The introduction of a digital option has changed the communications landscape over the last few decades, and advertising has been one area significantly impacted. Shifting from print ads to digital has led some mediums scrambling to adjust. However, one area that has been uniquely successful in adapting to this shift is out-of-home (OOH) advertising. From billboards to public transit pieces, OOH is not seeing the same decline in advertising revenue that other print sources may be experiencing. While other formats struggle with going digital, OOH is maintaining its share of ad expenditures.\
OOH by the numbers
According to the MAGNA Global Advertising Forecast for 2018, digital advertising sales, across the board, will grow by +15.6% in 2018 bringing this segment up to almost half of global advertising revenues. This includes advertising online as well as other sources. The expected growth in 2018 for OOH advertising specifically, according to MAGNA, is moderate, at +2%, but it’s still seeing growth where other areas are not. This is due, in part, to OOH advertising’s ability to produce digital inventory such as digital billboards and interactive posters.
Other components for growth
OOH advertising is seeing growth because it’s different from other forms of traditional, printed advertising. Having physical locations for advertising has helped because you’re able to expose your audience to your ad regardless of whether it is on a printed or digital billboard. They can’t click away like with a pop-up ad or decide not to pick up a physical publication where you’ve placed your ad – with a billboard they pass it and they most likely look.
Other factors that have impacted the ability for billboard sales to continue to grow include:
- A fixed inventory of OOH advertising space puts an increasing demand and a higher value on billboards, transit advertising, and other OOH locations.
- An increase in time consumers are away from home directly impacts the potential for views of OOH advertising. People are out of their house for up to 70% of their day, giving your billboard increased exposure.
- The expanding capabilities of OOH advertising is also a huge growth contributor. Offering digital billboards in addition to traditional billboards gives advertisers options they may not have in other mediums. Digital billboards also allow advertisers the flexibility to modify their ads in real-time in order to deliver a more comprehensive campaign.
The impact of taking OOH advertising digital
Data has become quite an essential piece of marketing strategies across business today. Methods that can deliver measured results to show the return on investment (ROI) of a particular ad or ad format are going to be more popular than those that cannot. Beyond taking OOH advertising digital in its ad pieces, the industry is using technology to compile improved data they can share with their clients.
Through the inclusion of advanced sources like connected cars and anonymous data from mobile devices, OOH advertising can produce detailed, location-specific feedback to help inform advertisers interested in honing in on a specific audience or looking to learn more about the effectiveness of an ad placed in a specific location.
How the digital shift in OOH affects marketing strategies
As opportunities to use digital become available in OOH advertising, marketers are modifying their campaigns, leading to more engaging and attractive pieces on billboards, at bus shelters, and in subway stations. The ability to make your ad interactive is now an option. Posters aren’t just necessarily a piece of paper up on a wall, but they can have AI capabilities and function much like Siri or Alexa does already. They can become a giant touch screen, to allow your audience to directly interact with your ad. You may have already seen this type of poster in places where consumers naturally have to stand and wait, such as for a bus or train or even in the airport.
Digital billboards enable you to create dynamic content that can change throughout the life of your campaign to increase the impact of your advertising. Are you counting down to a big sale? Your digital ad can change daily to build excitement. Are you a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Change your ad to tease out each meal throughout a single day. This capability allows advertisers to interact and attract an audience throughout an entire marketing campaign rather than focusing on a single element.
There’s even the potential to engage consumers by offering them augmented reality elements by simply viewing your ad through their mobile device. Literally, make your ad pop and come to life by asking your audience to stop and engage with your ad piece.
The possibilities may be endless
With all of these developments already pushing OOH advertising out in front of many other traditional mediums, it’s fun to think about what digital technology might usher in next. It’s also satisfying to see an established form of advertising adaptable to the digital shift, focusing on solutions that improve the experience for advertisers and consumers.