Andy Beames
Andy Beames 20 July 2018
Categories Advertising, B2B

Out-of-the-ordinary out-of-home: using data to boost OOH performance

Super-fast internet connectivity is soon coming to not just a mobile device, but perhaps an advertising hoarding, near you. It’s set to bring with it a whole raft of improvements, not least better user experience and improved engagement with the help of faster download times and richer media. The world around is becoming ever-more interactive, the combination of 5G and digital OOH promises to blur the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds even further to connect brands with consumers.

OOH: from PR stunt to results upfront

When people hear “Out Of Home”, the first thing they think of is a billboard. Indeed, in the past, OOH has been perceived as a valuable, but fairly one-dimensional, strategy associated mainly with raising awareness – at least in the minds of consumers. OOH advertising is one of the most traditional advertising mediums, but this hasn’t stopped it from keeping up with the digital movement. Take Spotify’s billboard campaign as an example, Spotify made use of some of the most interesting snippets of user data at their disposal to grab the attention of passers-by. O2 also made great use of OOH for its Oops campaign. Recent research backs up what many of the wider media industry already know - that despite its simplicity, OOH is actually a particularly effective form of advertising: OOH campaigns can create a 38% uplift in short-term brand action on mobile. If OOH can work this well in silo, imagine what it can do when they work together.

Mobile by name, mobile by nature

Data syncing and creative-lead technology is enabling brands to unlock the full potential of digital OOH advertising. Though it’s one of the last spaces in advertising to be digitised, it has some of the greatest promise. Consumers are constantly on the move, and chances are, wherever they go, they’ll have a mobile – using and producing reams of data at every step. Developments like Wi-Fi-enabled billboards and screens can pick up this data and marry static locations with all kinds of consumer data.

This creates a rich tapestry of data, which in turn presents a glimpse into what is happening in any given location, at any time. This in itself is incredibly valuable for advertisers, who can make decisions on the types of ads to place, and where exactly to place them. For instance, advertisers may also have the opportunity to understand which posters their competitors’ customers are most likely to see, further informing their own OOH strategy. It also, in effect, turns your mobile screen into an extension of the OOH advertising all around you. As your phone communicates on your behalf with the world around you, it transforms every screen or advert into an opportunity to provide you with something of relevance. Just look at the new billboards at Piccadilly Circus.

Closing the circle

Having such a wealth of interactive displays around us also presents a whole new range of possibilities for retargeting on mobile. Reaching a consumer on the move might not be the best time for peak engagement – but if a brand can identify when that consumer is in moments of ‘downtime’, results would be very different.

From this rich data, a brand can understand how OOH can become a part of an overarching measurable campaign: with all this contextual information at your fingertips, you have the potential not just to target better, but to measure better. With real time information, you can measure a wide variety of insights, from brand awareness, to whether consumers respond to your ads, and ultimately ROI at specific locations, such as high street stores.

Mobile, and specifically mobile data, allows consumers to engage with OOH in a way which would otherwise be impossible – after all, you can’t shake or swipe a billboard. This all has the effect of making the perfect consumer-brand loop, with individual mobile data ensuring OOH advertising is relevant, with brands using the same data to give something back. A recent study shows that consumers like ads around them to offer useful, real-time information – with 80% choosing ‘relevance to location’ as their top pick in terms of content they’d like to see on digital OOH screens. So a combination of OOH and mobile can make things better for both consumers and advertisers.

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