Top 5 Questions About Out of Home Advertising

I spend a good portion of the year traveling to cities across our great land, conducting meetings to introduce our services, explore potential partnerships and discuss the Out of Home landscape in general. My goal is to increase awareness about EMC Outdoor and OOH by painting a clear picture of how we might solve pain points when it comes to out of home planning and placement.

One of the things I enjoy is creating an “a-ha” moment in my meetings, stoking the creative flames of my audience or providing a much-needed solution to an ongoing problem.  I strive for an open dialogue of questions and discovery.  Interestingly, I find that I get some of the same questions time and again, and I thought I’d share them with you.  Here are the Top 5, in no particular order:

Q: “Wait – isn’t Out of Home just billboards & buses?”

A:  Not by a long shot! There are literally hundreds of OOH formats in existence, both traditional, like billboards and buses, and ones you’ve probably never heard of, like Segway ads.  Often agencies might not have thought about certain formats that can effectively reach the intended target audience.  While billboards and wallscapes provide great reach and frequency with their dominant presence, place-based formats such as gas pump advertising, ads in health clubs, medical offices and restaurants offer a geo-targeted approach to reaching the desired audience. We’re a great resource when it comes to bringing non-traditional OOH strategies to the table.

 

Q: “We understand the value of OOH – but how can you help us convince our clients of its value?”

A: There’s been some big news recently about revisiting the value of OOH: a recent independent study by Omnicom’s Benchmarketing suggests not only using Out of Home in your media plan, but allocating more media dollars towards it.  Agencies need to be having the discussion with their clients that OOH is no longer a novel afterthought, but a critical piece to their media mix.  And for those advertisers that are currently using OOH in their marketing efforts, experts are recommending that spend be ramped up significantly.

 

Q: “I’m starting to hear about how Mobile Data is connecting to Out of Home – what’s the big deal?”

A: There’s no question digital is omnipresent in our everyday lives; 79% of US consumers own smartphones (ComScore, Jan 2016).  And recent studies suggest consumers are engaging with their mobile devices after being exposed to the brand on Out of Home media.  In fact, consumers are 48% more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the brand through OOH (Ocean: Beyond OOH, Neuroinsight, 2016).

Still not convinced?  Even though Out of Home on average constitutes about 7% of an advertiser’s media budget, it actually generates 26% activation share for search engine engagement (Nielsen, OOH Online Activation Survey, 2017).  The takeaway from that survey suggests that OOH is a major ROI generator and that more media dollars should be allocated towards it.

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Q: “I have a contact at [insert-big-media-company-name-here] – so I’ve got things covered, right?”

A:  Not necessarily.  In our 26 years of existence, we’ve built an extensive and comprehensive database of vendor information.  Simply stated, there isn’t an OOH vendor out there that we don’t know about or haven’t worked with.

Many agencies I visit have their go-to relationships, and this is something we both expect and respect.  Vendors are a very important part of the OOH ecosystem, but in my experience, most agencies have a limited view of all available vendors.  Questions to always consider are “What alternative OOH is available?”, and “Have I covered all of the available vendors in the markets I am researching?”

As one example, When you start digging in to rural markets and looking for available inventory, you discover quickly that it’s not an easy undertaking.  Often there are many smaller “mom and pop” billboard operators that don’t show up on a radar screen, but may possess relevant inventory for the client’s campaign.  But who are they?  How can I connect with them?  We remove that cumbersome workload off your plate and streamline the entire process.

 

Q: “We’re really interested/excited about the idea of experiential – how do we start?”

A: If it’s your first time digging into experiential, definitely tap an expert.  Experiential campaigns bring the brand to life, providing consumers an opportunity to interact with the brand. When executed correctly, ROI can be very high, but planning and critical logistical elements like contingency plans will make or break a campaign. An experiential expert will help you navigate all the inevitable moving pieces needed to launch a successful campaign.

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The next thing to consider is budget.  High quality, professionally produced experiential campaigns aren’t cheap.  But, the additional budget is money well spent when the end result is a positive experience and prolonged brand recall from consumers. It’s also important to have clear goals that are focused on outcomes and consumer actions.  Do you want to create an event, or integrate/attach to an existing event?

While these are the most common questions I get, I’m sure you have your own. We’d be happy to set up a time to answer your team’s Out of Home questions.

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Brad Swisher
VP, Strategic Partnerships EMC Outdoor
Brad has worked in the out of home industry for 23 years. When not busy traveling and meeting with clients, he enjoys spending time with family, playing golf, listening to music and cheering on the Broncos.

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