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The potential for automation in OOH advertising

Automation really is the word of the hour. The ability for software and digital technology to streamline both ad performance and delivery has already come a long way in a short stretch of time. Nowhere is the potential for automation as tantalising as in out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

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Automated booking of OOH for direct customers

By automating the booking of OOH using purpose-built outdoor advertising software, media owners can save time and money while connecting to new revenue streams not previously possible.

By adding an e-commerce platform, such as Signkick’s Console, to the traditional OOH booking model, media owners allow their customers who want to book out-of-home advertising in, say, cinemas in the Manchester area, to punch in a postcode and pull up a list of available cinema 6-sheets without the need to contact their sales team.

Once they’ve selected the option they want they can purchase the asset, upload their artwork, all within the outdoor advertising software.

By migrating from spreadsheets and phone calls to live online availability, you can capture these smaller sales with little to no effort, allowing your sales team to focus on what really matters – meeting their targets and building client relationships.

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Think how simple and streamlined this process is compared to the old days.

But also think about the potential to expand the domain of ad booking via automation. Imagine if advertisers could buy a digital billboard in the area near their DIY store and also select an option to automatically send targeted Facebook ads to smartphone users within a 1-mile radius of the ad? This is the potential power of automation.

Automating personalised OOH campaigns

Digital is one of the key areas in which the potential for OOH is very exciting. For example, advertisers could book a digital display in a Post Office to show their ten-second ad twice a minute for £100 per day. What if you could also offer smartphone data and automation to re-target ads viewed by individuals as they go about their daily business? Automation could be used to deliver personalised ad campaigns that are tailored to individuals, just like online retargeting and personalised ads do now.

Automating OOH advertising strategy

Automated outdoor advertising software systems tend to focus on purchasing individual OOH assets on a geographical basis, making adjustments for advertising format, display frequency for digital ads, and so on. But there is a high potential for automation to be applied to OOH strategy as well.

What if you could sell an OOH campaign template that is tailored by size of brand, type of audience, location and so on? When the advertiser plugs in basic details of their campaign the system would offer various templates based on effective campaigns that other brands have run in the past – all while you retain full control.

The system could suggest the most effective options for their campaign, given their demographic, desired outcomes and budget. You could then use real-time performance data gathered by harnessing mobile phone data, and even using facial recognition tech, to tell them how many people have viewed their ads and for how long. It’s not hard to think about how much potential there is for such automated ad buying, especially given that all the aforementioned functionalities already exist, from harvesting anonymised phone data to configure ad delivery, to (slightly creepy) audience recognition systems.

Automating OOH ad monitoring

Monitoring the effectiveness of outdoor and OOH advertising campaigns has been the thorn in the side of marketing bean counters for time immemorial. We know that it does work, but it’s hard to track campaign effectiveness and accurately map it to ROI… in short, it’s hard to know which aspect of a campaign is working, and which areas are ineffective and wasting time and money. This kind of monitoring is especially desirable for small and medium-sized businesses who need to keep a close eye on ingoings and outgoings.

There are already ways you can measure the effectiveness of outdoor ads, but they tend to by DIY “tricks” that you have to manually apply to campaigns. There’s no reason such analytics can’t be built into automated OOH systems from the ground up. Here are ways automation could be used to monitor OOH performance…

Autogenerate QR codes that are tailored to the asset’s location

This would mean that you could track how many people had visited your website or product range via the QR code at each location. This would help you work out which audiences are most engaged with your brand.

Tailor the links and hashtags of each creative in such a way as to track the engagement generated from specific ad sites

For example, let’s say your campaign has the hashtag #widgets4u. Ads that run in Manchester would be auto-tagged #widgets4Manchester. Bus stop ads could be tagged #widgets4commuters, ads displayed in the morning could be tagged #widgets4earlybirds, ads placed in financial centres could be tagged #widgets4banks and so on.

You could then, for example, discover that a campaign had the most appeal to early morning commuters. These are all things that you could do right now, but automation has the potential to streamline these processes so that less brainpower, time and resources are devoted to creating effective advertiser OOH campaigns.

Get with the programmatic

Automation has already made ad-booking much more streamlined and accessible to SME’s. And OOH tech is developing at a rapid pace as more and more brands turn to the out-of-home arena. If you haven’t already investigated Signkick’s automation software for OOH media owners – read more about it here or get in touch and start supercharging your sales team’s performance.