Ben Baker - Managing Director – APAC, Vistar Media
After listening to some of the best minds in the advertising business in Cannes this year, I can’t help but feel inspired by the collective knowledge, innovation, collaboration, and passion I saw within the industry. As part of the leadership team responsible for the largest digital out-of-home (DOOH) marketplace in Australia and New Zealand, what excited me the most were the discussions about the state of the Out Of Home (OOH) industry and how far we’ve come in providing campaign analytics back to the brands we serve.
A clear topic of discussion at Cannes was the increased attention, focus and importance placed by brands and marketing leaders to top off the funnel marketing. There’s an increasing appetite to widen away from last-click attribution models and into a broader spectrum of KPIs. Brands are fairly conscious today that over-indexing results to last clicks in a digital environment misses other relevant behavioural metrics. One of the first industries to take notice is tech. Today big tech brands like Apple, Google, Yahoo, Twitch, and others are some of the largest media buyers of OOH, and they didn’t shy away from doing this at Cannes too.
Alongside this marketer shift away from last-click attribution and 1:1 conversion strategies, the OOH industry has also advanced the metrics we are able to provide, giving buyers measurable, granular insights. So what are those campaign analytics? Today, the main metrics provided by OOH providers are 1) in-store footfall analysis, 2) Web conversions, and 3) App conversions/downloads. Other metrics measuring informational or attitudinal effects on target audiences might take a few more years to become mainstream in the OOH industry, but the fact that today we are talking about the effects on audiences’ behaviour is great and something that wouldn’t have occurred even three years ago.
This provision of campaign analytics is reinforcing a positive cycle in OOH advertising, given that data-informed results are influencing more and more where ad dollars are spent. One of the consequences of the pandemic was that consumer patterns were drastically disrupted. Audiences temporarily disappeared from the CBD, and created new movement patterns in the suburbs. Now that lockdowns are gone, analysis of this movement continued, and it has allowed the OOH industry to identify new consumer patterns.
OOH industry leaders at Cannes coincided in their views that today people are back in the cities, but their data tells them they are moving differently. Our patterns of behaviour have changed; we are moving to different places at different times. For example, the mobility of a person on a Monday in metropolitan areas today is similar to a pre-pandemic Saturday, as people tend to stay more in their suburbs at the beginning of the work week and if they commute to work, they do it at different times.
Thus, campaigns that were successful in 2019 may not have the same impact today. This is where data for OOH comes into play. Today, media buyers are empowered to ask for campaign analytics at a level that was not possible before, given that media owners and DSPs can provide a level of detail that was not common practice or standard reporting before the pandemic.
The rise of campaign analytics within OOH advertising was one of the major themes of Cannes this year, as it is one of the biggest drivers in the resurgence of ad spend in OOH. And data is the enabler that will take the OOH category to its long-sought 10% of total ad spend in just a couple of years.
Watch this space.