OUTFRONT and StreetMetrics Launch a Breakthrough in Dynamic Bus OOH Measurement

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Measuring bus out-of-home advertising through the consumer journey has gotten much easier thanks to a partnership between OUTFRONT Media and StreetMetrics. Their efforts have produced a breakthrough solution to dynamic measurement and attribution. Christina Radigan, Senior Vice President, Strategic Research & Insights, OUTFRONT and Drew Jackson, CEO of StreetMetrics explained how this achievement enables planning, reveals campaign insights, and streamlines attribution analysis for bus advertising.

According to Radigan, OUTFRONT connects brands with consumers outside their homes through one of the largest and most diverse sets of billboard, transit, and mobile assets in America. It was within bus advertising specifically that they were first introduced to StreetMetrics. For Jackson, his company is a third-party media measurement platform specifically built for the outdoor advertising industry. "We got our start in the transit side," he noted, "But we measure more than that from planning to campaign to outcome measurement, providing the full funnel suite of metrics."

<>The partnership has resulted in a game-changing application for dynamic data -- fluid data which changes over time -- that is poised to strengthen the entire out-of-home market. "StreetMetrics' measurement product uses historical data to provide the potential number of impressions, reach, and frequency that could be associated with bus media and associated custom packages," Radigan explained. What sets this innovation apart is that "through this dynamic product, we have the ability togatherinsights and correlate exposure to bus advertising to a broad range of consumer behavior outcomes. That's a key differentiator and leading force of measurement for OUTFRONT," Radigan added.

Capturing and measuring dynamic bus data involves a variety of data sets and protocols in conjunction with different ad campaigns. Jackson noted that, "You have to look at the unit level, the individual bus ad formats, and you have to get really granular with time. Also, campaigns are always changing. The campaign that's on a specific bus today is not always the same as next week or next month and the interaction, types and amounts of people that are coming in contact with that media are always changing. We have to consider seasonality and other external forces that impact who sees the buses, such as when Covid hit and people were not going outside and traveling less. We need to understand the ebbs, flows and movements and the connection points of these data sets, and ultimately, our tools help surface these types of insights."

For OUTFRONT, the goal was to, according to Radigan, "modernize measurement tools for bus campaigns and have the ability to look back over time to understand trends and seasonality in each market and also to see how markets respond to events and real-world conditions."

Each market is unique, the audience for "a bus advertising campaign in Miami might look very different than a campaign in New York City, not just in terms of how many, the size of audience, but also the demographics and psychographics, and that can change month to month," she stated. "We are eager to better understand audiences to drive value for bus advertising, especially around major events such as the New York Marathon or Art Basel (Miami)." In the near future, according to Radigan, it will be possible to correlate audience exposures to outcomes such as footfall visits to a store or a website. "For example, with Wendy's we were able to show that exposure to bus ads drove net new visits to Wendy's locations in Boston."

For Radigan, StreetMetrics' protocol is helping to evolve out of home's transition from a media format used predominately for brand messaging and awareness to one used to drive lower funnel behavior. "The opportunity as I see it is out of home is delivering on brand messaging exceptionally well, but we're now also proving the efficacy of lower funnel proof points for which oftentimes marketers relied on other channels to deliver. The ultimate goal is to grow OOH's share of advertiser spending and having this toolset helps us go after and earn that share."

This is a collaborative effort that Radigan doesn't envision being exclusive of other out-of-home companies. In fact, she sees this innovation as a channel-wide competitive advantage, "We want to grow the pie for transit media and the entire OOH sector, ultimately competing for dollars currently spent on CTV, retail media, online and other measured mediums. The breadth and volume and types of insights StreetMetrics surfaces helps us do just that."

The response from the agencies has been gratifying. "Last year we doubled the amount of attribution studies we commissioned on behalf of clients; a six-fold increase from pre pandemic. I think they're energized, really excited about it, and they've been thrilled with having the outcomes and measurement that we weren't able to provide years ago. Advertisers are leaning in and using the channel against different KPIs and we're seeing repeat business as a result."

Next steps include further benchmarking and, a "continued collaboration with internal stakeholders, to really dive in, evaluate what we have learned and look at how we optimize our offering in each market in a meaningful way. Because of the newness around this technology, it's important we bring in the relevant stakeholders within our own business and improve the accessibility of the tools," she concluded.

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