Whether your priority is changing brand perceptions over the long-term or encouraging consumers to interact with your brand more immediately, including Out of Home elements in the plan can help.
It’s traditional to begin any article about effectiveness with a discussion of what effectiveness means and how to define it.
The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language and defines effectiveness (noun) as the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a tour of how OOH has been successful in producing desired results.
First, we venture into the unforgiving world of econometric modelling. At the end of last year, a major econometric study of OOH was conducted by BrandScience, the Omnicom econometrics and data science business, and Out of Home media specialist, Talon.
And by major I mean 211 econometrically modelled campaigns from 2012-2015, of which 160 had OOH on the plan. That’s a huge dataset for investigating effectiveness.
The study calculated the ROI that OOH delivers in different contexts and at different levels of spend. But for planners, it also highlighted that OOH improves the ROI of other media channels when used together. Of course there were lots more findings – the category breakdowns are really interesting, For example, in FMCG, including OOH in the media mix significantly increases the ROI for the TV and radio activity.
Similarly, Gain Theory (formerly OHAL), a WPP econometrics and data science business, conducted an econometric analysis comparing Route* data with other types of data commonly used historically in modelling OOH, such as spend/cost, panel site lists and GRPs.
Gain Theory's work suggests that Route data identifies an additional c10% contribution to ROI that would have been undetected using other OOH data like spend. My top tip for all the OOH modellers out there - use Route!
Our second trip is to more familiar territory for OOH – brand building. Whenever I talk to people who work in advertising but not specifically in OOH, they always think of OOH as a brand builder. And with good reason – OOH offers 98% weekly reach of UK adults* and its public presence is there to tell existing, potential, impulse and loyal purchasers all about your offering.
As Les Binet and Peter Field highlight in the IPA report, The Long & The Short Of It, brand building drives long-term success. Work from Thinkbox and Group M confirms the strength OOH has in doing just that (along with many hundreds of brand effectiveness studies that consistently show OOH drives brand metrics).
However, long term evaluations are not as popular as they once were. Brands want to know how connectivity across devices, media, content and context impacts customer decision-making in the short-term and be able to measure and optimise in the short-term too.
Which neatly brings us to our final stop: OOH’s impact in the short-term. Connectivity brings data, and using data we can unpick the relationship between exposure to OOH and brand interaction on-device. This is what OutPerform, the Outsmart study, measured using a highly innovative passive measurement methodology.
We found that, across all 35 campaigns measured, an average of 9% of people take brand action on device per campaign (an astonishing response rate!) and OOH drives +17% uplift in smartphone brand actions versus people unexposed to OOH. Imagine what could be achieved by OOH campaigns that were created to specifically drive smartphone brand actions.
Perhaps the most tantalising stat was that more than half of the people (57%) taking smartphone brand actions were non or lapsed customers for that brand or category. This is exactly how brands grow: reaching beyond the core customer, and testament to what public, broadcast media does best – new business. See this infographic for more.
So, returning to effectiveness and desired results, if you desire ROI in an econometric context (typically short-term sales), or long-term brand metrics, or people interacting with your brand on their phones, then be very aware that having OOH on your plan is far more sensible than not having OOH on your plan.
Tim Lumb (email@example.com) is the Insight and Effectiveness Director of Outsmart, one of the sponsors of the 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards.
*Route is the industry standard for OOH media measurement i.e. the OOH equivalent to BARB, UKOM, RAJAR etc.
Last updated 31/08/2016