The union of Out-of-Home and Mobile

OOH with mobile adds value and makes it more exciting for consumers was a view shared by Shaun Gregory, Global Advertising Director of Telefonica, at the recent MediaTel event set up to debate the union of out-of-home and mobile. 

There was genuine admiration from the debating panel who expressed their belief that Outdoor had done a great job in investing in new technologies.  But Shaun made the point that the industry didn’t need to digitise everything before it could be utilised.  As people spend 50% more time out-of-home than they did 10 years ago, and with an ever expanding Wi-Fi footprint, a consumers mobile search experience out-of-home can be seamless – and this can still be triggered by traditional outdoor advertising.

The pace in which smartphones are changing our world is sometimes difficult to comprehend.  Stewart Easterbrook, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, made the comment that we’re now “living our lives in beta.”  He was referring to the fact that brands can no longer afford to wait for a perfect communication platform.  Brands need to be brave, they must be prepared to experiment – and we as media specialists must ensure we measure the right things and then implement our learning’s quickly.

Rapport’s own OOH work for Samsung was referenced by Stewart, stating that it performs extremely well within their agency’s measurement model for driving mobile search.

Out of home data creativity and optimisation

One of the key messages that came out of the debate though was the need to stop talking about channels and formats – and instead start understanding the customer journey better.  Data can help us to understand context and consumer behaviour, enabling us to deliver the right message to consumers at the right time.  The richer the data, the better the understanding of the consumer journey.  And this should ultimately change how we tell our stories, presenting a fantastic opportunity for brands using Digital OOH.

Certainly in the case of mobile, that data is available now.  It can be measured in real-time, allowing brands to optimise immediately; with post-campaign learning’s being fed back into the planning process to improve media efficiencies on the next out-of-home advertising campaign.  But being able to apply those learning’s effectively depends on the measurement criteria that is put in place pre-campaign.

Measuring the new out of home effectiveness

A clear link is needed between ‘input’ (e.g. impressions) and ‘outcome’ (e.g. action or sales).  The Outdoor industry’s new audience research, Route, tells us who we are reaching in more detail than ever before – but we also need to find a way to then measure the conversion.

And measuring the right things is crucial.  The point was made that a broadcast out of home campaign delivering a proportion of mobile interactions may be deemed a failure if it is solely measured on those interactions.  Despite the fact that it may also have delivered against other metrics such as brand awareness or purchase consideration.  And as mobile clicks tend to have a greater sales conversion compared to online clicks, understanding the true value of those mobile interactions is also crucial.

Nestle’s Head of Media Communications, Stephen Pollack, discussed their use of NFC and QR enabled 6 sheets for a Kit Kat promotion.  With a ‘consumer reward’ of a £10,000 prize up for grabs , Nestle received a “great response” to the advertising campaign – with 3,389 interactions recorded and a 33% increase in clicks on the Kit Kat PPC campaign during the OOH display.

But this just proves the importance of understanding what role the medium is performing.  We’ve got to take great care to have the right measures in place to understand the sales we drive.  Measuring the right things to determine the success of the wider campaign, through intelligent measurement criteria across all channels, is critical.

And let’s not forget the role played by creative in OOH and Digital OOH effectiveness.  A recent study from the OMC (Outdoor Media Centre), involving nine media and research companies with econometric modelling capabilities, concluded that creative work can have as much influence on OOH’s performance as the medium itself. 

Managing new out of home creativity

Keep it simple was the message.  The more complex you make the innovative advertising, especially in DOOH, the less likely it is to succeed.  The call-to-action has to be compelling enough, with the interaction simple, for consumers to engage through their mobile. 

More work is needed by the industry to help educate the creative community but tools such as Primedesign – aimed at helping brands assess the visual saliency of their creative – are certainly a step in the right direction.

The over-whelming feeling from the panel was that OOH and mobile were very well suited to deliver rewarding connections to consumers.  But the gauntlet thrown down to the industry was start investing “off-site”.  Don’t just spend money on digitising the medium, start understanding its effectiveness. 

Have a look at some of the conversation from the event via the #OOHmobile hash-tag and let us know what you think on the @RapportWW Twitter page.

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