Why Out Of Home (OOH) Is The Alternative To Online Advertising Post-GDPR

The rules are tightening up on digital advertising, is it time to take it outside?

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The rules are tightening up on digital advertising, is it time to take it outside?


Why Out Of Home (OOH) Is The Alternative To Online Advertising Post-GDPR

The rules are tightening up on digital advertising, is it time to take it outside?

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As new media channels appear, and existing ones evolve, it can be hard for businesses to know which ones are the best to use to communicate with their target audience.

Historically online advertising has been one of the best channels for businesses to use, delivering value for money and return on investment. But with the growth in ad blocking technology, concerns over viewability and ad fraud, business owners are rightly becoming wary of this channel.

Add to this list the challenge posed by GDPR looming in late May, with its requirements for stringent opt-ins from consumers and the “right to explanation” on how their data is and has been used, small businesses may be significantly hampered in their traditional digital marketing activity.

What are the alternative media routes for business owners?

TV – TV advertising is by and large very expensive

Print ­- local and national newspapers, and magazines, are generally losing readership. They no longer have the reach they once had

Direct Mail – is becoming increasingly costly with postal costs going up.

OOH – is undergoing significant change (similar to online five years ago), and as a result requires further investigation. Particularly because it has been undergoing its own ‘digital revolution’

Growth in digital OOH (DOOH)

In the past, out of home (OOH) media has been perceived as expensive, lacking in measurable data and generally difficult to enter, but not today. This is because it’s experiencing great change as a result of digitisation, with savvy business owners beginning to take increased notice of it.

The fast-evolving OOH market is opening up exciting new opportunities for businesses, particularly through the growth of digital screens – digital OOH (DOOH). They are offering a raft of new ‘broadcast’ opportunities, making OOH much more sophisticated, measurable and providing the ability to deliver new routes to market.

For example:

Geo-targeting for moving media – targeting creative messages to specific parts of a town or city via digital taxi and bus screens

Live social media feeds – where a person can change the content on a screen by messaging through a social media channel

Facial recognition – the ability to deliver a different creative message to men and women as they walk past the digital screen

Temperature triggers – changing the creative message if the temperature moves above or below a certain level

High fidelity day part targeting – eliminating wastage and offering businesses the ability to target commuters during core times of day, or a restaurant the ability to run different creative for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same digital screen

A wide range of other functionality, including – geo-targeting by TV region, postcode and demographic, and targeting using first and third-party data all facilitate the ability to deliver better and much more relevant advertising campaigns

In fact, recent research on advertising recall highlights the boost brands can generate using OOH, particularly digital OOH (DOOH), which was ranked the best media in delivering ad recall.


What is equally important as the additional opportunities DOOH generates is that the GDPR impact on this media is less prevalent, because the data required is already anonymised and GDPR compliant. GDPR also has no impact on traditional print OOH.

Importantly, for those businesses who are GDPR compliant and have anonymised consumer data, they can also use this data within OOH to identify locations that index highly for people interested in their product. This enables them to deliver highly targeted campaigns, by purchasing screens in areas where there are people interested in and more likely to buy their product.

OOH works well with other media

For a media that provides ads that are 100 per cent visible, and reach 98 per cent of the population, OOH campaigns don’t only work well on their own, but with other media.

Nielsen carried out research in the USA in 2017 that reveals that OOH is the most effective at driving online activity. It highlighted OOH delivers more online activity per ad dollar spent compared to TV, radio and print.

It found online activations, including search, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram activity generated by OOH indexes at about four times the expected rate given its relative ad spend.

Nearly five in 10 US adults (46 per cent) have used Google, Bing, Yahoo, or another Internet search engine to look up information after seeing or hearing something advertised on a billboard, bus shelter, or other OOH format in the past six months. Also, nearly 40 per cent have visited a Facebook page or posted a message on Facebook after seeing an OOH ad.

Undertaking OOH campaigns

Today, it’s easier than ever to plan and buy OOH campaigns. The advent of automated online trading platforms in this sector has significantly lowered the threshold to entry and swept away the old barriers to access. As a result, planning OOH campaigns and buying this media in real-time is an easy, efficient and transparent process.

The cost of OOH is not high either. Digital billboards cost from £150 per month dependent on location and number of times the creative is broadcast. Also, with DOOH lead times are short because the creative is sent directly to the digital screens. Even traditional OOH is cheaper than you think - you can buy a large roadside billboard (48 Sheet) for £600 per month.

Ambitious businesses looking to grow in the GDPR age must be prepared to consider new marketing routes. By doing so they may find that OOH offers a significant opportunity – one which will enable them to continue to grow their business and market share.

Craig Mytton is chief revenue officer at Bitposter.

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Why Out Of Home (OOH) Is The Alternative To Online Advertising Post-GDPR

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