Out-of-Home Advertising in the Digital Age: Is It Worth It?

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising or outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing. And the Asia Pacific region is said to have the highest-ranked OOH market share at an average of 7.8 per cent compared to the 5.6 per cent globally.

But consumer behaviour has greatly evolved since then. In today’s digital age, marketers rely on online advertisements to reach tech-savvy audiences. The best part about digital marketing is that businesses can reach their ideal customer regardless of their location.

With the rise of targeted online marketing techniques, the question becomes: is outdoor advertising still worth it?

The answer is yes. The digital transformation movement also affected OOH techniques, which gave birth to Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising.

What is Digital Out-of-Home Advertising?

Digital out-of-home advertisements refer to the use of traditional outdoor screens to deliver digital ads. As such, DOOH ads are more dynamic, vibrant and engaging compared to print ads. Marketers are able to be creative with their ad content and formats, and optimise the marketing messages to the target audiences.

DOOH ads also enable marketers to think out of the box, connecting offline to online to increase user engagements and drive four times more online activity per ad dollar spent.

One of the best examples of interactive DOOH is Reebok’s outdoor ad in 2016. The shoe brand installed a speed camera and tracking technology in Stockholm and challenged passers-by to run past the display. Those who beat the 10.5 mile-per-hour pace won a new pair of the ZPump 2.0 shoes. These kinds of advertisements are effective ways to drive engagement from consumers.

Benefits of Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

In addition to the extensive variety of ad formats you can execute, digital out-of-home advertising also offers the following advantages:

  1. Location-based advertising

Combined with data, we can strategically identify out-of-home screens to target users based on their locations of where they work, live and play.

Location-based advertising is a valuable technique if you’re planning to open a new branch or want to increase your presence in a certain area. This kind of on-ground advertising supplements your geo-targeted digital marketing efforts, making sure your brand has an offline and online presence.

  1. Proximity to point of sale

You can place your digital out-of-home ads near points of sale to drive more traffic into your stores. You can use environment-based and time-based triggers to spur ‘here and now’ sales.

One example is Benadryl’s smart pollen count screen. The ad measures and displays the amount of pollen in the area, alerting passers-by when the number is high. This convinces people with allergies to go into the nearby store and purchase their medication.

digital billboards in the road

  1. Immunity to ad blockers

Ad fatigue has become a problem for many consumers, which led to an increased usage of ad blockers. According to a report by PageFair, 94 per cent of worldwide mobile ad blocking occurs in Asia.

Ad blockers limit the reach of your online ads and skew your monitoring and analytics. It’s difficult to assess the performance of your online ads when they don’t even reach the people you’re targeting.

Digital outdoor ads, on the other hand, are immune to ad blockers. Plus, they’re unskippable. This increases the likelihood that passers-by will see and engage with your out-of-home ads.

  1. Programmatic ad buying

Programmatic technology makes ad buying easier, even digital out-of-home ads. Leveraging this technology lets you secure the display space that gives your ads the most exposure. Marketing measure firm Nielsen reports that programmatic DOOH ads can increase your reach by as much as 303 per cent when it’s used in combination with mobile and web messaging.

You can also use software and real-time data to serve, track and measure your DOOH ads, the same way you do with online ads.

  1. Powerful call-to-action

One downside to traditional outdoor advertising is the lack of a call-to-action. Static printed ads aren’t likely to encourage passers-by to contact you or visit your website.

DOOH advertising, on the other hand, is much more engaging than traditional outdoor ads. Marketers can use videos and animated gifs to capture attention and make it more interesting to the users.  The increased use of QR codes can double as a call-to-action, leading to better conversions.

Conclusion

With these benefits, it’s not surprising that global consulting firm, PWC, found digital out-of-home advertising to be the second fastest-growing advertising medium. As businesses realise the value of this marketing technique, the number of digital outdoor ads will keep growing – and they’ll be more creative and sophisticated than ever.

Don’t let your competitors surpass your advertising efforts. Incorporate digital out-of-home advertising into your overarching marketing campaign as a fresh and cohesive way to engage your audience, and allow your brand to establish a strong brand presence online and offline.

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