In an ever changing advertising world, we have seen a variety of traditional channels adapt digitally with streaming radio, TV, and even digital newspapers. Out Of Home (OOH) advertising is following suit in a refreshing way that makes it a valuable marketing tool.

OOH doesn’t get the same headlines because it accounts for the just about six percent of the $500 billion global advertising spend. That, however, is expected to change as OOH revenue is expected to grow 3-4 percent per year, reaching $33 billion in 2021. The key is its ability to adapt.

To compete in the digital marketing space, OOH is coming up with creative solutions to give marketers new ways to reach consumers. Here are five:

    1. Geo-fencing: Clear Channel is now utilizing programmatic geo-fencing technology to create a radius around their billboards and track drivers after they go past. Advertisers can use that information to serve those drivers a display ad, creating additional exposure and measurement options.
    2. Weather targeting: Billboards are now able to access weather data via RSS feeds to change the creative they are serving drivers. For example: As the weather gets cooler and reaches a designated temperature, a passerby is served an ad about wanting to get away. Promotions for the movie “Baywatch” utilized this by serving ads once it hits a certain temperature.
    3. Smart boards: For years, advertisers have struggled to learn more about drivers that pass their boards. Now, thanks to a data and analytics tool from Clear Channel, they can. RADAR is able to collect non-identifiable data from mobile devices in the cars that drive past the boards. Marketers can track where customers are going, their interests, shopping habits and much more. General Motors utilized this new tool by targeting customers who drove by their billboard in a competitor’s car. They were then able to serve them an ad that listed how that particular car fails in comparison to a GM car. The technology was able to produce a 94% accuracy in detecting the car make.
    4. Interactive: The newest trend in digital billboards, by far, are ones that interact with the individuals around them. Some change their ad based on customer reactions and others invite people to walk right up to and use them.For example, billboards along Atlantic City’s boardwalk are now equipped with phone charges and Wi-Fi for people who are walking by to use, creating a one-to-one engagement.

      Amnesty International ran digital billboards during a campaign against domestic violence, ‘It Happens When Nobody Is Watching’ that used video cameras to track facial expressions of people waiting at a bus stop. When people were looking directly at the billboard it showed a happy looking couple; however, when they looked away the image changed to show the moment before an assault.

      Campaigns like this have the ability to not only utilize the ever-changing technology but to connect with customers on a deeper level.

    5. Extreme locations: Marketers are even finding ways to follow you up to the top of a mountain.LiftDigital from Alpine Media Technology has launched a new technology at Winter Park Resort in Colorado that provides digital content to skiers while they ride up the chairlift. Embedded into the safety bar of the chairlift, this technology includes Wi-Fi to allow for real time data updates, durable glass to protect the screens from damage and the ability to recharge during each pass of the bullwheel. Snow reports, line times and digital ads are served as ski and snowboarders ride up the lift.

    OOH: An old school solution to a new school problem

    As digital continues to gobble up more and more of a brand’s advertising spend, marketers have to figure out a way to get around a major obstacle – media blocking. Customers, especially the younger generations, are blocking ads through websites or programs downloaded to their home computers or mobile devices.

    And that’s where OOH shines. After all, you can’t block a billboard.

    In 2016, approximately 80% of all American’s noticed a billboard ad from one of the 370,000 billboards across the country. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, billboards yielded an average of $5.97 in product sales from each dollar invested.

    The appeal of billboards are increasing due to the advancing landscape of customer interaction. As marketers, we have always struggled with being able to measure traditional media, but with the growing partnership of digital and OOH, we can now measure impressions and clicks for drivers’ post-billboard view.

    As the digital integration of OOH continues, proving ROI is becoming easier because OOH is more targeted, measureable and more valuable.