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29Ask any large brand and they’ll tell you – outdoor advertising works!

Forget all the data and results a campaign might have, if you look purely at the impact they have on the overall customer acquisition and sales revenue numbers – outdoor advertising works!

The pre-pandemic global outdoor ad spend of $40.29 billion (2019) and the $29.15 billion spent on outdoor ads in the heat of the pandemic (2020), are an indicator of one major fact – outdoor advertising works!

Essentially, if you plop a billboard the size of a small home into the middle of a busy street, it will get noticed – there are no two ways about it.

71% of all drivers see billboards when they are driving.

That number jumps up to 95% when commuters come into the picture.

Essentially, what we are trying to say is this – the reason why the biggest brands spend billions of dollars each year on outdoor advertising is – let’s say it together now – outdoor advertising works!

As a small brand, however, the picture isn’t so rosy because there is one problem that millions and billons of dollars can solve, which smaller companies, startups and small businesses cannot…

Getting a Share of Voice

Share of Voice is a very simple, but essential, term that defines how much your voice is heard by those drivers and commuters we were talking about.

Share of Voice basically denotes the number of spots that your ad will run for on any particular screen.

For example, if there are 10-ads that will run on a screen in a day and your brand is one of those 10, then you have a 10% Share of Voice.

9111407367_1fce44c9df_oHowever, it isn’t quite as simple – you see, just because your ad runs 10% of the time the screen is running for, doesn’t mean that you are getting 10% of the impressions that the screen gets.

Each screen has a different value for impressions per spot or per hour, which entirely depends on the people who pass through that area.

A school-area might have traffic on opening and closing time, but not much at other times.

Similarly, office blocks might have a lot of traffic at opening and closing time, as well as at lunch time, but the rest might pale in comparison.

There are, therefore, two connotations of ‘Share of Voice’:

    • Would you rather have 10% of ad-play time?
    • Would you rather have 10% of ad-impressions?

If you have the money – like the big brands do – then you can get both and the more money you are willing to spend, the more your Share of Voice can be.

And that has been the problem with outdoor advertising – it is the domain of those who have the budget – and that is so very different from what advertising is on digital channels – Social Media, Search and Internet.

Sharing Voice by Impressions

The one thing Digital Ads do well is allow anyone to buy a single ad-play, at a CPM-rate (cost for a thousand impressions).

So, whether you are Coca Cola or a small mom-and-pop store in the corner of a small town, the cost to reach 1,000 teen-customers at 4pm on grocery websites is exactly the same!

The cost of an ad-play is the same number for both of you and if Coca Cola bid $7 for those keywords and the tiny store bids $7.10, the mom-and-pop store will have outbid the multibillion-dollar giants and have their ad play to those 1,000 customers.

The difference might be, Coca Cola will bid on millions of such $7 spots and will probably win most of them – mom-and-pop stores do not have that kind of money to promote their brand.

And that’s where Outdoor Advertising was different – there was no question of a mom-and-pop store running an ad because the Coca Colas’ of the world buy out all the spaces.

And because Coca Cola have that kind of budget, they are bound to give billboard owners more business and, thus, get those added cost-benefits that any one-time advertiser might not get.

Mom-and-pop stores, startups, small businesses and even medium businesses cannot dream of getting similar rates from those billboard owners, and that’s what needed to change!

Leveling the Playing Field

This is where Digital Ads are today – and where outdoor advertising is heading towards at lightspeed!

The ability to buy or sell advertising space at CPM-rates ensures that outdoor advertising becomes just as accessible as digital ads.

Sure, CPM rates for an outdoor ad-space are much higher compared to digital ad-rates but that’s primarily a ‘supply issue’.

There are millions of websites where your ad can be served but only thousands of outdoor screens and only 24-hours in a day.

That said, if you’ve got as little as $500 in your pocket and have an outdoor ad creative ready, you could easily run a 7-day campaign, reaching out to a few thousand people!

And here’s why that’s important – 25% of people who are exposed to outdoor ads end up visiting those brands’ websites.

So, if you get your targeting right, those $500 could get you 10,000 to 12,000 impressions and about 2.5 to 3k new website visitors – all in the span of 7-days.

Then, depending on how good your site’s conversion rates are, you might get a few dollars rolling in by converting a few of those 2.5 to 3k visitors.

And that’s what it is all about – converting the inputs of cash and creatives into website traffic or customers.

With Impression-based digital outdoor advertising, that capability is now a reality!

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