I always look forward to the Outdoor Advertising Association’s annual convention for the insights and inspiration it provides, and come back excited to bring new ideas and strategies to my clients.  Out of home media is, after all, incredibly dynamic with fresh types and applications emerging continuously.

Yet the baffling truth is it remains underutilized, especially when you see its share of voice in other areas around the world.  While the U.S. is holding steady at 5%, other nations boast OOH SOV upwards of 15%.  Part of this is an education process and part is a willingness to take risks on unproven strategies.

Still the out of home advertising industry in America keeps giving marketers reasons to take another look, something the convention clearly confirmed. Here’s a snapshot of learning from the presentations:

1: The battle cry of the meeting could be summed up as: Be creative, be imaginative and be urgent.  Great Ideas alone won’t get you there if you don’t act on them swiftly since the world keeps changing. The key note speaker, celebrated business author, Malcolm Gladwell recounted examples of this from his own experience and throughout business history, and urged the audience to take necessary risks to stand apart.

2: OOH produces the best combination of consumer reach and reaction of all media with 43% of purchases made within the content of out of home media.  While intuitively we’ve known this, a study by RealityMine confirmed it.

3: Beacon Technology is allowing mobile devices to measure OOH Media efficacy.  Using existing WiFi hardware or beacon technology positioned on an OOH device, a marketer can learn how long a consumer stood in front a display, how many impressions it garnered as well as the frequency of the viewing. This will also enable us to tie a particular out of home ad space directly to a consumer action, such as store visit or purchase.

4: The OOH Industry continues to invest deeply in both qualitative and quantitative measurement. Currently, the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement (TAB) measures 85% of OOH Inventory, with transit ratings being released next month for widespread use in planning.

5: Great Creative Matters… as always, recipients of the 2015 OBIE Awards were honored at the annual gala, providing illustration of how powerful OOH can be when the right creative solutions are deployed. And the resources available through OAAA to guide creative development are deeper and richer than ever, such as a Creative Testing Tool and a new OBIE website with a robust search engine accessible on all mobile devices.

It’s obvious that OOH has yet to reach its pinnacle.  While other media struggle to stay relevant in a digital world, OOH has the right stuff to keep it efficient AND effective.  Want to know more? Contact us to learn more about out of home.