There have been significant advancements in measuring the effectiveness of out-of-home (OOH) advertising. One huge sign of that is a new standard from Clear Channel Outdoor that measures incrementality.
The term "incrementality measurement" refers to the approach of understanding to what extent a given medium (in this case OOH) helped to drive new or additional actions that would not have occurred unless consumers were exposed to an ad, explained Campbell Keller, Clear Channel Outdoor's Director, Product Development.
It's one thing to understand if consumers visit a certain retail outlet because of an OOH campaign. It's another to understand even deeper behavioral insights, like new customer acquisition and brand loyalty. For example: "[Visitation] attributes can paint a picture for a brand about new customer interactions at their store locations -- people that haven't visited a store location before, or consumers who were already engaging with the brand but are increasingly so -- as a result of the media exposure," Keller explained.
To measure incrementality in a standardized, unbiased manner, Clear Channel leverages its RADARProof attribution solution. "[We can measure] offline visitation as a result of an OOH campaign to retail locations -- taking into account what days of the week, what times of the day, as well as how often a consumer visits a store after being exposed to an OOH ad. We can then measure other influences the campaign had from a frequency and reach perspective," Keller said. RADARProof also measures online activities, such as visits to a particular website or mobile app, as well as offline household purchases of consumer packaged goods or automotive vehicles.
Keller stressed, however, that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to OOH measurement. Rather, it should be based on the outcomes brands and advertisers are looking to deliver.
"In thinking about it from an attribution perspective, it depends on what we're trying to measure," he explained. "We wouldn't model visitation behaviors if the KPI [key performance indicator] was to drive tune-in, for example. We want to make sure it's customized for each customer's unique campaign goal."
The results offer added insights into the value of OOH advertising, not only for Clear Channel but for the industry. "There has been higher scrutiny of advertising dollars as a whole," Keller said. "We want to demonstrate how our channel is driving strong outcomes for brands, whether it's driving new customers, or driving an increased number of interactions amongst existing customers."
To solidify all insights, Clear Channel has partnered with leading attribution providers that set the pre- and post-baselines for measuring each campaign and construct the consumer groups. In this way, Clear Channel is not "grading its own homework."
Clear Channel is also able to measure primary and secondary campaign goals, especially as campaigns start to have more than one objective. At the core, though, is using the same exposed group dataset across these multiple measurement panels to align the exposed OOH consumers used for campaign attribution. "By using geo-location data, it's now possible to match out-of-home exposure closely to a point-of-sale interaction," Keller noted.
The results are revealing. Keller explained that Clear Channel has been conducting joint measurement with brand surveys and CPG (consumer packaged goods) sales studies that show upper-funnel lifts in KPIs like purchase intent are often aligned with lift in actual sales, even when conducted with different attribution partners. In addition, "We're seeing a lot more traction in lower-funnel [results], not just on CPG sales, but also with automotive sales, helping to drive spend for new categories," he said. Among the categories leaning into this advanced form of measurement with Clear Channel are pharmaceutical as well as other direct-to-consumer products.
New consumer behaviors sparked by the pandemic have made online engagement studies more imperative. Some consumers are no longer interested in eating inside a fast food restaurant, and instead, opt to pick a meal up and eat elsewhere, Keller said. By matching OOH exposure data with a brand's app data through their MMP (mobile measurement provider] one can measure engagement.
With some categories, the pandemic's impact on behavior has presented some challenges. Take credit unions, for example. "Most new account openings are now happening online versus in person," he said. "Customizing measurement solutions to be more web-based obviously has its own set of challenges. You can't necessarily click on a billboard. But being able to showcase how we're still able to drive consumers to a brand's website has been incredibly key for us."
Because of the range of data available, it is possible to glean unexpected insights from the results. Keller noted a particular instance where an advertiser experienced no lift. "We were still able to identify that OOH did a great job of increasing the brand's market share relative to other competitors and drive new customers to the brand," he said. As a result, there was an increased understanding that lift does not necessarily determine success of a campaign. "There are a lot of ways you can tell a story and how effective a campaign is through other aspects of measurement and attribution," he added.
Through it all, the goal is "to continue to offer solutions for advertisers to allow them to make informed decisions, especially among sales channels like programmatic out-of-home, so they can continue to drive strong results," Keller concluded.
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