OOH Shifts From Location-Based To Audience-Based Measurement


Technology is radically changing the media industry. Marketers these days no longer intend to buy media space, they want to buy audiences.

There is a need for reliable audience measurement, especially considering the lockdowns derived from the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and 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, Out-of-Home (OOH) is ahead of the game.

Most marketers would agree that OOH is the oldest medium, yet many are unaware that it is also one of the most accurately measured. Why is audience measurement important? 

As media is now vastly consumed on a variety of mediums such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches resulting in the rise of multi-device media consumption. Moving to an audience based measurement keeps the audiences engaged and connected to Digital OOH (DOOH) while delivering relevant and dynamic content.

Before, It Was All About Media Measurement.

In the past, location measurement was heavily based on traffic counts. Traffic counts would provide information about individual pieces of media. At that time, that was the best information at hand. The data was only used as estimates and was updated infrequently. Technology providers today, such as Moving Walls are providing more robust ways of measuring outdoor, drawing from multiple sources of data to provide specific information, down to real-time. Besides that, the data is frequently updated and refreshed. 

Now, Audience Based Measurement Is The New Way 

OOH planning is now shifting away from the media. As we are drawn into an era of heavy data consumption and fast technological advancement, and due to this shift, audiences based measurement is born. This simply means that the measurement focus is no more on the location itself, but on the behaviour of audiences around them.  The goal of OOH planning is no longer focused on supplying the largest possible media impression, however, it is to reach the most accurate audiences. This makes OOH slowly align with its online digital counterpart.

What constitutes audience data? 

Breaking down audience data means equipping yourselves with enough information about your audiences such as: 


This segmentation breaks down audience profile from age, gender, occupation, location. This type of segmentation analysis is one of the most common data metrics that help marketers optimise their business planning and measuring strategy. 


This identifies audience offline movement behaviour and footfall in real-time. People spend 70% of their time outdoors, but yet we know much more about their online behaviours. Deducing footprints offline constitutes of the places consumers visits are indicators, interest and physical path-to-purchase. 


This segment identifies audience interest like sports, entertainment, health and eatery preferences. Identifying the places audience visitors frequently maps out a pattern of their interest and this helps advertisers pivot messages to drive audience purchase intentions. 


Why do we need real-time audience data? 

  • Increase the relevancy of the ad contents 

Consumers are always on the move while being connected to their personal devices - e.g. mobile. The volume and accessibility of these data are enormous. This creates an opportunity for marketers to establish a more personal connection with their consumers. Marketers can pull in real-time audience data and adjust their DOOH ad in real-time that better resonates with their audiences in a more meaningful and contextual way.

Plus, real-time audience data allows re-targeting to occur at the moment, especially through mobile devices. When a customer is identified to be in the proximity of the targeted DOOH site, relevant ad messages can be pushed onto his/her mobile device to amplify the desired brand message and extend the brand’s reach frequency.

  •  Optimised dynamic ad delivery

Real-time audience data provides an in-depth consumer insight into the consumer’s movement pattern and purchasing habits. This allows advertisers to re-adjust their campaign message based on these data and gives them the ability to serve more dynamic contents that are highly personalised. 

Real-time data also amplifies trigger-based ad delivery which guarantees a maximum campaign reach. Marketers can utilise more variables such as the time of day, weather, transport and traffic information to reach the right target audience. With this real-time information, marketers can plan their ad messages to reach the right audiences when they are in the right frame of mind to engage and when they are in the right stage to convert.

  •  Audience-based targeting with real-time data 

To be able to get the right ad message to the right audience at the right time, the DOOH industry needs to revisit its targeting criteria and move towards audiences-led planning. Real-time audience data empower more informed decisions, enhancing productivity and efficiency while cutting costs to boost the bottom line. It can be used to gain actionable insights into consumer behaviour while improving customer experience. 

Identifying the right target audience’s movement pattern allows marketers to strategically identify media hotspots where a high number of their target audiences are at. Marketers can adjust their campaign and run content that performs best at each location and time slot.

What Will Audience-Based Measurement Mean To OOH’s Near Future? 

As the audience movement in the new normal will remain unpredictable, real-time data integrated into DOOH offers the opportunity for marketers to rely on audience-led and data-driven targeting campaigns.

Connecting people with data in real-time gives maximum impact to the campaign’s effectiveness and on its audience reach. What gives DOOH an edge is a medium being backed by data and technology, making it both addressable and accountable. Real-time audience data, robust planning tools and advanced targeting will enable marketers to shift focus on specific audience segments.

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