As a B2B Marketer, Is Out-of-home Advertising (OOH) Part of Your Mix?
JEANNE HOPKINS| November 23, 2021
Many marketers today don’t know what OOH stands for, though it’s been a highly used marketing medium for decades. Out-of-home advertising consists of anything from billboards, blimps, and bus signage, to street furniture, event advertising, and connected TV, and can be as small as a window poster or the back of a street bench or larger than life, covering a wall or wrapping an entire building. OOH is now being seen as an emerging technology channel, but why?
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For starters, during the surge of online advertising over the last 15 years, Facebook and Google ads have seemingly gotten all the attention. Today, many marketing teams have been so focused on online marketing they no longer have much time to spend thinking out-of-the-box. But OOH is upping its game with a technology lift that is allowing marketers to highly target their audiences as well as improve the impact of their online advertising campaigns.
And we’re not just talking about Pepsi and McDonalds. OOH advertising has long been effective for countless brands, known and unknown, and the possibilities are endless. We are seeing everything from wrapping an ice cream truck with your message and parking across the street from an event to highly targeted ads on TV screens in bars, restaurants, banks, and hotels.
People take action after seeing OOH advertisements, doing online searches and visiting websites. In fact, Nielsen’s Out-of-Home Advertising Study 2019 edition reported that 66% of smartphone users took some type of action after seeing a OOH advertisement in the past year, and over four in 10 used online search to look up information. OOH drives more social and digital interactions than any other medium.
If you aren’t in the OOH game, here’s why B2B marketers should be considering it as part of their marketing mix:
1. Build brand trust
According to a survey conducted by Freeman, CMOs, brand managers, and event planners are putting more stake in in-person brand experiences. Billboards and OOH real world advertising are not only for the big brand names. If someone doesn’t know you, you can add significant trust and credibility to your brand as well as add more impact to your online Facebook and Google ads. And, OOH advertising is always there for audiences to see. It’s not invasive, block-able or frustrating as digital ads can be.
2. Hyper-target your audience
Tech advances are allowing marketers to hyper-target out in the real-world. For startups, challenger brands, and anyone looking to target a specific group of people, it’s possible to zero in on the roads people drive on every day for work or the bars and restaurants they go to afterward. Mobile devices pinged at various locations are looked at like inbound links, as if coming from your website. If you want to reach people who work at a certain place, in a certain location, you can identify who’s driving by your billboard.
3. Generate leads
You can then get that feedback, like who’s driving by, of those driving by, who went to your website? What are they searching on? Who converted to a lead?
4. Endless use cases
With technology advancements, the possibilities in OOH are endless – mobile billboards on LED trucks, wall murals, TVs in countless public facilities and arenas, and billboards of all kinds that can be enhanced digitally.
5. OOH advertising is always “on.”
Your OOH advertisement is there 24/7, delivering your message to every passerby during peak target times and all other times, broadening your reach without additional cost. And unlike digital advertising, OOH does not appear and then quickly disappear. It has staying power, displaying your message constantly and consistently around the clock.
6. Stand out at events:
Though in-person conferences and events are coming back to life, the days of “host an event and they will come” are long gone. There is fierce competition for the hearts and minds of attendees. To dominate the competition, OOH is a great way to give you visibility, driving traffic to your event, to your booth, to your website – to network, make real-life connections, and generate leads.
While online advertising has its place, we have taken a break from being creative. OOH allows an opportunity to get back into exercising your creative muscles. The challenge for marketers is to take their years of internet marketing experience and figure out how to create interesting brand experiences offline.
From a tracking standpoint, OOH advertising today is looking more like online advertising. However, instead of tracking people, we are watching places as groups of people move through and pass by billboards or other signage. It’s a powerful “old” tool that marketers can combine with new tools to generate brand awareness and drive inbound interest from highly targeted specs.
During the online advertising surge, while we have been wrapped up in tracking and measuring performance clicks, many companies have under invested in their brand. Plus, when integrated with digital marketing, OOH extends both reach and frequency, allowing you to leverage other marketing, online and offline, for maximum results and ROI. Marketers should now be thinking of OOH as one of their viable performance channels.