“A single billboard has the ability to create instant awareness to thousands of consumers in just one day. A group of billboards, optimised for reach and coverage, have the ability to target more consumers in one month than any other single TV channel for much less per thousand.”
Every January, the trends and predicted growth areas for out of home wax lyrical about the projected growth from digital out of home and the plethora of digi-speak benefits it will have for brands. Yes, digital out of home is growing, with plenty of room for innovation, and yes, data-driven messaging will become more prevalent. It goes without saying that technology will drive this innovation and integration with other digital and media channels, and we’re already seeing how digital OOH merges with mobile.
Mobile technology, like Near Field Communication (NFC), QR readers, and Augmented Reality features, are enabling the marriage between OOH and mobile. But take an objective step back, and see that this trend is impacting all media – not just out of home. Consumers are multi-tasking in their multi-screen world, and the focus in media planning should be shifting to providing a seamless conversation in their world that is relevant – providing the correct content in the right time and place. And this is where out of home’s inherent benefits come in, particularly compared to other traditional media.
Savvy marketers are learning to integrate ‘traditional’ or static platforms with other focused digital platforms that drive consumers online or call them to action. Applying good and simple creative messaging and relevancy there’s a call to connect with brands that drive them to try and buy. Place-based marketing and area-weighted exposure allow consumers to be immersed into the brand promise by inducing trial and information searches.
Solutions that work best are those that take ownership of the path to purchase and provide strategic touchpoints for brands within consumer and commuter hubs, like taxi ranks, airports and shopping malls. These effective solutions generally commence with the amplification and broadcast of a message from both static and digital out of home, providing the launchpad and roadmap for further conversations as consumers become immersed in an environment and driven online.
Poor economic conditions continue to ravage marketing budgets, and media strategies and plans need to prove the value they’re providing all the way to the till. The good news is that the cost-effective properties and value of out of home has and will continue to encourage small entrepreneurial businesses to book ads in targeted locations and only flight ads for as long as their budgets allow.
Let’s also not forget the cost efficiencies and improved media performance when traditional out of home is included within the media mix. A single billboard has the ability to create instant awareness to thousands of consumers in just one day. A group of billboards, optimised for reach and coverage, have the ability to target more consumers in one month than any other single TV channel for much less per thousand. Their ability to influence and direct consumers online is well-established. OOH ads are capable of driving more online activity per adspend than any other offline medium, according to a recent Nielsen report.
Collectively, all out of home formats have the ability to work in tandem, or selectively, to achieve brand conversations with consumers. The out of home sandpit is becoming a vast and complicated mix of options, needing specialised strategic input to best fit into your media mix. There is no doubt, however, that the medium works, and works hard for brands. That’s definitely worth a crow!
Lyn Jones is regional manager of In Touch Media in Gauteng. Previously, Jones was the marketing and research manager for JCDecaux in sub-Saharan Africa (formerly Continental Outdoor Media), a position she held for nearly 12 years. She has also played a role in the development, registration, and research methodology for the OMC ( a non-profit organisation for the OOH industry) and Road Survey.