The new Geopath Insights released earlier this month usher in a new era of Out of Home media planning. As an industry, we are shifting from a focus on the format and location to a focus on the audience. Planners now have access to complex and distinct audience segments that provide the building blocks for stronger and more targeted plans, all backed by support rationale from Geopath’s measurement numbers as a common currency for comparison and recommendations.

Remember the days when planning Out of Home was done with printed maps and dot stickers to show inventory? When media planners used rulers to draw lines with markers that demonstrated distance to target locations? How about using DEC (daily effective circulation) to make a billboard plan recommendation? Well, the future is here, and those days are long gone.

Now, Out of Home media planning is no longer only about the location of an ad space—the proverbial “stick in the ground”—but more about the behavior and demographic makeup of the audience seeing the ad space. It’s about where they are coming from and what they are going to do next.

As Kym Frank, President of Geopath states, “OOH has transitioned from being a medium that is ‘hard to measure’ to being one with access to state-of-the-art, accountable, transparent metrics. I am thrilled to see the industry embrace these new capabilities, providing even better planning and analytics on behalf of our advertising partners.”


Screenshot of the Geopath Insights platform.

Transition from Old to New

Data and measurement are constantly evolving toward a better, brighter future. For Geopath, that means greater precision and fidelity due largely to the availability of mobile and connected automobile data being leveraged. With what can be considered “new impressions” today, given how things have changed from the previous method of calculating inventory, Geopath Insights is using inputs that allow planners to analyze and segment data on a much more granular level.

Location has always mattered and will always matter. We can’t discredit the power of a perfectly placed bulletin or transit shelter at a busy exit or street corner. The shift we will see with Geopath’s new measurement methodology is about the ability to tell a better story with the information. In the past, our ability to target audiences was very limited, based solely on census data. Now, along with billboards placed in the direct vicinity of a target location, planners are able to recommend a set of locations that index high in an audience likely to take action with that brand.

Where is this data coming from to provide these unique and complex audience segments? Anonymized and aggregated data from more than 150 million mobile devices. After all, Pew Research shows 96% of Americans are using mobile connected devices. This is providing a level of validation of OOH measurement that has never before existed. It’s also putting the medium on an apples-to-apples comparison level to digital measurement.


Contextualizing Audience and OOH Media, from Geopath Standards and Best Practices.

A new level of audience targeting capabilities with Out of Home:

Across Out of Home, marketers and planners are becoming masters at demographic targeting and planning. The new Geopath measurements provide much deeper insight into behavioral targeting. Audiences are now defined by behaviors with a consideration for demographics. The methodology is built on anonymized mobile data, which allow for access to much more granular information about the audience. The use of Claritas Prizm profiles provides even deeper insights into audience behaviors.

Think I’m kidding? Here are a few examples. Audiences who have:

  • Drank Sprite Zero in the last 7 days
  • Remodeled a kitchen in the last 12 months
  • Ate breakfast at Panera Bread in the past 30 days
  • Attended a WNBA game in the past 12 months

Geopath Insights now includes enhanced behavioral audience (8,000+), custom geographies (40,000+) and soon, new media formats such as placed based and dynamic fleet.

We are now an audience-first industry, which means always starting from a clearly defined target audience is critical to building a successful OOH campaign. Given the expanded audience capabilities of Geopath Insights, we know more than ever about the audience viewing OOH inventory and can target audiences as effectively as any other advertising channel.

How will this benefit advertisers in the end?

The Geopath Insights numbers are revolutionary and an obvious boon for planners using them. It’s equally critical that brands and advertisers see value in them, too. There are a few key attributes that help frame the benefits more clearly.

Efficiency: Better targeting means more efficiency. The new measurements allow us to build more highly targeted and efficient plans. This means we can build campaigns that are both more effective and more cost efficient.

Accuracy: Planning is no longer a best educated guess. We now have the ability to cherry-pick OOH inventory that is indexing higher in reach to the exact audience as defined by the advertiser.

Support Rationale: Targeted Impressions, TRP, reach, frequency and composition index provide strong supporting data for OOH inventory selections and inclusion into an overall plan. (And guess what? Sometimes the support rationale matches previous recommendations for a unit, and in other cases it proves higher or lower.)

Common Currency: At last, a common currency for media selection and evaluation across OOH inventory owners. This allows for stronger, unbiased recommendations and increases client confidence in overall media plan recommendations.


The new Geopath Insights gives media planners a level of access to audience detail and geographic segmentation that solidifies OOH’s place in a media plan. Not only that, it helps justify increased ad-spend toward the medium.

As an agency, EMC Outdoor is so committed to the importance of this new measurement system that we are training our whole team on the platform and are requiring certificates be obtained by a deadline set internally. We are excited to be on this journey with our trusted industry partner, Geopath, and look forward to endless possibilities of audience engagement.

Contact Us to learn more.