Summer isn't always top-of-mind for marketing due to the transient, "away-from-home" nature of the season. But whether it's lawn mowers, bug repellent, grills, vacation travel or back to school fashion and school supplies, summer has proven time and time again to be a gold mine of opportunity for brands. And as advertisers know, effectively reaching and influencing an increasingly fragmented audience, one that spends 70 percent of their waking hours outside the home, has become incredibly challenging.
Now consider that 85 percent of purchases are made in brick and mortar retail and that out-of-home (OOH) advertising is proven to provide one of the strongest opportunities to influence consumer purchase decisions shortly before they happen. Layer on top of this the introduction of sophisticated, digitally-fueled audience planning, buying and attribution solutions that allow marketers to apply digital audience segmentation and targeting to OOH, ensuring advertising messages are delivered most efficiently to the right shoppers.
Add all this up, and increasingly OOH is emerging as a game-changing solution marketers are turning to for campaigns that cut through today's fractured and ever-changing media world and deliver measureable results and impact at the cash register.
Here's why … and how.
Dynamic Retail Targeting Drives Consumers to the Point of Sale
Consider how OOH has the unique ability to target specific retail locations and shoppers with call-to-action messaging, combined with digital OOH's ability to provide dynamic and flexible content to promote limited-time specials and sales. These features help drive consumers right to the point of sale and increase ROI using content that can change in real-time based on a store's changing inventory or promotional messaging. And nothing beats digital OOH by way of speed. Just ask Target.
Target was looking to increase trips to its brick and mortar stores and grow share of spend for their "Essentials" products. Using Target's real-time, first-party sales data, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) helped populate Target's digital billboard ads in participating markets with a dynamic product and messaging mix. Target featured specific products tailored to each market based on what was selling best in each participating store. Leveraging their own first-party data, the client controlled the product and price messaging in OOH just like they do in online digital advertising.
In addition, Target reinforced the OOH messaging with supporting geofenced mobile ads that retargeted consumers exposed to the OOH ads. Ultimately, the campaign increased trips to participating stores by three percent, compared with stores that did not benefit from the digital OOH campaign.
This integrated marketing poses a real boon for marketers wishing to more deeply engage with their consumers and drive earned media impressions. And brands can further engage with consumers by inviting them to share their purchases on Instagram or other social media feeds. Due to the addressable nature of digital OOH displays, these real-time social activations can make consumers the star of their own billboard, by dynamically pulling social content and displaying it as a component of advertisers' digital OOH advertising.
Beyond first-party data and social media content, third-party data is also used to drive dynamic and effective digital OOH campaigns. Target sought to drive consumers to its stores during allergy season while raising brand awareness for Zyrtec. Billboards near Target stores in five participating markets displayed a dynamic pollen count in real-time, using local data from Pollen.com for contextual relevance. The delivery of the Zyrtec and Target brand messaging, in the context of relevant health information, increased consumer engagement and impacted the drive to retail messaging. By using proximity marketing in a new and dynamic way, these boards effectively drove consumers to local Target retailers to purchase Zyrtec.
OOH + Mobile – A Powerful Combination to Amplify Your Targeted Marketing Campaigns
When paired with OOH -- the original location-based medium -- mobile results can be significantly greater. Take Boston Market. Last Thanksgiving, Boston Market wanted to make its restaurants the choice for families and friends to enjoy affordable, flavorful, catered meals at home. They specifically wanted to target 25-54-year-olds in the Baltimore/DC area. The solution was a combination of OOH advertising that targeted consumers within a five mile radius of local stores, reinforced by mobile ads to retarget consumers exposed to the OOH campaign.
The OOH and mobile combo drove additional awareness and generated a click-through rate 6X the industry benchmark for typical mobile campaigns.* What's more, this media plan maximized the reach of Boston Market's target in just a one-week time frame, delivering over 2.5MM OOH + mobile impressions.
New Sophisticated Targeting and Analytics Can Reach Specific Consumer Groups this Summer
There's more. Looking to reach moms or grocery shoppers during regular store hours? Do you want to reach consumers who have visited hardware stores at least once in the past 30 days? For the first time, the same audience-based, behavioral targeting that drives mobile advertising can be applied to OOH, enabling OOH to compete with its own highly-targeted and measurable ad campaigns.
Just this spring, CCOA introduced RADAR, the industry's first digital audience measurement solution for campaign planning, buying and attribution. RADAR enables marketers to use the same kinds of sophisticated audience segmentation, targeting and insights they already use in their digital campaigns and apply them to OOH advertising. Targeting anonymous, aggregated groups of consumers, RADAR illuminates consumer group travel patterns so marketers can reach the highest concentrations of their audience segments.
In addition, OOH now has the power to integrate location-based mobile data that links target audience, behavior patterns, location data and results so marketers know what's working and where it's working. Impressions are planned and delivered based on understanding of audience demographics and audience behavior. This allows marketers to know, for example, if moms who saw the sign for the sporting goods store were more likely to stop by the store to make a purchase than those who were not exposed to the OOH ad. This is OOH advertising infused with digital insights, providing better data on the kinds of consumers who are seeing your ad and ultimately revealing the full impact of the campaign.
And it's a proven game-changer for brands.
TOMS Shoes recently tapped RADAR to measure the impact of its OOH campaigns. By way of geo-fenced billboards and secure mobile location data, RADAR provided TOMS with specific measurement analytics including awareness, consumption, ad recall and brand engagement. RADAR attribution partner Placed provided aggregated, anonymous data that demonstrated the impact of TOMS' OOH advertising.
Looking to increase awareness of its social mission and encourage consumer action among the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, the philanthropic-minded shoe brand saw that those exposed to its OOH campaign were 25 percent more aware of TOMS' social mission versus those not exposed to the OOH ads. Further, those exposed to OOH showed a greater likelihood to engage with the brand including talking about it with friends (+122%), looking the brand up online (+43%), finding it in-store (+47%) and purchasing shoes or other products (+44%).
Summer's Not-So-Secret Weapon for Truly Relevant, Impactful Marketing
This convergence of dynamic, addressable digital OOH screens with mobile audience data and integration of customers' first-party data means advertisers can now leverage the power of location and audience insights to deliver the right message to the right audience at the critical time, in ways that are proven to impact consumers and drive retail behavior. And given OOH's powerful amplification abilities when paired with mobile and digital, it's no wonder more marketers are now turning to this OOH to make their ad campaigns relevant to consumers and drive measureable impact at the cash register -- in the summertime and beyond.
The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet, Inc. management or associated bloggers.