tourism destination or attraction.
3. Online activity & web conversion: Newer to the industry and still unknown by many, brands can now measure the effectiveness of DOOH campaigns across a variety of digital KPIs, including web conversions and behaviors, app downloads and in-app actions. This solution is a game-changer for brands who are focused on lower-funnel and DR metrics, as OOH can now be tied back to digital performance metrics - thus becoming a direct part of the omnichannel media mix. Already leaning in are innovative marketers focused on D2C, e-commerce, retail, gaming and streaming, delivery services and more. Marketers can use this type of measurement to:
- Learn how many consumers are visiting your site after being exposed to DOOH;
- Understand how many exposed consumers are signing up or making purchases;
- See in-app metrics, such as lift in activity or orders after DOOH campaign exposure.
4. Sales lift: Sales lift studies measure the impact of incremental sales driven by DOOH campaign exposure against a control baseline. These closed-loop measurement solutions - linking exposure to offline sales - provide brands with meaningful ROI metrics and actionable insights based on consumers’ purchasing behavior, including:
- Sales lift: the relative difference between control and exposed purchase rates;
- Sales rate by market: the percentage increase in sales above the baseline in a particular DMA;
- Penetration: the percentage of exposed users who purchased a product post ad exposure;
- Dollars per trip (CPG): The average amount of money exposed consumers spent on the product/brand per shopping trip;
- Sales rate by car type (automotive): The percentage increase in sales above the baseline for a particular car model.
5. Device ID passback: Perhaps DOOH’s most advanced offering, Device ID passback allows marketers to receive the device IDs of the individuals who were exposed to their DOOH campaign, in a privacy-compliant manner. From there, the brand can either:
- Amplify campaign impact through multiple touchpoints, by retargeting these consumers across the channels of their choice (i.e. mobile, display, CTV, social, audio, etc.) via their preferred DSP; or,
- Understand how OOH is driving results across other media channels, by using the exposed device IDs to conduct further in-house measurement.
DOOH measurement summary
Measuring the true ROI of out-of-home media has historically been a challenge for the industry. However, today’s data and technology advancements allow brands to measure the impact of DOOH advertising on both upper funnel and lower funnel KPIs. Detailed solutions - measuring brand lift, foot traffic, online conversions and sales lift - exist and are being leveraged by the world’s leading marketers today, so it is time to debunk the myth that end-to-end measurement isn’t a possibility with out-of-home. The future of out-of-home is here, and it’s more measurable than ever.