Branding Locally in the Time of Covid

“Know your audience” has always been a key mantra driving advertising; today it is more relevant and imperative that marketers select appropriate media  to reach the audience with greater precision based on behavioral data.  Local Out of Home media distinctly and uniquely operates in the real world, offering marketers an opportunity to connect based on behaviors by time, place, context and with creativity.

Campaigns with broad national and in some cases worldwide scope became the norm over the last decade.  Tinkering at the margins were the local and regional budgets. Notably, small businesses generate almost half of U.S. economic activity, and will be essential to the economic recovery.   With country border’s closing, different parts of our country reopening to different degrees,  and a new WFH paradigm, branding to a local audience can deliver more impact, relevance and positive brand image than ever before. With recent advancements in targeting data and planning technology local Out of Home media is now in a position to provide highly targeted local campaigns that can be easily and efficiently be replicated at scale.

Building Community Trust With Local Out of Home Media:

Brands can build trust during these uncertain times by developing messages of unity, support, safety and value.  Local Out of Home media  is still the most tangible channel for content delivery and taps into the power of proximity.  Localizing the campaign with multiple touchpoints on a daily journey by commute or high frequency visits to the grocery store for instance, articulates brand safety without it having to be stated. While traffic has returned to almost normal levels in many markets the patterns have changed. Consumers are generally staying closer to home and accessing local businesses more than in the past. Local Out of Home media campaigns can reassure consumers that businesses are still open and viable to help drive consumer actions. 

A recent study by Vox Media found that a local vs national news ad drove brand metrics higher for recall, opinion, interest and relevance.  Designing creative for local Out of Home media that includes relevant references and images has shown to be equally effective connecting your brand to a target audience with relevance and higher recall, driving similar high-performance return.

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Managing Limited Budgets with Local Out of Home Media

According to Forrester Research, global ad spending will decline by 23% year over year.  As a result, many brands are compelled to manage their ad budgets more efficiently with the most cost-effective solutions.  ROI accountability remains very important to budget allocations and continuous ad spend per channel.  Brands have managed this challenge by focusing on key markets and audiences, integrating local Out of Home media into their plans because it has one of the lowest CPMs of all media channels and drives online search as well as secondary actions.

Out of Home is the only choice when seeking a location-based marketing strategy with tangible benefits; it has been shown to lift return on investment by 83%, with higher levels of response and engagement according to a Factual 2018 study.  Uniquely, OOH intersects with our daily lives in all the ways we commute, travel, entertain and dine locally.  It sits squarely in the midst of our re-emergence from isolation into the great outdoors, reminding and repeating messages that are important to us and reinforcing the brands that support us during these challenging circumstances. 

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Strengthening Digital Strategy with Local Out of Home Media Campaigns

A recent Kantar study   suggests “marketers may be over reliant on digital channels for ads, as consumers tend to prefer offline channels overall because these are perceived to be better quality, more trustworthy, less intrusive and not overly targeted…”  It is also notable that Device ads have grown significantly during the virus crisis, over 6% in the last 6 mos.  Public feedback is mounting that rather than absorbing the content they are interested in, they are feeling overwhelmed by the ads and in some cases, tuning out. 

Local Out of Home media should play a larger role in an integrated plan, offering a different way to reach audiences. Multiple studies have shown Out of Home’s ability to improve the response to online media, drive search traffic and social activation at a rate that far exceeds other media. When consumers are suffering from digital fatigue advertisers should make use of any tool that can help improve the effectiveness of digital campaigns.

Unless you are in Times Square or along the Las Vegas Strip, OOH easily lives amongst us as we are traveling on highways, walking the streets, shopping, dining, entertaining and more. As a result credibility and contextual relevance are enhanced; location based messages are amplified with mass reach and it drives greater interest via search and ecommerce.  An integrated marketing strategy that includes a tangible element with OOH mentally sorts through the digital avalanche for an individual and leads to better recall.

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Local Out of Home Media Has a Key Role To Play in Recovery:

With it’s ability to reach highly targeted audiences, to do it effectively, to be scalable and cost effective, and to help support the performance of other media channels, local Out of Home can be a powerful partner in helping businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. It should not be considered as a last minute add-on, but instead should be looked at as an important part of any omni-channel media plan.

This is the time to strengthen your marketing strategy with OOH and be present with your audience. Reaching them at scale within the local market will cement a positive brand image and message.  Do it locally and reap the benefits of higher recognition and recall.

Contact us to learn more about how OOH media can strengthen your, or your clients media plan.