OOH is a poster boy for data and digital

 Out-of-home advertising is enjoying a renaissance in many markets, as its newfound versatility, driven by data and digital, demands planners reconsider its role on their media plan, an industry figure says.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to plan an effective outdoor campaign, Tony Regan, a partner in Work Research and a founder of Brand Performance, outlines how out-of-home (OOH) is evolving rapidly as digital out-of-home (DOOH) enables new opportunities.

Sometimes described as “the last broadcast medium” targeting people on the move, OOH offers broad and fast national or near-national reach, second only to TV, but advanced measurement techniques now means more specific audiences can also be targeted as well.

Regan highlights the UK’s Route tool – the methodology is being exported to other OOH markets – which enables planners to build campaigns based on the audience characteristics of individual poster sites, creating a shift away from planning and buying standardised packages.

Instead of simply buying ‘ABC1 men’, they can now access audiences such as ‘people who fly long-haul for business’ and via Route’s data source they can access that audience not just at airports but in a wide variety of locations across the city and even in commuter dormitory towns.

And when DOOH is added into the mix, especially smaller format DOOH panels, planners can devise proximity or location-specific activations in conjunction with mobile devices.

“Geo-fenced mobile targeting is now an established technique, but it best extends OOH campaigns where consumers have a high dwell-time and are likely to be active on their smartphones – such as shopping malls, airports and train stations,” Regan advises.

Managing DOOH adds further levels of intricacy to what was already a complex process, but it also allows OOH to evolve from a planned, pre-structured medium to one with greater flexibility, buying media by day-part, for example, or dependent on the weather.

“As digital inventory builds up across formats and locations, planners can give digital OOH a hard-working role on the plan, not just treat it as icing on the cake,” he says.

“Smart planners use digital OOH in shorter bursts to amplify campaigns where volume of impacts is primarily delivered by physical formats.”

The resurgence of OOH is also being helped by new campaign management platforms which are making OOH buying easier, but “the notion of programmatic trading of DOOH across multiple owner inventories remains some way off,” Regan notes.

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