Out of Home Advertising in the Age of Big Data — Measuring and Growing Your Results
Today’s marketing world is all about data – capturing it, analyzing it and acting on it.
And rightly so.
The proper data measurement tools allow you to evaluate your campaign’s results on the fly. That means you can edit, adjust and pivot your strategies as you go, to hone in on the most effective strategy for reaching the most qualified, ready-to-buy customers at all times.
Naturally, data and analytics are often considered the province of digital advertising media. But while data measurement is much easier in the digital realm, that doesn’t necessarily make it more accurate. Click fraud can distort your numbers and make data findings inactionable and technical issues with analytics pixels and other tracking codes can cause issues as well.
There are pros and cons to all data tracking methods, but the bottom line is this: Data is a necessity for planning all forms of media today – whether they’re purely digital mobile and internet, or more “traditional” ones such as radio, print, and out of home media.
In fact, while out of home may seem ”old school,” the availability of data that can aid in OOH media planning is growing and becoming more complex by the day. At minimum core OOH data provides robust demographic info (over 1,100 core demos) for who’s viewing your advertisement, as well as when and where they’re doing it. And the incorporation of mobile and connected-car data is now beginning to allow deeper psychographic profiling and audience attribution for billboard locations as well as insight into delivery of proper creative to a given screen.
How to Measure Out of Home
In the past, out of home media measurement was executed in broad strokes, providing impressions numbers based on traffic counts, passenger loads and hours of illumination, reflecting overall market characteristics rather than the likely audience of a particular billboard location.
Fortunately, OOH now offers a much more drilled-down approach – one that gives you highly detailed demographic, location and behavioral data that can help your campaigns reach the best, most qualified audience possible.
Let’s look at a few of the methods that allow us to do that.
Audience and Ratings Metrics
Audience and ratings metrics have long been the standard method of measuring out of home campaigns, giving the advertiser simple traffic counts, view frequencies and broad-based ideas of how many people are passing by a billboard or advertisement in a certain time period.
These methods have gotten more advanced in recent years, instead offering actual eyeball estimates – the number
of people who not only passed by a billboard but were actually likely to see it as well.
Measurement services like GeoPath have also gotten more detailed with their audience metrics, getting more localized and more demographic-oriented. Today, GeoPath can break out audience data into 1,100 different advanced demographic groups, which include breakouts on age, sex, gender, ethnicity and income of OOH audiences.
Major telecom entities communication brands like ATT, Verizon Mobile and others, are now able to offer access to their “data lakes” on a non-personally identifiable manner to give depth to OOH media planning. These databases allow you to work with more detailed consumer profile targets and index OOH locations against those targets to maximize the efficiency of the deployment of ad dollars. Audience attribution is now a possibility as well, for determining ROI and adjustment to the proper proportion of OOH within an ongoing media campaign.
Database mapping – particularly with cell phone databases – can also give you detailed behavioral data about your audiences. By knowing who they are, what they like/do, and where they go, you can tailor your campaign even more precisely. This gives you a powerful market opportunity that few other ad mediums can provide.
Advertisers and agencies can also collaborate to hone in on more actionable data. As many organizations have their own databases – ones for email lists, past and present customers and, of course, sales – these can often be pulled in and folded into the overall out-of-home strategy.
At Wilkins Media, for example, we currently work with the proprietary data of a number of our client partners to analyze and refine the deployment of budgets against OOH media opportunities within key geographic areas.
Every project is different, so it’s important that clients and partner agencies communicate early about what sort of data is – or isn’t — available. Our research team is happy to process any and all info available and put it to work to make the strategic decisions that best support your business. Conversely, we also provide our partners with our own research-backed recommendations to best help you make better operational and strategic decisions as well.
All of the Above
As the measurement of out of home advertising continues to combine the above methods and incorporate all the data measurement techniques currently available, the OOH industry continues to provide an increasingly compelling opportunity for the advertisers for whom efficiency and media accountability are most crucial. Ultimately, the data available to power out of home campaigns is detailed and far-reaching; you just have to know where to look, and who to work with.