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DOOH – Using Smart Tech to Reach the Right Audience

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Recent years have seen out-of-home (OOH) advertising in the form of traditional static billboards and adverts transition rapidly to a modernised new format, digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH).

DOOH has tapped into the overarching trends surrounding video marketing, we are more engaged with moving image and video than ever before and since video technology is becoming ubiquitous, this is only strengthening our relationship with the medium. A famous Forrester study entitled ‘how video will take over the world’ made the sensational claim that a video of 1 minute in length was worth 1.8 million words and though the raw figure is perhaps exaggerated, indeed humans are heavily optimised to learn, analyse and absorb information from moving images and video. After all, we’ve evolved with the world moving around us.

DOOH is now climbing to new heights, smart technology integrated with DOOH is augmenting the marketing process to make it more effective, more precisely targeted and more interactive, engaging and fun for the consumer. Agile businesses that partner with adept DOOH advertising partners like Mass Media are likely to be in the best position to take advantage of this powerful new marketing medium.

OOH and DOOH

The advantages of OOH stem from the ability to place ads outside in a brand-safe environment. Online and print advertising runs the risk of poor or inappropriate ad placement, your ads may be covered by others or placed on sites where they do not belong meaning they’re wasted on their audience, if they’re seen at all.

OOH adverts also come across as permanent and they are not easily ignored, especially if they’re well-placed next to waiting spaces or areas where footfall is relatively static, e.g. a bus stop. As a form of ‘interruption marketing’ that cannot be switched off, OOH adverts become familiar to us and create a sense of trust and intimacy with the brand.

Advertising out-of-home allows brands to distinguish geographical areas where their ads can take maximum advantage of their unique viewability – brands can place adverts in regions and districts where they believe they’ll have the greatest impact. Also, OOH advertising spaces are usually physically larger, meaning there’s a greater potential for displaying large format, well-designed and detail-packed adverts.

DOOH builds on this strong foundation but the same fundamental advantages exist in DOOH as they do for OOH.

The Innovations of DOOH

Digital billboards allow brands to display videos, animations and other rich media. They can transition between slides, providing a level of detail impossible to achieve through any other advertising medium. Leveraging moving image is an interactive and engaging way beyond the capabilities of static image – our brains process video much faster; we’re more magnetised, receptive and willing to take action. This UK study suggested that social media calls to action, (CTAs), rocketed when static OOH adverts were updated to DOOH and that they were 2.5 times more impactful than traditional ads.

The huge advantages of video marketing over print marketing have been established for some time and DOOH seems to mirror these. For example, according to Forbes, 90% of customers said that product videos inform their purchasing decisions, 64% were more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it and 59% would rather watch a video than read text. DOOH captures the indisputable advantages of video over text and since the technology is more accessible than ever, it’s the ideal time for businesses to get involved take advantage.

The Future of DOOH

So what room for expansion is there for DOOH? Plenty!

  1. Data-Driven Marketing

By digitising billboards, advertisers are able to take advantage of data to optimise adverts based on their geographical locations and likely audience. The utility of data science has already been realised for marketers, bringing value to businesses who are looking to maximise their strategies. Location data from smartphones provide a wealth of information on the demographic makeup of a geographical location, the ages, occupations and existing brand affiliations of those who occupy the space.

This data is actionable, digital billboards can be changed to respond to footfall dynamics, e.g. to capture the attention of commuters in the morning and afternoon before transitioning to adapted adverts optimised for nighttime viewers. Better than ever before, brands can take advantage of advanced user and location data to reach the right audience.

  1. Interactive Content

Digital billboards are becoming more interactive featuring novel games, quizzes and other content that passers-by can interact with. Some brands have taken this a step further, for example, KitKat in Bogota deployed billboards that vibrate when you rub your back against them, simulating a massage fitting in with their ‘take a break’ slogan. Walkers created an interactive billboard combined with a vending machine, Gary Linekar would seemingly interact with people encouraging them to tweet @walkers_busstop and as a reward, they were dispensed a free pack of Walkers’ crisps! The future of this perhaps lies in facial recognition, we’ve already seen some billboards that capture faces and place them inside the advert. Of course, this is still relatively unchartered territory and brands will need to use some tact with cutting-edge technology like facial recognition.

  1. Integration

Digital billboards can be integrated with marketing strategies to create cohesiveness across the marketing funnel. Mobile ads can be pushed to billboards and vice-versa, centralising the process of creating ads and broadcasting them across the marketing network. Digital billboards can also work in tandem with mobile apps and social media, QR codes can provide those who interact with them discounts or other free stuff. Building reciprocity and familiarity with digital billboards is much enhanced compared to static advertising.

Summary

Digital is undoubtedly the future of OOH billboarding. Creative, powerful, engaging and interactive, digital billboards are capturing the attention of the public to instil unforgettable messages. Since video has become ubiquitous in our lives, it’s perhaps no wonder that we’re becoming heavily engaged with it. After all, humans are visual beasts, optimised to process moving images more effectively than any other information. DOOH captures this innate skill and ability, leveraging it to get more out of marketing and advertising strategies whilst bringing fun and interactivity to our busy lives.

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