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Not so Fast! Is Data Really the Holy Grail for Outdoor Advertising?

The Most Successful Companies Today Are Data-Driven

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Guest writer from Abraxas Technology, Aaron Tao, contributed a thought-provoking article. Aaron’s fundamental proposition is, “the number one qualitative attribute that marketers and advertisers need before increasing their ad spends with OOH owners, is knowing which billboards are producing results for their campaigns. This requires data showing customer conversions from the billboards to the store.”

“the number one qualitative attribute that marketers and advertisers need before increasing their ad spends with OOH owners is knowing which billboards are producing results for their campaigns.

Not so fast!  What do you think?  Is the right data the answer to OOH and limitless revenues we should be enjoying?  Is qualitative data the silver bullet many think it is to exponentially grow the Industry?

What about TV, radio and newspaper?  They are well suited with mounds of data.  Yet, they are struggling more than OOH in terms of growth. Some of you have been around long enough to recall times not too many years ago, when many markets were operating near capacity, contrary to today. Data back then?

Is data the Holy Grail to OOH success? 

Read Aaron Tao below. We have taken the liberty to abbreviate the article.

 

The Most Successful Companies Today Are Data-Driven

Aaron Tao is a Product Manager with Abraxas Technology

As a data nerd and product marketer, I never cease to be amazed by what data science can reveal about people. Applications can range from the amusing to potentially life-saving.  Facebook Data Science can predict with astounding accuracy the likelihood of budding relationships and break upsTwitter data, has predicted flu outbreaks.

Data analytics are being used by more companies for better decisions, new products and services, and verifying theories or models. They were developed by companies that successfully leveraged and applied the customer insights that came from big data.

The names of companies outperforming through data are household names and major OOH users. Amazon, Google and Netflix (see chart below) have all successfully used data to understand, market to, and increase revenue from their customers.

Amazon, Google, and Netflix have different business models but all three tech titans built their vast empires with a core focus on customer behavior data and analytics. These companies must go beyond knowing “who” their customers are, to data analytics revealing through their customers’ behaviors, an accurate picture of wants and needs, and how and when to best deliver.

For the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry, the landscape has remained virtually unchanged since the 1990s. While OOH advertising still possesses many advantages and is positioned to grow, OOH mediums cannot record or provide any meaningful consumer data to advertisers. These shortcomings severely limit an OOH owner’s ability to gain new customers and increase ad spends. In today’s economy, companies are constantly reinventing themselves through customer-centricity, personalization, and customer experience. Data-driven analytics and quantitative insights are the must-have tools.

The key takeaway for OOH owners, is in order to increase their revenue and amount of ad spend within a marketing campaign, they cannot just rely on the number of weekly impressions. They also have to provide qualitative data that marketers may gain a deeper understanding of consumers’ motivations, context, and triggers. Having grown used to the data online marketing platforms provide, marketers and advertisers now demand the same from OOH.

From the surveys and interviews we have conducted at Abraxas Technology, the number one qualitative attribute marketers and advertisers need to increase ad spends with OOH, is knowing which billboards produce results for their campaigns. This requires data showing customer conversions from the billboards to the store.

the number one qualitative attribute that marketers and advertisers need before increasing their ad spends with OOH owners is knowing which billboards are producing results for their campaigns

Industries unable or too slow to apply customer-centric, behavioral data-driven strategies in their business models will be at risk of obsolescence. Owners and advertisers who have access to customer data and understand behavior, will effectively make use of ad spend and position themselves for future market expansion. Ultimately, OOH owners have to join the 21st century in order to remain successful companies.

Ultimately, OOH owners have to join the 21st century in order to remain successful companies.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Todd Hansen says

    Why are all these Tech companies using OOH ? not because of our DATA , because our data is all over the place .
    They use OOH because it is a powerful message that is Simple and to the point .

    BIG BOLD and always in your Face .

    So if the smartest people in the room are TECH Guys why isn’t everyone using OOH , because they obliviously do.

    Keep it simple , sell the space and spend time with your clients and get off your board room butts and get to work.

  2. Bill Board says

    Hansen’s point is so basic and obvious, I am embarrassed not seeing it.
    If the strongest and arguably the smartest, data guys in the room (namely Amazon, Google and Netflix) are buying significant OOH,(see post earlier today featuring OAAA video),
    then how is it we think we need more data or better data to address the next level of selling OOH? Data you better believe is very important to the Amazon, Google Netflix folks.
    I would agree what is need per Todd Hansen, more the latter than the former. i.e. As an old boss of mine used to say neanderthal like, ‘Go sell something.’ And sell we did.