The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and Comscore recently published exciting new research that highlighted the effectiveness of outdoor advertising. In case you missed it, their in-depth study examined a variety of consumer actions (including online search, online posts, app downloads, and purchases) following exposure to TV, video, radio, display, print, and ​​out-of-home (OOH) ads. The punchline is that OOH delivers far greater value than the other mediums, as it generates a similar share of actions at a fraction of the cost.

Index of Actions Driven by Each Medium vs. Medium Ad Spend (e.g., OOH advertising indexes for search engine activity at 5.3 times the rate we would expect given its relative ad spend)

The data in the report are very positive and I applaud the OAAA and Comscore for creating and promoting the study. However, a broad, generalized, and channel-level study can only go so far. In order to progress as an industry, we need to elevate what brands care about the most: business results. Ultimately, everything other than quantifiable business results is just noise. I believe the step function change in OOH will come from building technology that allows every advertiser to measure their unique campaigns. Online advertising gives first-hand visibility into ROI for every advertiser, and so should outdoor advertising. This is now feasible, and I’ve outlined how marketers can do this below.

Generalized data proves OOH works. Specified data will drive OOH to the next level.

While general data on channel effectiveness are a good starting point, over-reliance on this data will simply hold the OOH industry back. Advertisers can’t rely on channel-level data to justify their ad spend.

Instead, measuring each and every campaign – and giving advertisers their own, bespoke results – is the biggest unlock to growing investment in the OOH channel. When every advertiser gets granular data on the campaigns they run, they’ll be able to prove the effectiveness for themselves – and optimize campaigns to further improve performance.

That’s why AdQuick has been building our attribution dashboard for the past few years — to show each and every advertiser their bespoke results. This is table stakes in online advertising. It needs to be the same in outdoor advertising.  

If you’re interested in understanding how to measure any OOH campaign, read on below. We’ll point you in the right direction to make sure you’re surfacing all of the consumer touchpoints that OOH is driving.

But first, a brief disclaimer: for the below metrics, proper setup and sufficient campaign share-of-voice is always a prerequisite. The good folks at Measured have written up a nice framework for setting a geo test up. The AdQuick OOH planner is another free resource to understand showing levels by market (it varies a lot!).

4 Types of Data To Optimize Your OOH Campaigns  

Until recently, OOH advertisers relied solely on general effectiveness metrics such as impressions, reach, and frequency to measure a campaign. While insightful, this data doesn’t offer the types of quantifiable business results that can be leveraged to optimize campaigns.

But AdQuick’s measurement technology gives advertisers hyper-targeted visibility like never before.  Here are 4 types of granular data you can use to measure your next OOH campaign:  

1. Branded Searches

When controlling for ad budgets, OOH drives 7.1x as many online searches as compared to TV.  Thanks to advanced technologies like AdQuick, advertisers can now monitor localized branded search lift via Google Analytics. By zeroing in on audience data by location, advertisers can compare the dates before, during, and after a campaign run. The output metrics an advertisers can access includes raw and percentage increases in organic search volume.

2. Web Lift

In addition to searching for a brand, consumers are likely to visit a company’s website after seeing their outdoor advertisement. In fact, OOH drives 6.79x site visitors per dollar as compared to TV. But how many people visit your website after seeing your OOH ad? How often? Are these visitors converting? AdQuick’s attribution dashboard surfaces the answers to these questions –  answers that are integral for understanding the effectiveness of the OOH advertising channel.

By analyzing the digital touchpoints of exposed audiences, brands amplify their ability to measure full-funnel attribution. Not only does this methodology apply to homepage visits, but it also allows advertisers to compare the OOH-exposed performance down funnel (i.e., add to cart, subscription events, online purchases) to that of generic online traffic. Based on generated data, the performance of this medium is uniformly superior to generalized site traffic. This not only helps shine light on site visits and online conversions, but also direct and indirectly attributed online events.

3. Mobile App Downloads

OOH drives 7.05x as many app downloads when controlling for ad spend vs TV, and OOH ads prompted some 19% of consumers to download an app within the last six months, according to recent findings from the OAAA and Comscore. Extending the data logic of exposure to downstream action from the web lift attribution mentioned above, marketers can also quantify the incremental app downloads from exposed audiences. Instead of the data coming from an IP address, it will come from a mobile measurement partner who can help brands efficiently measure and optimize their data.

4. Causal Sales Lift Study

There’s no need to fret if a company doesn’t have web or app-based sales. By studying lift in sales in matched markets, advertisers can see the bottom line lift driven by OOH advertising. That is estimating the causal effect of an OOH marketing campaign on a desired outcome, such as sales, web conversions, or in-store visits.

The challenges for outdoor advertising are that 1) there are numerous ways consumers can act after seeing an ad and that 2) the right metrics aren’t built into marketing tech stacks. When every advertiser has access to these metrics, the gap between channel investment and value being driven will shrink. And having an understanding of sales lift is a great thing for both marketers and how they leverage OOH.

And a bonus… Social Media

Outdoor advertising is the only ad format that consumers can share on their own. And they do. Research from the OAAA shows that two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennial consumers recalled seeing an OOH advertisement shared on social media. What’s more: 91% of Gen Z and 82% of Millennial respondents said they would repost an OOH ad. To capitalize on this trend, and secure more social activations by a factor of four per every ad dollar spent, OOH advertisers need to think viral. That is: get creative, don’t be afraid to step up on messaging, speak directly to loyal consumers, spark social action, and, of course, monitor mentions. Not only will advertisers see a boost in consumer engagement, they’ll get data on raw and percentage increases of organic social mentions.

The data is clear...

Now is an ideal time for advertisers to expand their media mix and capitalize on the affordability and effectiveness of OOH. However, when it comes to OOH, there’s a big difference between general data and company-specific ROI data. Utilizing data that allows advertisers to measure the performance of their unique campaigns on a granular level is crucial, especially at a time when broadcast and digital channels are falling short. The data is clear: outdoor advertising provides outsized ROI. Now every advertiser deserves to see it for themselves.

To learn more about how you can unlock the quantifiable business results driven by your OOH ad campaigns, schedule a complimentary strategy session with our OOH experts.