With the challenge of GDPR and issues around viewability, measurement and ad fraud impacting on the digital marketing industry, there has never been a better time for this sector to look at the opportunities that fall outside of its traditional channels.
This means identifying fast-evolving media routes where new technology is reducing the barriers to entry and clients can run creative and engaging campaigns to drive sales and build their brand - something which is becoming increasingly important in the current economic climate.
One such media route, out of home (OOH), is one that is evolving in leaps and bounds. Not only is it cheaper than many marketers think - you can buy a large roadside billboard (48 Sheet) for £600 per month - but the advent of digital screens in OOH is opening up a raft of new opportunities, enabling the OOH industry to become much more sophisticated and measurable for advertisers
OOH media owners are investing heavily in digital screens which are revolutionising the OOH market. This is offering a raft of new advertising opportunities and changing the way OOH is purchased, making it very similar to other media channels, specifically online.
Digital screen functionality is offering advertisers:
- Facial recognition – the ability to deliver a different creative message to men and women as they walk past the screen
- Vehicle recognition - advertisers can deliver highly targeted creative to a certain type or colour of car as they drive past the screen
- Geo-targeting for moving media – targeting creative messages to specific parts of a town or city via digital taxi screens
- High fidelity day part targeting – eliminating wastage and offering advertisers the ability to target commuters during core times of day, or a restaurant the ability to run different creative for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same digital screen
- Temperature triggers – changing the creative message if the temperature moves above or below a certain level
- Live social media feeds – where a person can change the content on a screen by messaging through a social media channel
- Audio enablement – allowing advertisers to run music with film trailer creative in environments like shopping centres
- A wide range of other functionality, including – geo-targeting by TV region and postcode and demographic targeting using first and third-party data all facilitate the ability to deliver contextually relevant advertising campaigns
Digital marketers will be familiar with much of this new functionality, as similar elements in the list above have been possible within online for several years. However, it’s these digital screens, along with the wealth of functionality that they offer, which is opening up a creative opportunities for digital marketers in OOH for the first time.
Why digital marketers are best placed to benefit from OOH
Digital marketers can benefit from this revolution in OOH because of their ready access to online tools and customer data, which also means that in many instances they can deliver improvements on the current buying practice. For example, digital marketers can use online media to test and inform the OOH creative messaging. They can see which creative has the highest click through rate for paid search and online display, and using site analytics, see which creative generates the most page impressions and dwell time, and use this messaging in their OOH creative.
Data from online campaigns can be measured and used to identify locations that rank highly for people interested in the product being communicated. It’s possible to use online performance to identify IP addresses from online display and latitudes and longitudes from mobile to pinpoint locations where the greatest click through rates, or sales are generated, and use these to inform the buying of OOH. For example, if you know you have a high click through rate from a site located in Marylebone High Street in London, then buy OOH billboards in this area because this is obviously a location where people are interested in and want to buy your product. This is intelligent location buying.
Also, it’s possible to use online as a proxy performance metric for OOH by implementing an A/B Test to look at how online performs, when run in isolation, compared to how online has performed when it was supported by OOH in a specific region or regions. It should be possible to see an improvement in the performance of online because of the increased brand awareness delivered by OOH.
The power of OOH for digital marketers was recently identified in research by Nielsen. The study reveals that OOH is the media that drives the most activity online. For example, OOH media accounted for 22 per cent of gross online search activations compared with banners at 17 per cent, in second place. Also, nearly 40 per cent of consumers visited a Facebook page or posted a message on Facebook after seeing an OOH ad, compared to 32 per cent who saw a banner ad. In fact, the study found that OOH delivered more online activity per ad dollar spent compared with any other media.
How can I buy OOH?
In the UK Bitposter is an award-winning automated trading platform helping digital agencies move into the OOH channel. It does this by removing the old barriers to entry and providing an easy to use, efficient and transparent system for buyers to plan, negotiate, option and book inventory with 97 per cent of the UK’s OOH media owners, including JCDecaux, Exterion and Primesight.
In addition, it has a dedicated team who are available to help buyers through every step of the OOH planning and buying process, and in turn allow marketers to use the power of OOH for the first time.
2018 is the time for digital marketers to seize the opportunities offered by OOH. After all, they are the ones who have the skills and ability to take advantage of the changes currently happening within this channel.