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How to measure the reach of OOH advertising

Whether you’ve set up a campaign already, or whether you’re planning future successful campaigns, the measurability of OOH is probably a question on your mind. 

As the popularity of OOH advertising rises, so does the demand for measurement capabilities that can assess just how impactful your advertising has been, and who has seen it. This enables you to adjust your future advertising plans in line with performance to expand your reach and increase your impact. 

The good news is there are sophisticated measurement capabilities available, and in this two part article series, we’ll explore the challenges and solutions for measuring OOH reach and engagement. 

This time, we look at how the UK’s leading OOH media analytics company measures the audience reach of ads using sophisticated tools. 

How Important is OOH?

OOH (out-of-home advertising and also known as outdoor advertising), is a powerful way to bring your message to the general public on a big scale. By carefully selecting locations for your digital billboards, bus shelter ads, and screens, you can reach the right people in the right locations at the right time. 

Figures from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America indicate that the industry grew 7.7% in the second quarter of 2019 alone. This trend is only set to rise as more businesses see the worth in OOH and choose to invest.  

The Problem

With people constantly coming and going, how exactly can you be sure of how many people have passed your advert, never mind whether they’ve taken the time to read and engage with it? The research is there to prove that OOH does work and does influence people – but getting concrete measurements to assess this on a campaign-by-campaign basis stands on shakier ground. 

Luckily, data-based systems and research have been developed to improve the accuracy of measurement, allowing advertisers to get a greater sense of their ad exposure. 

The Solution: The Power of OOH Media Analytics

Route.org.uk is the UK’s go-to media analytics organisation for OOH advertising – and for Clear Channel. The data provided by Route enables Clear Channel to give their clients real understanding of how many people are passing by an advert – and not only that, but how many are seeing the ad.

Effectively, what Route offers is a highly effective planning tool and a sophisticated way to examine behaviour, lifestyle, and movement of everyday people. Route specialises in audience measurement for out-of-home advertising, telling subscribers how many and what type of people can see an ad campaign, and how often they do. This enables an audience number to be put to a certain billboard or screen location which is therefore a measurement of audience reach. From this, advertisers can build effective campaigns based on solid data, and improve their current strategies for the future. 

How to Measure OOH Advertising

There are several data sets that Route combines to calculate the impact and reach of an ad campaign – these include: 

  • Travel Survey: Participants are given a device with an in-built GPS tracker (to measure location), a gyroscope (to measure twists and turns of an individual), accelerometer (changes in speed) and a compass (direction). Participants will carry these devices for around two weeks, with 7,200 carrying the devices, with up to 200 – 300 people are carrying these devices at any one time for a robust sample. They will also have to answer extensive questions in regards to their lifestyle, shopping habits and media consumption. These travel surveys give a clear picture of where people are going during any given period, giving us real insight into lifestyle, daily movements and behaviour when out and about. The beauty of these devices is their ability to work off-grid e.g. when somebody goes underground.  
  • Traffic Intensity Model:  The network of pathways across the country (which includes roads and tube stations) is then overlaid with traffic flows and audience numbers – effectively mapping vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow across the UK. 
  • Eye Tracking: Now we have a sense of how many people are going past an ad, and what their daily life may look like, next Route discover how many people actually look at the ad – by using eye tracking research, which examines how many people are likely to see various shapes and sizes. From this research, they can draw a ‘catchment area’ or ‘cone of vision’ around each poster, screens or billboard, allowing them to work out the maximum distance from which you can see the poster, also taking into account what angle somebody is approaching the ad. All of this information gives Route a ‘likelihood-to-see’ metric that is a far more realistic and insightful metric than a simple ‘opportunity-to-see’ metric. 
  • Mapping: Finally, once Route has established who is travelling where and what they are seeing, the inventory of adverts and their geo-coordinates are used in line with the data already collected. Details that Route obtains include where the ‘frame’ is located, how it’s orientated, its size and shape, its type, whether illuminated, and its address. 

5 Key Measures

From these combined data sets, Route can produce five key measures. 

  • Reach: Number of unique individuals who see an advert
  • Impact: Number of times an advert is seen (so, will include if one individual has seen an advert multiple times)
  • Frequency: Impact divided by reach within a certain period
  • Cover: A percentage highlighting the proportion of a target group who have seen the campaign within a certain period
  • GRPs (Gross Rating Points): The percentage of the target group reached multiplied by the frequency they see it 

All of these are an advertiser’s bread and butter when it comes to planning a truly effective campaign based on real-life behaviour and movement. Clear Channel uses this Route data to support their clients in building impactful campaigns. 

What About Audience Engagement?

Measuring the number of people who have seen the advert is incredibly helpful for the planning of ad campaigns – however this data cannot measure the human reaction to an advert, or whether somebody actually cares about the ad, or interacts and engages with it. 

In our next article, we’ll examine some ways you can measure how many people have taken an active interest in your advert. 

 

If you’re searching for high-impact OOH locations across the UK, look no further than Clear Channel Direct. With a global network of billboards, bus shelter ads, screens and digital displays, we can help you reach the right people at the right time. We also make sure to provide after-campaign support, to help you determine ROI and analyse the number of people who saw your campaign – from this, we can assist you with designing future successful campaigns. Get in touch to discover more. 

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