There are challenges currently facing the digital sector. As most readers will know a number of these such as viewability, measurement and ad fraud were recently highlighted by Marc Pritchard of P&G.

While there’s no easy answer to these challenges, some forward-thinking digital marketers are looking at new technologies and fast-evolving media routes to deliver new and creative ways to brand build and drive sales, where viewability and the other issues, such as ad blocking, don’t apply.

This is why out of home (OOH), which is experiencing great change in an era of digitisation, is rapidly gaining the interest of marketers. With the growth of automated trading platforms lowering the threshold of entry and sweeping away the old barriers, buying OOH has now become efficient, easy to purchase, transparent and available in real-time.

For digital marketers digital screens are the main interest. They are offering a raft of new ‘broadcast’ opportunities, enabling the OOH industry to become much more sophisticated, measurable and deliver new routes to market.

It’s the functionality of these digital screens, in particular, that are making them standout. They can provide:

· 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

A good example of the functionality that digital out of home (DOOH) offers recently involved digital agency Essence using our Bitposter platform to deliver a highly targeted and innovative contextual adverting campaign for the FT. The campaign used flight data to update passengers with relevant news from the FT when they arrived at their destinations via DOOH sites at Canary Wharf, Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as inventory across London Underground.

But it’s not all about functionality. OOH ads are 100% viewable. They can’t be blocked or fast forwarded, and they reach 98% of the UK population on a weekly basis. In fact, recent research on advertising recall highlights the boost brands can generate using OOH, particularly DOOH, which was ranked the best media in delivering advertising recall.

Moving on from the functionality of digital screens, digital marketers are uniquely placed to benefit from OOH because they have access to a wealth of data - data they often don’t know they have - which can be easily transferred into OOH to give them a competitive advantage.

For instance, location data. 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 Kensington 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.

Secondly, 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.

Finally, 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.

There’s no question that developments in OOH, particularly DOOH, are set to make a big impact on the digital marketing sector. The growth in automated ad platforms, increasing functionality in the digital age with the rise of DOOH, combined with the longstanding traditional benefits of OOH and the powerful data they can access for OOH campaigns, requires digital marketers to sit up and take notice of this fast-evolving media – a media they are best positioned to leverage to their advantage.


By Craig Mytton, chief revenue officer at Bitposter

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