In an era of online media, marketers are rediscovering the value and effectiveness of out-of-home (OOH) and leveraging this traditional medium in new and exciting ways. The big takeaway: OOH works—and well. Advertising on static and digital billboards, benches, taxi cabs, and more reaches a captive audience often at times when they're not distracted, such as while walking or driving. In fact, a Nielsen study shows that OOH is four times more effective than other traditional media such as newspaper and magazine advertising at activating consumers to search or connect with the brand online.
This realization has led to an OOH explosion, with the format expected to grow at 10 percent annually through 2021, according to eMarketer. At the same time, the space continues to innovate, spurring the rise programmatic OOH and dynamic billboards.
However, for brands and agency partners to fully take advantage of the OOH revival, they need to know what combination of campaign variables including creative and display frequency will generate the highest return-on-investment (ROI). That way they maximize their OOH spend and continually optimize their campaigns.
A New Day for OOH
Advertisers have relied on OOH to drive brand awareness since the medium was first introduced hundreds of years ago. The OOH Advertising Association of America reports that the first recorded lease of billboard space in the U.S. dates back to 1867. Now a century-and-a-half later, the medium has evolved to complement digital and other forms of advertising, and is an essential part of omnichannel campaigns. Consider that spending on OOH grew by 3.1 percent in 2018—that's faster than every other medium except internet advertising. The growth has been steady, with ad spend on OOH increasing by 35 percent since 2010.
So what's behind this resurgence? There are four important trends driving the renewed interest in OOH that every marketer should understand:
1. OOH stands out. Amid the noise of digital advertising, which is now commonplace for most brands, a thoughtful OOH campaign can grab consumers' attention. The aforementioned Nielsen study reports that even though the medium accounts for 7 percent of advertising spend in the U.S., it generates 26 percent of all online search activity.
2. Programmatic OOH increases access. The rise of programmatic ad buying has made it easier to find and purchase out-of-home advertising. There's not only increased inventory of digital placements, but now they're often backed by the algorithms and data that marketers rely on to purchase other media.
3. OOH and mobile technology work hand-in-hand. The prevalence of mobile devices provides invaluable data about where consumers are and what they're doing—data that marketers can put to use when they're investing in outdoor advertising.
4. OOH goes beyond static signs. Digital billboards offer marketers a way to experiment with their messaging and change their ads to reflect what's happening in real-time. For example, Delta Airlines and Equinox Fitness partnered up to offer travelers whose plane had just landed a chance to work out their jet lag at the gym.
Attribution Connects the Dots
The opportunities for putting OOH to use abound. However, tracking OOH performance and proving a ROI has long been the medium's Achilles' heel. Placed powered by Foursquare solves this, offering an attribution solution that measures OOH advertising.
Instead of using third-party data, which relies on once-an-hour location pings from the bidstream to measure foot traffic, Placed powered by Foursquare quantifies visit lift by leveraging the industry's largest, first-party "always-on" panel of 13 million people. This methodology gives advertisers and media partners a complete understanding of people's real-world movements; as a result, our attribution solution is trusted by more than 1,000 brands and 450 publishers and platforms—to date.
The granularity of our reporting even makes it possible to quantify the impact of OOH media at a detailed level. For example, advertisers can determine which designated market areas had the greatest increase in incremental store visits. They can even glean a better understanding of which audience personas were most impacted by your message. And perhaps most importantly, they can quantify a campaign's ROI and then make changes to improve ad performance.
Partner with Us
With Placed powered by Foursquare, marketers can assess whether their billboard campaigns improved sales and how OOH fits within the context of an omnichannel campaign. But that's just the start. Partner with Foursquare to measure true visit lift, assess partner performance, and generate fast, actionable, and flexible insights to optimize all of your marketing efforts.
Work with Placed powered by Foursquare today, and you can be confident that you're getting the most from your OOH efforts.