Rise of OOH

Every single new data helps us understand our audiences’ user journey better and brings us closer to pushing through all the current noise.

Do you remember looking at the Lazada advertisement on the train this morning? What about walking past the SK-II pop up store at Orchard? These are all various forms of out-of-home (OOH) media. With so much noise nowadays, the media saturation is at an all-time high. As a marketer, it’s important to constantly challenge our assumptions and knowledge. Every single new data helps us understand our audiences’ user journey better brings us closer to pushing through all the current noise.

11.11 banners displayed in MRT stations

The term OOH encompasses all the traditional OOH mediums you may already know billboards (static and digital), buses, taxis, events and many more. However, over the years there’s been a “level up” to the way traditional mediums are used and the execution of campaigns. Examples include billboard ads with real-time data reporting, events with augmented reality and many more that we will further look at later on.

The reality is that the effectiveness of digital, social, and mobile ads is on the decline. More than 30% of people are using adblockeron their smartphones. Hence, it’s crucial for brands to do omnichannel marketing/advertising and another reason why OOH is still prevalent. It is almost impossible for OOH media to one day become irrelevant and cease to exist.

Multiple digital billboards in the city

Social media ads are filtered to reach different audiences with varying social media habits. Hence, there may be a limit to how many consumers reachable for brands who only advertise online due to their limited consumer database. However, with OOH advertising, there is an opportunity for brands to expand their audience network and reel all kinds of customers in, instead of always targeting the same community of consumers.

OOH is still unique in the sense that it can make use of physical elements, creating opportunities for boundless creativity. Most OOH executions are made by playing around with time, location, weather conditions, and even live data feeds and current events. In that sense, this makes OOH ads more relevant and engaging. The virality of your ad depends on those physical elements, in which the execution translates to increased engagement and tapping into consumers’ affinity for your brand. Not to mention, there’s no need to fight for audiences’ attention when you have bought the ad placement for a time period.

In the past, brands mainly used demographics to decide the placement and execution of their OOH ads. However, today, it’s different from what it used to be. Now, with the easy access to consumers’ data that are far more insightful than before, it’s easier to understand the why(s), where(s), and how for brands’ OOH campaigns.

One great example of a creative OOH campaign would be from Spotify, their 2018 wrapped campaign. Spotify took their online “wrapped” campaign to billboard and the campaign creatives featured users’ profile picture alongside a breakdown of how they have listened to music in 2018. The live data was managed and distributed to media owners. Which is a great example of a real-time data reporting OOH campaign.

Another good example would be Amazon Prime’s “Good Omens” OOH campaign. With the purpose of promoting the new show, they created an application that appeared to immerse the crowds within apocalyptic scenes from the series. Using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, they were able to engage the audiences from Times Square with Kraken tentacles, UFOs and raining fish, shown on the billboards. As the crowds watched these scenarios unfold through a digital billboard, they were encouraged to pose for a photo which was then shared on social channels.

Now that we’ve understood the importance of OOH, if you’re wondering how you can better plan your OOH campaigns to boost your KPIs and connect with the trendy and well-connected consumers, here are some tips to help.

Break Down And Understand Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

People gathering around a whiteboard during a meeting

Yes, you have a campaign. You know you want to optimize OOH media to take your campaign to the next level and achieve virality, engagement and results. However, many brands either create content that is mundane or content that is not beneficial and only to spend the campaign budget. The first step to planning a better OOH campaign is to understand your brand’s marketing, advertising, and media goals. Even going to the extent to consider and list the specific objectives, clear and measurable goals. By doing so, there’s a roadmap for your team to follow as you set KPIs to evaluate the success tied to your specific business outcomes, be it more sales count, or increased website traffic and more.

Don't let data collect dust

stats of bounce rates and sessions

It’s time to go back to the basics - consumer journey, a day in the life, psychographics, demographics and more! You have to know what are the different influences present that shapes your consumers’ decisions along the path to your desired call-to-action. By understanding those key factors, you are able to effectively reach new audiences, such as Gen Zs, or those with lifestyles that may make it harder to reach through digital or social advertising alone. Remember to always tug at any research method you can get a hold of, all for the better understanding of your consumers.

Communicate! Collaborate!

colleagues discussing next to a laptop

The process from ideating to executing requires a dedicated and LARGE group of talented individuals with different roles and responsibilities. This may sound like common sense, but some things are easier said than done and in this case, effective communication and collaboration is so crucial. Doing the breakdown of your KPIs for the campaign with the team can help eliminate miscommunication and set clear goals for everyone to achieve despite the varying roles and tasks.

Always Evaluate Post-Campaign

Discussion during a meeting

The most important part of OOH media planning is understanding previous campaigns, looking out for the rights and wrongs. Hence, after your campaign, it is crucial to evaluate your campaign, whether it was successful or not. By doing so, there are always areas for you to improve on and again, data is never left to collect dust! The evaluation now may help in your future campaigns, not just the next one, you never know!


The big picture

Don’t be afraid to try out new things, consumers appreciate brands who acknowledge their growth and mistakes. With OOH, it may be a hit or miss but when done right with proper planning, there are only “good” and ”best” OOH campaigns, never bad ones.

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