OOH shifts to digital and mobile to engage consumers on the go

Image by Luis Villa del Campo

Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising is just about the only traditional media channel that is still expanding. This is largely down to the digital conversion of billboards happening globally.

It is a trend that is picking up pace in emerging economies where the falling cost of LED screens is driving this growth. You don’t have to go further than Bukit Bintang, Malaysia’s shopping hub, to see how digital billboards have transformed the landscape.

According to Global Industry Analysts, the Asia-Pacific region is the largest and fastest growing outdoor advertising market at 8.6% CAGR.

The walls can talk, via smartphones

Mobile and beacon technologies are transforming OOH media, enabling advertisers to engage consumers on the go with timely, relevant and even personalized ads, messages and offers.

Billboards and beacons combine to create a truly interactive physical environment. And while online advertising is being regarded as disrupting the browsing experience, billboards position themselves as being informative.

With the integration of beacons, OOH goes beyond the physical environment, and can connect to their audience via their smartphones. Beacons allow marketers to create geo-targeted profiles of their audience so they can match their campaign to the most relevant audience and location.

Today the biggest and most visited airports are deploying beacons to improve the visitor experience. Applications range from guiding people to luggage pick-up locations and feeding shopping offers among others.

The integration of billboards, smartphones, and beacons creates some sort of virtual tour guide. It helps that these screens are present in major consumer hubs from airports to shopping malls.

OOH complements other media channels

For too long outdoor advertising stagnated because it suffered from a lack of transparency and flexibility. The arrival of digital billboards and online data makes it easier to measure the return-on-ad-spend of OOH campaigns.

It also combines seamlessly with other channels, and even amplifies their reach. In a 2012 survey by Touchpoints USA, when OOH is added to a media plan, it increased reach by 18% for TV and up to 68% for online campaigns.

People are spending more time out-of-home, but they are always connected. This means digital billboards can offer two levels of engagement – communicating a message and influencing immediate action. This can be anything from visiting a website, snapping and sharing for a contest, or even tracking a QR code to receive a digital voucher.

Contact us if you want to know how OOH can become a key part of your marketing mix and help you achieve your business objectives.

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