Avoid These 4 Common OOH Planning Mistakes

Out-of-home (OOH) media has been changing in more ways than one. However, it is still unfairly categorised as just "billboards" by many in the industry. The traditional methods of planning billboard advertising cannot do justice to a medium that is now data-driven, dynamic, and present everywhere. 

OOH’s growing success can only be fully taken advantage when marketers consider all elements of a campaign. From content generation to media formats, geographical factors and audience targeting; there are many ways to go about to increase effectiveness.

As technology continues to change how OOH is planned, bought, and delivered, marketers need to be quick to adapt and take full advantage of the new possibilities. Just like the shift to automated platforms for buying online advertising, there will be a teething period before buyers get more comfortable with using platforms for OOH media. 

Here are a few planning mistakes that need to be kept in mind when planning OOH media campaigns. 

1. Failure to Execute During the Right "Moments"

Traditionally, OOH has always been planned around seasons and occasions. There may be additional layers like sales and product launches. But a majority of these planning aspects are static in the sense that they don't account for "moments".

"Micro-moments" are well known and planned for in the digital world. These are the moments that shape purchases or at least, indicate intent - when a consumer looks for specific information, for example. 

Similar moments are happening in the offline world all the time. The drive from home to work or the commute back home. The frequent visits to a specific coffee shop. Heading to a fuel station to fill up. Consumer mindsets are completely different depending on where they are heading or where they are coming from. 

Yet, this information is not being used to plan OOH campaigns at scale. Meanwhile, this sort of optimisation is already second nature to digital marketers. 

Check out Shell's Personalised Billboard campaign, for example. The brand shared ad space with other products on a premium digital billboard. But the way in which its creatives were executed made it immediately stand out. 

"Moments" were matched to creatives in real time: The moment when cars stopped at the traffic light, the car they were driving, and the moment when they were heading back home. 

Check out the full case study video below.

"Micro-moments" are well known and planned for in the digital world. These are the moments that shape purchases or at least, indicate intent.

Shells Personalised Billboard Targets Drivers

2. Only Using Classic or Static Billboards

Static billboards still make up the bulk OOH advertising options. Lack of research into market trends will force marketers to unassumingly resort to billboards as the default for OOH media, but this tunnel vision might negatively impact a campaign’s success.

The key to avoiding wasted reach would be to first define audiences. This would give brands an idea of which OOH format would prove most effective, as well as determine the best possible ways to reach them.

Here, customer mapping journeys might come in handy. Such methods of behavioural analysis would allow businesses to visualise a consumer’s daily commute to work, entertainment outlets, modes of public transport etc. Not only would this prove much more effective in targeting your audiences, but it would also eventually result in detailed reports to be used for future outdoor campaigns as well.

3. Failure for an Integrated Approach

Integration is an important part of not only measuring OOH campaigns; but driving its overall engagement. Many marketers have found that OOH works best when it’s reach is widespread –combined with other marketing channels.

Here, brands can utilise both traditional and non-traditional formats when engaging their target audiences. Major research has gone into showing OOH increases the reach of just about any other channel it is combined with. Adding OOH To Other Media Can Potentially Increases Reach By Up To 300%.

4. Not Conducting Proper Measurement Techniques

The availability of multiple insights around consumer movement is changing the way OOH media is measured. Particularly, the measurement of how each campaign performs at the end of it’s run is vital to understand several key KPIs. What was the overall foot traffic surrounding the ad? Did the campaign’s reach extend to the correct target audiences? How many of them were able to engage with the brand beyond the OOH ad?

The questions above need to be answered to provide brands and marketers with a better understanding as to how to refine campaign strategy. Thus, each future OOH ad can be carried out with much more targeted and accurate information into aspects like niche audiences, market insights, trends and competitive periods.

OOH is probably the most exciting medium to be a part of right now. The rise of planning, buying, measurement, and content delivery technology has implications for both the media buyers and media sellers. As marketers grapple with these new techniques, it is still vital to avoid the common pitfalls of traditional OOH methods that continue to account for a bulk of the money spent on billboards. 

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