Whether it’s a pop-up that young singles in your area are looking to meet or a banner highlighting the different solutions to a problem you recently researched, advertisements are everywhere. And as the online space becomes more muddled and crowded with them, prospects are tuning them out — making it harder for marketers to capture their attention.
As Hooman Javidan Nejad, Director of Performance Marketing for MNTN, a connected TV platform, puts it: “We live in an attention economy — and it's not always easy to capture a potential customer's attention or remain top of mind.”As B2B marketers seek to engage their audiences in new formats, out-of-home advertising is emerging as a worthy contender to diversify advertising strategies and extend the reach of traditional digital advertisements. And, in an ironic twist, the biggest trend fueling OOH advertising is the same factor that contributed to its resurgence: Digitization.
“When we discuss digitization in OOH, we’re talking about retargeting, digital billboards, video advertisements and programmatic advertising,” said Barry Frey, President and CEO of DPAA, a digital OOH advertising platform. “OOH is actually the fastest growing traditional media, and it’s taking on digital qualities such as digital billboards and video advertisements, all controlled by programmatic technology. This enables brands to change the reschedule, pause or relocate advertisements as necessary.”
As the experts make a strong case for the inclusion of OOH advertising, we’ll dive into the complexities and nuances of the OOH advertising space to provide strategic insights on everything from placement and measurement to the role of Connected TV (CTV).
A Blend Of Art & Science
While the combination of first-party cookies and intent data can help paint a picture of placement in traditional online advertising formats, OOH requires a deeper understanding of the target audience. In the case of billboards and CTV advertisements, marketers are tasked with blending succinct creativity with placement to maximize attention.
“Determining ad placement is all research-based, and there are a ton of different data partners that can give you mobile ad IDs for phones and others who estimate the number of different personas in a specific area,” said Jeanne Hopkins, Chief Revenue Officer of OneScreen.ai, an OOH advertising marketplace. “We can break it out by saying, ‘If this person goes here, their best percentage is likely to go to Whole Foods and the mall.’ So, if you’re trying to reach 34- to 49-year-old mothers with two kids, data companies can identify the paths they’re taking through metrics such as foot traffic reports.”
However, the caveat to OOH advertising is the lack of direct information to track an advertisement’s success. Online and mobile advertisements are relatively easy as organizations can monitor click-through and other engagement rates, but traditionally most OOH advertising is visual, meaning marketers are relying on impressions to determine a campaign’s success and help prove ROI.
Hopkins cited an example of a campaign OneScreen.ai recently worked on with Reprise at the B2B Marketing Exchange conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. To help the company “look much bigger than they actually are,” Onescreen placed advertisements throughout the Pheonix airport, videos in rideshares to and from the venue and a Reprise-branded wrapped truck that tooled around the airport and general conference vicinity. Jen Steele, Reprise’s VP of Marketing, reported that she had multiple people come to the booth mentioning the advertisements they saw on their journey to the Phoenician, and the company’s Lunch & Learn session booked up.
Defragmentation, Connected TV & The ‘Madison Square Garden Model’
(For those of you wondering, I just made up the “Madison Square Garden Model” and yes, I am trademarking as we speak.)
Due to the “one-off” nature of OOH advertising, the experts warned that while lucrative, the industry is highly fragmented and often isn’t operating as a cooperative ecosystem.
“You probably have 75 types of ‘real-life’ advertising, which can be anything from banner advertisements in LAX or branded jet skis in Miami,” said Hopkins. “But the challenge is they are all point solutions, and if we know anything in marketing, it’s that a point solution is very difficult to get the avails: What’s available, what’s not and cost.”
Just like all other marketing strategies, OOH is most successful when it’s layered with other channels and outreach. Madison Square Garden — an arena ubiquitous with the Rangers, Knicks and Billy Joel — is a perfect example of the infusion of OOH advertising and traditional media formats. The “Madison Square Garden Model” relates to the strategy of live-streaming events to satellite locations and is something marketers can replicate to increase the reach of their OOH advertising models.
Hopkins explained that the sports center and concert hall are affiliated with 10 local bars that are connected to the venue and simulcast the game. The establishments then charge “watch party” tickets, and people go to the bars pre- and post-event. So, while vendors can advertise their products in Madison Square “proper,” they can also reach audiences in the adjacent locations with one investment through CTV.
"Connected TV advertising is TV advertising of the 21st century,” said MNTN’s Javidan-Nejad. “When it comes to CTV, you should rethink your perception of TV advertising. CTV has changed how brands advertise — from reaching their audience to developing new creative. With the amount of data that is available from CTV advertising, a data-driven mindset is essential to ensure that you are making the most out of your ad buys, from targeting to an efficient creative process.”
With all the innovations and strategies for OOH, it’s clear that this marketing technique is in it for the long haul. Once marketers open the treasure trove of OOH and start weaving this strategy into the marketing mixes, the experts believe there’s no going back.
“You don’t realize what you don’t know — once you realize the options out there, it opens a whole new world,” said Hopkins. “And more marketers are realizing they have to go big and can’t just regulate themselves to a Facebook ad. Nobody takes a picture of themselves in front of their Google AdWords ad, but they sure as heck do that in front of a billboard.”