OOH 101: A Guide to Successful OOH Campaign Measurements

These days, marketers no longer want to buy media space, they want to buy audiences. There is an increasing need for reliable audience measurement, especially considering the most recent debates on the accuracy of online advertising measurement. It is imperative that all media provide accurate audience measurement data for planning, trading, and evaluating campaigns; in this respect, OOH is ahead of the game.

Most marketers would agree that Out-of-Home (OOH) is the oldest medium, yet many are unaware that it is also one of the most accurately measured.

Global Industry Standards

Other than TV, OOH is the only medium to have established globally accepted standards for the audience measurement. These standards have been sponsored by the global research organisation ESOMAR and endorsed by all major industry stakeholders such as the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), The European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), and the 4As. The OOH guidelines have set a common ground for both international and local best practices and research standards.

It is vital for marketers to measure their campaign in an orderly manner; before, during, and after the deployment of a campaign to ensure more accurate data and information are collected throughout the process. Now, advertisers can build a sophisticated picture of the OOH audience movement.

Before the Campaign: Audience Measurement


The key to effectively measuring campaign success is by having an effective OOH audience measurement system – this is by defining a clear population coverage of the campaign. To further enhance this process, the projection of the campaign must be done in areas from acceptable and relevant sources. The primary element of this measurement is to make more people see the ads.

Take, for example, a campaign from a travel brand that is deployed at tourist-attraction areas can give a better audience movement measurement.

The resident in the area, people who move into or through the area of the advertisement should also be covered by the measurement system. This effort is to move the scale to a larger unit of geographic areas which will further give more consumer data for the measurement process. This information can then be used by marketers to identify their target audiences by audience segmentation, geofencing, attribution, or retargeting purposes.

Mobility/Movement Behaviours

When marketers segment the population, they should also include a list of mobility classification or the movement types of audiences. These types of movements can later be used to estimate the size of all mobility at a larger geographic area; within or through. There are several types of movements: e.g. by car, taxi, train, bus, ferry, motorcycle or on foot.

After defining the targeted location coverage, marketers can further identify the movement pattern of the population based on what area is covered. When the target location covered is in the city area, marketers need to identify how most people in the city area move around. For example, most people move around with public transport; bus or train in the city area because of its easy access, thus it is more effective for them to deploy ads campaign at the bus or train stations. By measuring the audience movement effectively, their campaign deployment will be highly targeted as they are able to identify the right location with the right audience.

During the Campaign: Know the Business Rules

Proof of play (PoP)

In order to understand any campaign success, marketers need to be provided with real-time metrics. Without reliable proof of play data, these impressions are meaningless to marketers as there is no proof that creativity is played, and there is nothing to validate.

A standardised framework of proof of play should be defined and described clearly before deploying a campaign as it will later be used by marketers to measure the success of their campaign. As technical problems are inevitable, some advertisers require additional metrics for proof of play, such as through third-party audits of play logs or external cameras that externally record what is being played on display. 

The current state of PoP reporting and verification in the OOH industry still varies.

Even though self-verification remains a big part of the current OOH sector, as we progress ahead with new technology emerging, the need for a campaign to be independently verified and automatically reported will also increase. Thus, marketers will have to realign, in order to embrace an automated and transparent reporting process.

KPI Measurement

Defining a clear KPI will also help marketers in determining the effectiveness of their campaigns. Brand lift, foot traffic, online traffic, and social media impact are some of the key elements of measuring your DOOH campaign.

Brand lift drives a positive shift in customer awareness and perception of a brand. Marketers can easily measure their campaign’s effectiveness by setting brand lift as their KPI.

Additionally, an increase in foot traffic – a physical visitation to a specified location or store also helps marketers in measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns. It can also be identified through location data by identifying and tracking the location of a device visitation upon exposure to a campaign. This will give insights to marketers to know whether their campaign successfully influences the audience’s action, e.g. a visit to the physical store.

An increase in social traffic, unique hashtags, and location data from social media apps or mobile devices help marketers determine whether social interactions happened after audiences saw the OOH ads. 

After the Campaign: Extending OOH’s impacts


A successful OOH campaign planning is always about integrating and engaging with consumers in both the physical world and virtual world. Mobile devices technology possesses a very powerful role in our everyday lives. People look at their phones more than twenty times a day. According to a Nielsen report, 66% of smartphone users took some kind of online action after seeing an OOH ad. The very instinct of searching is triggered in physical spaces, thus proving that OOH successfully drives people to their small digital screens.

After deploying a campaign, marketers should amplify their ad messages by extending the delivery of contextual mobile content through mobile apps and web apps. Touchpoints like links or QR codes that can lead to further information should be included in the ad campaign to make it easily accessible for consumers.

It is impossible for audiences to capture all information of the OOH campaign at one look, so extending the delivery of information on mobile devices has made it easier for audience-on-the-go; they can review the campaign again at home or office. 

For example, print or digital displays can be used to promote an artist’s concert, while a mobile component will allow a consumer to buy tickets as they continue walking. 

Mobile geofencing has also helped improve the OOH’s impacts by delivering corresponding mobile ads to the audience’s smartphones within the same hyper-local areas. Marketers can take the message of their ad directly to the target audiences within close proximity.

Location activation will maximise the usage of mobile geofencing. Marketers can target key markets or other key points of interest and segment the OOH audiences for retargeting. Location activation of mobile devices will allow marketers to identify audiences who are within close proximity to the OOH campaign and further send the message to their mobile devices. Marketers can target the same audience with both physical media and digital media and indirectly increase both reach and frequency. Location helps build predictive intent – if an audience is more likely to go to one store over another based on how close they live or work to it. Location can be an imperative cue for creating contextually relevant ads that really resonate with the audience at the moment, right when, and where it matters most.

Through mobile geofencing, marketers can also opt-out to other options available throughout this process such as audience segmentation, geo-conquesting, geo farming, attribution, and retargeting.

  • Audience segmentation allows marketers to target devices of the targeted audiences based on demographics, browsing behaviour and location.
  • Geo-conquesting is the targeting devices that visit competitor locations.
  • Geo farming, on the other hand, is targeting devices that have visited specific locations in the past.
  • Attribution gives marketers the ability to measure the devices that were served as an impression and later entered a physical location.
  • Retargeting allows delivering additional messages to a device that was served as an impression or engaged with an ad previously.

By pairing the OOH campaign with a mobile geofencing or any mobile ad campaign, marketers are able to reach the right audience at the right time and in the right place.


Integrating social media with OOH campaign has been widely practised as more marketers realised that social media is becoming a part of consumer’s life. Marketers now opt-out to tying the touchpoints in their ads campaign to any social media; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. This effort allows the consumer to willingly engage or subscribe to the brand or product through social media- in other means, marketers now have permission to send out updates and contents to these consumers.

For example, if marketers put a hashtag on their ad campaign, consumers who saw it will likely look it up on their social media and later increase the social traffic. An increase in social traffic will help marketers to regulate more accurate social profiling. Social media profiling will give more accurate consumer insights to marketers based on the data revolving around the consumers; such as information on how brand or campaign is received by whom and where.

An OOH campaign has prompted more online activation than radio and print media with 26% more shares of search activation. Based on the Nielsen report, 46% used a search engine to look up additional information, 38% visited the Facebook page or posted a message on Facebook, 23% posted a Twitter message and 25% posted on Instagram after seeing an OOH ad campaign. The report also highlights that OOH has the highest share for Twitter and Instagram activations across all media types.

Combining OOH media with Facebook ads has proven to be a strong advertising approach. This combination has increased reach and drove 6% incremental sales and lifted likelihood to purchase 13% more efficiently than expected, according to the study by Accenture, that was commissioned by Facebook. Through the integration of OOH and social media, marketers are able to show relevant ads on consumer’s social media based on browsing behaviours and location activation.

However, the effectiveness of the extension of social media engagement also depends on the formats used; one-way or two-way program.

A one-way program can show social media on OOH displays or send information or instruction to consumers’ device on where to find the content online, but it does not provide any further engagement such as feedback. A two-way program, on the other hand, receives content from the user and can communicate back to the consumer.

Integrating an OOH campaign with the two-way program will be more effective as feedback will be sent to a website, social network or user’s email. Based on these feedback marketers can analyse the consumers’ experiences and later improve their next campaign.

Success Awaits

Nowadays, marketers are equipped with a variety of technologies in the OOH industry, yet some still fail to identify and measure the effectiveness and success of their OOH campaign. This failure is mainly caused by a lack of research and knowledge on how to plan and conduct the measurement process. Hence, this guideline shows that the measurement of out-of-home effectiveness can be fully utilised when marketers are able to define a clear audience measurement system, know their business rules and can extend their OOH’s impact to other channels. As this process is executed orderly starting from before, during and after the deployment of an OOH campaign, more accurate data will be defined, thus marketers can now get a more accurate measurement of their out-of-home campaigns.

Also, read: Types of OOH Media

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