Take A Mobile-First Approach To The Great Outdoors

The convergence of mobile with OOH advertising offers marketers and advertisers a powerful tool to engage consumers, build brand reach, and positively impact a brand’s bottom line.

Take A Mobile-First Approach To The Great Outdoors

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, consumers spend 70% of their waking hours outside of their homes. For marketers, this is a crucial trend to consider when deciding on best practices to reach their targeted audience. The majority of consumer activity—and therefore exposure to brand messaging—is occurring outside of the home, making out-of-home (OOH) media a critical component of any marketing strategy.

As consumer behaviors have shifted, so has the media channels used to target them. Twenty years ago, OOH media consisted mainly of ads on billboards, buses, and benches. With the innovation of technology, OOH is now as powerful as ever—generating $2.25 billion in revenue in Q2 2015 alone and $7 billion annually—combining traditional avenues with high-impact content and digital display at sporting events, retail stores, in elevators, or even at the gas pump.

But one technology has accelerated the evolving landscape of OOH advertising: mobile. In today’s world of fast-moving consumers, your media needs to be location-based, channel-agnostic, and audience-driven. Integrating a mobile-first approach into your OOH strategy will enable you to reach consumers wherever they are looking in and around your locations. So how can marketers use a converged mobile and OOH approach to drive conversions?

Location-Based Sequential Messaging

It’s important to touch your consumers through location-based mobile media to continue sequential messaging after they have been primed or exposed to OOH media—and to measure the effectiveness of in-store traffic. Sequential messaging works as a subtle reminder to those who already showed interest in your product or service that it is still available for purchase by reaching the consumer at various times with similar advertising content. By using location-based mobile technologies in tandem with sequential messaging, you also get access to the consumer’s physical location data, which can help to measure physical store visits.

For example, if someone is exposed to a OOH ad from Target like a digital video at a gas pump and is then retargeted with sequential messaging to create frequency, Target could measure the in-store visitation to see how the exposure to multiple mediums influences the path to purchase. This information would enable Target to build out a roadmap for each individual consumer.

Mobile Geo-Spacial Data

Mobile phones provide the richest geo-spacial data in the real world. That data can be used to plan where OOH ads are placed and where they are the most effective. Using rich insights from mobile data to produce heat maps, marketers and advertisers can better understand their audiences and how they engage OOH media, allowing for better planning on strategy for media placement from the brand.

Before mobile, it was difficult to gauge which OOH placements and locations were most engaging or what consumers were even seeing. Mobile allows marketers and advertisers to track the best locations to ensure their spending receives optimal ROI. An example would be a large grocery chain comparing multiple OOH ad locations and finding that one sees much less engagement than others. The grocery chain would then know that it either needs to adjust the content or move from that location altogether.


The largest flaw with traditional OOH advertising is measurement. It’s incredibly difficult to connect who saw a billboard or digital video in an elevator with in-store visits or sales, unless other factors are involved like special promotion or QR codes.

When marketers pair OOH data with mobile data, it provides a clear measurement because it can build a consumer profile and show engagement, which can then close the loop matching back with in-store visitation, sales, and even brand lift data.

Mobile has already shown great potential to improve traditional advertising and marketing efforts, and the convergence with OOH advertising offers marketers and advertisers another powerful tool to engage consumers, build brand reach, and positively impact a brand’s bottom line.