The out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry is evolving. New digital infrastructure and increasing usage of big data are providing advertisers with the ability to radically improve the personalisation and contextual relevance of the posters, billboards and digital screens consumers come into contact with.

Keeping ahead in an industry that’s moving as quickly as OOH though requires dedication. Here are the top ten resolutions outdoor advertisers must stick to in 2016 if they want to remain ahead of the competition:

Realise more hyperlocal campaigns with beacons

OOH is in a unique position to help drive further usage of beacons to help marketers realise more hyperlocal campaigns. Increasingly, beacons will be housed within billboards, and outdoor advertisers should be striving to make better use of beacons to realise hyperlocal campaigns like one we conducted for Pimms last summer: Using a beacon network and digital out-of-home (DOOH) screens, the number of smartphones at nearby pubs were counted, and used to create a live feed of this data to show consumers where they could still grab an empty seat to enjoy a glass of Pimms.

Use AI to understand more about audiences

Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides a canvas for advertisers to use to learn about consumers and behaviours in a different way. Earlier this year, Posterscope worked with M&C Saatchi and Clear Channel to launch the world’s first AI ad campaign, which rewrote its creative in real-time according to how people reacted to it. This New Year, advertisers should look to how AI can create stronger location targeting, and how it can increase the relevance of messaging and imagery based on audiences’ real-time emotional engagement.

Use data in a smarter way

Consumers increasingly expect the services they use and the messages they’re served to be tailored to their personal tastes and preferences. Real-time triggers such as weather and traffic data enable OOH ads to react to the world around them, while mobile data helps advertisers understand the sites and apps people use in particular locations.

Advertisers can now even use social media data to plan campaigns around where relevant conversations are taking place, as demonstrated in a recent campaign we worked on for the hit video game, Fallout 4. Advertisers in 2016 need to be using data to increase personalisation and deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right location.

Make use of programmatic in OOH

As the ‘automation of media bookings’ capabilities of programmatic increasingly become the norm, advertisers need to ensure that as well as faster, more accurate and accountable delivery, solutions also deliver scale. Platforms need to plug into digital ‘screen-buying’, which will enable DOOH to have a wider purchase point and syndication into other digital-led screen planning and buying.

Deliver more content via digital OOH inventory

Content-focused social apps like Periscope and Snapchat are increasingly being used by brands to communicate with consumers. Adidas is streaming footballers’ practices live, while Red Bull is live-streaming Miami music week events. Digital inventory and full motion DOOH is in a prime position to become a content platform in and of itself, both for brands to broadcast from and for users to contribute to.

Beat the blockers

There is a growing concern about the rise in use of ad blockers from some media channels. But OOH cannot be turned off, so advertisers should be considering putting much more emphasis on the medium. Increasing digital OOH inventory means OOH agencies now need to align closer than ever with digital agencies to provide the strongest possible integration.

Use OOH screens as shop windows

The way people interact with brand communications is changing, and can now support real-time purchasing and service. Starbucks coffee can be pre-ordered before you arrive so that it’s ready to go, and everything from an Amazon Prime package to a pack of Oreos can be delivered to customers’ desks within an hour. As customers continue to make orders before being near stores, advertisers need to be treating OOH as they would a shop window, enabling it to act as a real-time trigger for customer appetites.

Let people pay by OOH

Last year was unquestionably the year of contactless and mobile payments. Advertisers can turn this to their advantage by encouraging a new, larger scale of innovation across the OOH landscape. OOH can stop being primarily a ‘brand awareness’ driver to instead drive real-time purchases. We’ve already seen innovative examples like Clear Channel’s use of contactless totems earlier this year, where consumers were encouraged to tap their card to donate money to Cancer Research UK.

Measure how people interact with experiential activities

As consumers continue to ignore disruptive advertising that doesn’t provide something valuable to them, experiential campaigns are likely to become even more prevalent. However, the crucial resolution for 2016 is about measurement. Advertisers need to make use of new analytics platforms to better understand the impact of experiential activities by tracking consumer engagement through CRM and their navigation through an event space.

Do good, as well as make money

Arguably of equal importance as having a good product these days are the brand and its corporate values. Increasingly agencies will help advertisers make their budgets work harder to create truly innovative media firsts that not only serve advertisers’ interests, but contribute positively to the society they exist within. This can positively impact everything from the provision of public infrastructure to live experiences, all while serving a societal benefit as well as a commercial one.

We all know how difficult sticking to resolutions can be, but if OOH advertisers manage to go the distance with the above they might just have their best ever year.


By Nick Halas, head of futures at Posterscope


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