Unlocking the Power of Data: How to Measure Out-of-Home Advertising

Welcome, media owners and screen owners in the dynamic Out-of-Home (OOH) and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) space! In this article, we aim to shed light on the vast potential of data and its role in enhancing outdoor advertising campaigns. We believe almost everyone reading this article is somewhat familiar with the hype surrounding the industry, the double digit growth of programmatic over the past few years, and the post-covid rapid development of this technology in our industry. So there is no need to go there in this article. Let’s keep the focus on what we believe is the new challenge of the industry, which is high-quality data.

Data has, in some way, always been around and it’s been a focal part of conversations and conferences over the past 5 years. Yet, we still seem to be debating about the lack of measurement and the need to fully embrace data and audience based transactions. Almost every media owner we know of, is in some way exploring different sources of data, trying to adapt these to their reality and trying to make sense of what’s happening around their locations. Some with more success than others, and some with more resources than others.

In this article, we will explore three main sources of data that can be harnessed to measure the effectiveness of outdoor campaigns, improve audience targeting, and leverage programmatic strategies, both open and direct. Despite what many people believe, these sources are not mutually exclusive. They can, and even must be combined, understanding their power and limitations, to gather the right data points at the right time, and power an industry that is still in the early days of what we think will be a wave of growth over the next few years.

Optic Sensor-Based Quantitative Measurement - Unveiling the True Exposure

Let’s start with the type of data we at AdMobilize know more of, which is Computer vision, or camera data as most people say. In the world of OOH advertising, camera based data is, by some distance, the most effective way to quantify real-time exposure to an outdoor ad. With the aid of advanced camera technology and computer vision, media owners can accurately count the number of people who pass by an advertising location at any given time. Not only around the area but actual exposure to a screen or static location. And can do so with an 85-90% accuracy, in real time and in a complete anonymous and private manner. Of course it comes with its limitations, as most media owners know, it is very difficult to place a camera and powerful computing devices on each location as it can be a cost and logistical nightmare. But its accuracy and precision makes this data hard to beat and it can serve as the cornerstone for gauging campaign reach and ensuring accurate measurement.

Tracking Foot Traffic and Beyond - Telecommunications and WiFi Signals

Beyond camera sensors, other technologies like telecommunications and WiFi signals emitted by mobile phones offer additional methods to count foot traffic in a particular area. While this approach may not provide precise exposure data, as not every phone is “visible” to these sensors, not everyone is carrying a phone (I know, most people do) and most people detected can be very far from the actual exposure zone of an ad location. Although this technology excels in delivering valuable information on the frequency of visits and identifying repeat visitors at a physical location. This data allows media owners to understand the behavior patterns of their audience, thereby optimizing campaign targeting strategies. Combined with camera based data, it can provide a highly accurate, real-time and private Traffic / Exposure / frequency ratio analysis.

Unveiling Customer Personas and Interests - Mobile Data and the Power of Qualitative Data

Mobile data, particularly derived from Software Development Kits (SDKs) integrated into various apps, presents a rich source of qualitative metrics. Luckily for OOH, the online industry has already paved our way into this source of data and is something that can be found vastly in the market globally. Depending on the market and the data processor, roughly between 15% to 30% of mobile devices are somewhat being tracked (anonymously and privately we might add) in most countries. That is incredible coverage, that might not be helpful to count impressions, but is significant enough for audience building and targeting. 

By leveraging user-permitted and anonymized mobile data, media owners gain access to valuable insights such as household income, demographic details, intent of purchase, online interests, and customer personas. This data empowers media owners to craft highly targeted and personalized campaigns, catering to specific niches that brands are seeking to engage.

We have seen the rise of DSPs becoming excellent tools to use the power of this data to create targeted campaigns to specific personas and create dynamic campaigns that deliver incredible results. Although we still see a weak link in the supply chain. While mobile data is being harnessed for targeting, it is being completely ignored for reporting post-campaign. This means that despite it being used for creating the campaign, the impressions multiplier which was paid for still comes from more traditional sources of measurement, which are more speculative, linear, and non-real-time.

The Power of Data Fusion in Programmatic OOH Advertising

The true potential of data lies in its fusion. By effectively combining sensor-based quantitative data, telecommunications or WiFi signals to calculate frequency, and mobile data to build audience profiles, media owners can achieve comprehensive measurement across their advertising network. Camera sensor-based data acts as the proxy for real exposure, allowing for accurate reach calculations and real Impressions Multipliers. Telecommunications and WiFi data serve as a proxy for frequency of visits, enabling deeper audience insights. Lastly, mobile data provides qualitative metrics, empowering media owners to create customer personas and deliver highly targeted campaigns.

All of this data is entirely digital, and this means it can be delivered and viewed in near real time, it enables automatic multipliers which can be directly integrated into Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) and also connected to smart ad servers / CMSs to enable in-house targeting. 

This enables media owners to plan and execute intelligent campaigns, leveraging programmatic bidding done by partners and programmatic direct strategies sold by their own team. By embracing the power of data, media owners can unlock the full potential of their advertising networks and deliver unparalleled results for brands. Which in result will increase budgets and especially bring new clients to the incredible world of OOH.

We at AdMobilize help hundreds of media owners around the world with our patented Computer Vision technology and our data infrastructure to bring everything under one roof and power all their data needs to grow their revenue. Request a Demo today if you want to know more about embracing data-driven insights in a new era of precision and effectiveness for OOH!