The popularity of digital seem to have completely overshadowed traditional channels; with people moving from physical newspaper advertisements to digital news banners, TV commercials to YouTube popups. It seems like an onward charge for digital to take the lead and stay as the anchor in marketing strategy. However, our take is that the future is never too sure. While digital has been, and will continue gaining traction, there is one form of traditional marketing medium that has long been overlooked but seems to be on the comeback.
To be able to see why there is a possibly revival of that medium, and how it represents a new future of marketing; we need to first we dissect the channels and look at the pros and cons.
A Data-empowered World
Better data has always been the core reason for the popularity of the digital. It provides clarity in decision making, gives you better insights on consumers behavior and where they are at in the buyers’ journey, and lets you keep a better eye on your competitors and the market.
The world today is a data empowered ecosystem. As such, the need for marketing to be targeted, trackable, flexible for testing and accountable for ROI is a hygiene requirement. Gone are the days where marketing is used to drive sheer brand awareness. Businesses today are asking questions like which segments are engaged in this brand awareness, how can we interact with them to drive higher and faster conversion, how can we interact with them better to reduce the cost per customer acquisition.
OOH – A silent comeback
Traditional marketing remains as a strong force in the advertising world. While cost is relatively higher and as such often is the game for only bigger brands; mediums like billboards, TV commercials and radio ads are one of the most effective and fastest ways to achieve exposure for brand building. It also gives you more control on your advertising environment, reducing chances that your advertisements will be impacted by negative content from other “same pagers”.
While there are different traditional offline advertising methods available, we would like to bring attention to one particular medium – Out of home advertising (OOH advertising).
The evolution of OOH from the earlier forms of expressway billboards, to transit types developed from the popularity of modern transportation like flights and thereafter to digital formats with the increase in demand for marketing to be technologically integrated, has kept it relevant. Its ability to be flexible in forms, changing alongside with the needs of consumers, added with the fact that it has yet to completely cease to exist even with the birth of different other options spawned from changes in consumer behavior (Magazine ads, TV and Radio commercials, and then finally digital), is a testament to the fact that OOH has its perks and is a strong impacting force in a business’s quest to achieve maximum reach and conversion.
But what is the biggest perks of that OOH? To us, the biggest perk is that OOH lack “disruption”. And in a good way.
Unlike most mediums, the likes of digital advertisement, TV commercials, which are extremely disruptive (can you recall being bombarded by ads when scrolling through Facebook or being disrupted with commercials at the most exciting part of your show), OOH media is a more subtle way to reach your consumers. It is like the gentle understanding wife who doesn’t scream at you to have dinner right now while you are in the middle of work, but rather, gives a soft nudge for you “notice” your dinner and take the initiation yourself to have your meal. This undisruptive way to engage makes it less negative, more consumer initiated as such, a more effective way to drive curiosity, search and learning, and brand recall.
No doubt, although this channel solves the biggest marketing problem of disruption, it has its own set of problems. Higher cost of implementation and placements, lack of flexibility for changes and inability to target and track has made OOH less attractive. And despite all its evolution and potential, a very underused channel.
But what if there is a way to overcome that? Something that takes on all the positive impact of OOH, while removing the disadvantages the medium originally brings with it? What if there is a way for OOH advertising to be targeted, cost possibly a fraction of the original cost, and flexible enough for you to implement and change according to your campaign A/B testing needs?
Companies are already starting to lead the way to a marketing innovation that is set to change the world of OOH media buying. Platforms that gives access to anyone with a need for outdoor advertising because the cost barrier of entry are so low. Marketplace for offline advertisements, which allows anyone who owns a public facing space to register their venue for advertisement placements, and similarly, any brands / business owners to book those spaces.
These new additions to the OOH media has not only increased the number of OOH spaces available, it has also made it cheaper and more targeted to put ads. The initial “big billboard” with the big price can now be cut up into smaller billboards, targeted at the same amount of eyeballs; only this time, you get to reduce eyeballs from unintended passer bys and have your billboards segmented into relevant target categories to do A/B testing and have them directed to online for better tracking.
A whole new wave in digital OOH buying, where you can now segment ad content according to your audience preference is on the rise. Unlike old OOH, where purchase is largely based on location and generic consumer types, the modern way of OOH purchase are done based on more detailed filters like age group, gender, engagement point, spending power and more.
With the development of companies like airvert.com, and the continuous advancement of technology, there will be an increasing trend for businesses to start integrating Offline and online methods of doing things. Although O2O, or offline to online marketing is not entirely new, but we will definitely see an increase in the sophistication in which these forms of marketing is done.
As such, if you are asking us why the team strongly believes that OOH is making a comeback, and will return stronger than ever, then our answer would be, can’t you see it yet?