Performance and measurement have become synonymous with digital OOH now that data gives us the platform optimise planning and demonstrate outcomes. 

Technology and data have been systematically transforming the digital out-of-home (DOOH) marketplace for some time now, and as we emerge from the cloud of the pandemic, DOOH has emerged as a unique and powerful channel for performance marketers to leverage.    

Data-driven OOH

When the pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, people were forced to spend more time indoors. For OOH, this became a significant challenge. OOH agencies had to pivot tools primarily built for optimisation and campaign measurement to develop a better understanding of channel exposure. 

With the acceleration of digital transformation within the channel, there has been an evolution in technology which manages and activates billions of device-level audience data points to create new insights about how people behave and how to reach and engage them while on-the-go. This enables data-driven, audience targeting and campaign measurement that hasn’t previously been possible. 

The best of breed tools use mobile location data obtained with direct consent from users when a mobile app is downloaded on their mobile device, and combine proprietary data science models to understand the behaviours of OOH audiences. 

Over the course of the last year, many brands have embraced data application in OOH, with uses ranging from audience optimisation and creative allocation to new outcome-based measurement techniques. For some brands, mobility data was used to monitor and calculate regional weights and to ensure these complemented and offset TV volumes. Additionally, data was used to negotiate value where footfall had significantly changed due to Covid-19, such as train stations and shopping centres . 

Using a scalable data management platform (DMP) can help to effectively process this data at speed. This aggregated data can then be used to identify changes in audience movements and predict how different situations can prompt different patterns of behaviour – whether that is around lockdown restrictions or something like the recent Euro 2020 tournament.

OOH and performance measurement

Evaluation and measurement have always been must haves for marketers. At Talon, for example, we have developed our own DMP, known as Ada, to make precise and accurate performance measurement possible even in an offline broadcast medium like DOOH. The platform has been built to provide outcome-based measurement by harnessing mobile location data to report on campaign exposure and footfall to store during and after a campaign. 

When it comes to using this data to produce targeted advertising activations, Ada fuels Talon’s automated trading (PROOH) platform Atlas. Through direct DOOH integrations, Atlas creates an optimised OOH schedule for brands. 

In a recent campaign for Fineco, activated via this platform, we saw an increase in purchase intent of seven p.p. which is significantly higher than the measured benchmark for OOH. As this case study indicates, by activating OOH campaigns against the right audience group, outcomes are produced at the lower end of the brand funnel. This approach allows advertisers to understand whether consumers have taken physical action after being exposed to an ad and how to shift campaign strategies to increase the likelihood of this action. 

Understanding audiences, activating against them, and measuring results will always be key elements of marketing. In recent years, marketers have relied on unfettered access to third-party cookies to do much of the heavy lifting. 

In today’s fast-changing environment, systems that harness consensual and anonymised location data should be considered as readily available alternatives and the new role for OOH ads in driving performance outcomes should be recognised and embraced.