In today’s competitive market, businesses need effective advertising strategies. One key component is understanding the benefits of OOH advertising. This article delves into the top 5 advantages that Out of Home media offers and how it can contribute to a successful marketing strategy.

Businesses in all industries need advertising to survive and thrive. With the right messaging, strategy, and channel mix, even the smallest startups can compete against multi-national conglomerates. When it’s applied the right way, an advertising effort can become a great equalizer. 

That’s where Out of Home (OOH) advertising enters the equation. Having been around for decades, it has had to defend its place in an effective marketing strategy against alternatives like TV, digital, and streaming services. And yet, the benefits and effectiveness of OOH advertising remain as strong as ever. Consider these five benefits for businesses deciding whether or not they should dip their toes in.

5 Strategic Benefits of Out of Home Media

Out of Home’s most significant, overarching benefit is its ability to affect your audience in multiple ways. It is a versatile and flexible media channel that can be used to reach audiences in a variety of ways — from broad to highly targeted, from driving top-funnel awareness to driving bottom-funnel activation to improving the performance of other media — OOH is the ultimate media multi-tool that can help drive business results. It’s an important reason why OOH spending continues to rise. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, 79% of the top 100 OOH advertisers expect to increase their spending on this channel in 2023. 

Out of Home brings a lot to the table, but here are five key ways that it can improve your marketing plan:

  1. Building brand awareness and trust
  2. Increased ad recall
  3. Reaching Audiences That Other Media Can’t
  4. Flexibility in placement, format, and messaging
  5. Improving the performance of other media channels

Let’s explore each of these 5 OOH benefits in more detail.

1. Building Brand Awareness and Trust with OOH Advertising

Building brand awareness has always been one of Out of Home’s superpowers. (We’d like to see advertisers tap into some of its other power more – but that’s a different post) Its ability to reach large audiences cost-effectively and at scale is almost unparalleled. Low CPM’s coupled with prominent locations and unavoidable impact make OOH a true workhorse when it comes to media planning. Whether you are building awareness from scratch for a new brand or a product launch or maintaining mental availability for an established brand to retain existing customers, Out of Home can carry the load.

OOH can also play a significant role in building trust. A study by MarketingSherpa showed that 69% of people trust Out of Home media when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Consumers will inherently be more trusting of a brand in their community with a strong local presence. The physical nature of OOH media lends a feeling of stability and permanence to brands when the speed of advertising can be dizzying.

2. Increased Ad Recall: A Key Advantage of Out of Home Media

Advertising, as a rule, tends to be fleeting. There is certainly debate around frequency, but it is generally accepted that your audience needs exposure to multiple ads before they can remember your intended messaging. As a result, it’s crucial to focus on channels that increase the chances of recall, which is where Out of Home media tends to shine.

A study by Solomon Partners found OOH to be leading all other media in the aided recall, and ahead of all but podcasts and print in un-aided.

To put it simply, your audience is more likely to remember your Out of Home media than almost any other channel.

In addition to the practical effect of the ads simply working better, we also have to consider the secondary effect on the budget. If a media channel is working harder, it follows that it is more valuable; every dollar you spend is working harder.

3. Reaching Unique Audiences Through OOH Advertising

Over the last few years, advancements have moved OOH from primarily proximity-based targeting (although that still works great) to more audience-focused targeting. Out of Home media exists in the physical world, meaning targeted placement is essential to planning. And while we tend to focus on straightforward demographic info like age, ethnicity, and income, OOH can be used to reach a more specific audience that might be unreachable with other media.

For example, consider the media choices for an underrepresented or underserved community you have been trying to reach. Unreliable internet or lack of technology availability may make reaching that community with digital media more challenging. But everyone needs to go outside; when they do, they will encounter your messaging within their community.

The same is also true when comparing OOH to other alternatives. Consider, for example, the increasing difficulty of reliably reaching your audience with TV ads in the age of cord-cutting. Cord-cutters/never households now account for 47% of the total. That means reaching them with traditional TV is becoming increasingly difficult. But, while audience behaviors might change, they still need to leave home, whether to go to work, shop for groceries, visit friends, or find other ways to pass through the physical locations where they will encounter Out of Home media.

4. Flexibility in Placement, Format, and Messaging

Another OOH advertising benefit is variety – of all the media channels that marketers can work with; it is the one with the most variation in formats, where they are, what they look like, how consumers will view them, etc. This gives Out of Home the ability to deliver a relatively complex set of touchpoints for the consumer that can have different targeting, messaging, and purpose but are all reinforcing and amplifying each other.

Consider that a highway bulletin can reach a huge audience with a relatively brief (seven words or less please!) message. This can be reinforced with street furniture targeted to specific neighborhoods that will build frequency and deliver a more relevant message to that community. Bus interiors with long dwell times can further amplify that to deliver a more detailed benefits message and call to action with a QR code that can be easily scanned while the rider is seated. This is just one example – with the vast menu of OOH formats, marketers can mix and match different market-audience-format-message combinations to optimize their mix.

benefits of ooh in media formats chart

5. Enhancing the Performance of Other Media Channels

Last but certainly not least, Out of Home never exists in isolation. OOH quietly works beside other media channels, making them all stronger. Out of Home is at its best when it is a strategically integrated part of the media plan and not an afterthought. At the recent OAAA conference Clear Channel Outdoor CEO, Scott Wells described Out of Home as the “team player that makes the team play better,” which is a wonderful explanation.

For instance, one study found that a benefit of OOH advertising is that it can boost the business effects of almost every other advertising channel:

  • 54% boost for online search
  • 20% boost for social media
  • 33% boost for TV
  • 17% boost for radio
  • 14% boost for press and print

Unsurprisingly, the above-mentioned economic impact study found OOH advertisers to reduce their Customer Acquisition Costs by as much as 400% and more. The ability of this one channel to serve as the fulcrum of a highly successful multi-channel marketing campaign is impossible to deny.

This was also validated in a 2017 Nielsen study that found that Out of Home ads drove four times more online activations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram than expected, given its spend, significantly outpacing TV, radio, and print ads. 

In practical terms, this means that OOH is a powerful budget amplifier. A relatively modest investment in OOH makes the rest of your media plan perform much better, ultimately improving the ROI and ROAS for all your other media.

Leveraging OOH Advertising Benefits as a Key Business Strategy

In conclusion, Out of Home media offers businesses an invaluable tool in their advertising arsenal. Its versatility, ability to build brand awareness and trust, increased ad recall, unique audience reach, flexibility, and the positive impact it has on the performance of other media channels make it an essential component of any marketing plan.

As businesses continue to adapt and compete in an ever-evolving landscape, OOH advertising remains a steadfast and reliable resource, effectively bolstering their marketing strategies and driving tangible results. By leveraging OOH media, businesses can confidently position themselves for success in today’s dynamic market.

Ready to tap into the power of Out of Home advertising for your next activation? Connect with EMC Outdoor to start your journey to advertising success.