How can the billboard medium conceptualize and invest in data-rich campaigns?

OOH leaders say that location and consumer insights are available with the billboard industry but the only cause for concern is presumed vs definite data

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Feb 8, 2021 9:06 AM  | 6 min read
ooh data rich campaigns

The post-pandemic market environment has amplified and transformed media campaigns into a highly data-driven business. This was the case before the pandemic. However, with accountability for media spends on mediums marketers are threading carefully. Location and consumer data give the ability to use the correct actionable sources to decode the hidden behavior of the target audiences. These data insights also prove beneficial to the OOH campaign planning process.

From computers to mobile phones and appliances to digital signage devices, these are playing a big role in transmitting huge amounts of data. Brands (clients) have started to realize the priority of location data to have an ROI driven OOH campaign and avoid media wastage. But what are the sources that can help OOH companies and marketers to have data-rich OOH campaigns?

OOH leaders shared with e4m their learnings on different sources one can garner data from, to make billboard campaign creatives more impactful and ROI driven.

To know when and where to invest in Billboard Media
According to Fabian Trevor Cowan, Country Head, Posterscope India, the fact is that location intelligence and consumer insights are very much available in OOH. He explained, “The emergence of open data, and audience measurement streams have been developed by Posterscope and is making it possible to identify the returns of out of home spends.”

Posterscope’s proprietary planning tool ‘OOHZONE’ is equipped with LIVE data feeds that allow advertisers to now get specifics of their campaigns resulting in an indication of returns on investments made.

Gulab Patil, Founder, and CEO, Lemma tells us that the OOH medium does not lack data but it is a question of presumed vs definitive data. Patil stated, “Investing in OOH basis presumed data such as big billboards attract more eyeballs may or may not be true and hence it is difficult to tie back any outcome in a definitive way. OOH backed by definitive data such as real-time footfall, audience insights, location, prime-time bands, etc can help pinpoint outcomes basis these variables and trends noticed post the campaign. In other words, out with old, in with the new. Data with substantial credibility and technology that helps measure the outcomes should be the new way of planning OOH.”

Lemma’s Falcon tool aims to that provide customized plans basis the targeting required by the client. This tool covers important aspects such as audience availability, gender split, age split, and more.

When asked if clients invest in billboard medium without adequate data and just on the dimensions of the billboard? Aman Nanda, Chief Strategy Officer, Times OOH, told us that all clients buy OOH media with adequate knowledge of the location or consumer data in the current scenario.

Nanda shared, “While OOH has no common currency, data on location and type of audience at locations are available, unlike other media vehicles. We should divide the OOH media into two buckets: Transit and Non-transit. For transit, every possible data is available for brands to decide footfalls, passenger profile, demographic, physiographic, spending habits, etc. For non-transit, traffic data is there from third-party sources like google mobility report, TOM, etc. As most people follow the same route while going to offices etc, consumer profiling is very much known in every city. OOH is an ideal media for brand building. In some cases where OOH is bought near the point of sales, ROI can also be measured. OOH is an ATL media like TV and benchmarking it only against ROI is an injustice to media. Transit OOH can be utilized by brands to generate ROI as well, for example, various promo zones at properties like Airports and Metro are used by brands to generate qualified leads.”

Arijit Chakrabarti, Head of Strategy, Kinetic India sharing his perspective, remarked, “OOH has traditionally been perceived as a data-dark medium; over the last few years, there has been an influx of data from multiple sources. We use data right from the briefing to the post-campaign eval stage and everywhere in-between. We ensure any conversation with our clients is backed by ‘sufficient’ data. The abundance of mobile devices has ushered in a new age of big-data which we manage and mine for our clients. At a time when India had just unlocked, we developed IOM – India on the Move, to articulate to clients the exact current level of mobility across the length and breadth of India at the granularity level of an individual town or district.”

Chakrabarti, building on his point on data, said that with Kinetic’s campaign planning tool they have detailed site-level data. This data includes site quality parameters that help Kinetic optimize plans for their clients. “While size dimensions and numbers are important for any OOH campaign it is the data behind it that ensures campaign performance”, commented Chakrabarti.

The aid of media partners and agencies for data
Cowan agrees that with spends in OOH increasing, it is the clients' right to ask for relevant data sets to gauge the efficacy of their OOH spends.

Patil stated, “Data at all levels helps serve a purpose and clients should not shy away from demanding such useful inputs to ensure they have parked their monies at the right place.”

Nanda says, “Most of the media agencies and media partners have tools and software which support the planning of OOH and DOOH campaigns. It’s evolving and changing and we are involved and supporting this change. It’s an ongoing process where media partners and media agencies proactively provide all data and relevant details that can help the client to plan the campaign effectively.”

Chakrabarti, sharing his thoughts, said, “Scores of open-source databases continue to keep increasing by the minute. At the same time, we have also developed our proprietary datasets through partnerships with data and tech companies to create an ecosystem of tools that deliver real-time insights for our clients. Today we can map consumer journeys on out-of-home and establish implications at a granular site level on what has worked best for the campaign and dynamically make campaign level course corrections.”

Can brand (client) led data amplify data-rich OOH campaigns?
Nanda feels that if brands can provide details on the TG profile they want to target and also locations and city they are interested in, this helps media partners to suggest a better media plan. Nanda commented, “It’s not about who provides the data but more about marrying the data of brands on consumer, etc and also data with media partners on locations profiling, etc so that campaign objectives are met.”

Chakrabarti tells us that their agency’s clients are excited to share data with them. “Geotargeted anonymized data from our clients are meshed with our proprietary datasets to provide ultra-sharp targeting. Be it pin-code, ward-level data, latitude, longitude, sales, or audience data, we have complex mapping solutions to layer these diverse datasets to optimize planning. This coupled with our site-level proprietary data that work together in harmony to create the perfect data-backed OOH solution”, concluded Chakrabarti.

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