Niamh Manning, Marketing Executive, PML Group with this week’s take from the world of Out of Home.
Connecting Offline to Online
As we enter Level 5 restrictions this week, the OOH sector can do so with more of a sense of optimism and confidence than we did in March. Whereas earlier in the year, we entered the realms of the unknown and the unprecedented, the simple fact that we have been here before gives us assurance, primarily regarding audience. We will see another shift in behaviour, certainly, and once again OOH’s ability to target hyper-locally will be called upon.
But our collective situation is different in many ways now. School and childcare facilities remain open and the local school run in the morning, lunch time and early evening will be even more pronounced as winter sets in. Although restrictions remain on transport capacity, a full timetable on services such as Dublin Bus remains in place, serving and moving through local communities all day every day.
Hospitality is far better prepared, and consumers will be keen to support our local pubs and restaurants with so many offering collection services now. The retail sector is also more geared up with click and collect an option for so many more now in the non-essential retail sector. What won’t change is the attraction for advertisers in communicating with audiences in essential retail destinations such as standalone supermarkets, shopping malls and business parks. The list of essential retail and services is longer than at the peak of the last shutdown, with hardware shops, bicycle repair shops and opticians joining the likes of supermarkets, newsagents and pharmacies this time around.
In this week’s Now Near Next, we explore how advertisers can utilise the power of OOH to adapt to a shift in shopping behaviour by creating an effective offline-to-online sales channel to drive online activation.
Consumer shopping patterns will alter with non-essential retails outlets closing and placing a pause on the physical retail experience until December. This will create a shift in consumers shopping behaviour through November with some inevitable movement to online channels as a necessary means of purchasing in the lead up to Christmas.
Black Friday (including Cyber Monday) has been thoroughly embraced by Irish consumers in recent years and is now a firmly established sales event that has extended the shopping period for Christmas. Entering into a peak shopping season in the calendar for retailers, online shopping, home deliveries and click and collect services will intrinsically grow in popularity for retailers and consumers alike as people seek out Black Friday deals and Christmas gifts in the coming weeks.
Research conducted by Core reveals 45% plan to do more of their Christmas shopping online this year. While research carried out by DMG Media Ireland shows that 82% of Irish people are shopping online more than ever with 55% stating they will begin shopping earlier this year. The research also found 70% of shoppers are planning to shop on Irish websites for Christmas gifts this year.
Harnessing OOH Strengths
In a very fragmented media landscape, harnessing the power of OOH advertising to increase awareness and consideration will be even more imperative as we enter a busy winter period.
Broadcasting ads via OOH can provide an opportunity for brands to drive awareness, introduce products and services, create intrigue, and encourage purchase. OOH can effectively inform audiences on retailers’ current operations whether that’s simply communicating an online presence, click or collect services or acting as a virtual shelf showcasing products or promotions.
By placing ads in prime locations and environments, retailers can target a large, diverse group of people who are already on the path to purchase and those in-market audiences looking for gift ideas and inspiration. Acting as discovery medium, OOH can prompt audiences to go online to research and essentially purchase from retailers.
With a plethora of OOH and DOOH formats available across many environments that we will still venture to and pass by in the coming weeks, advertisers can leverage the Outdoor medium as a Point of Sale extension for online channels.
Linking Offline and Online
We know OOH is a key offline driver to online with Nielsen reporting it delivers more online activity than any other traditional media channel. OOH is proven to amplify the digital space and create action among audiences transcending and bridging the gap between the offline and online world.
OOH lends itself to right time, right place advertising and brands can entice audiences with OOH communications and ultimately influence purchases. Our own iQ research found 59% of Dubliners have searched online for a company or product as a direct response to seeing an OOH advertisement while over a third (37%) have made an online purchase.
And with an online portal in our hand and pockets, OOH can influence search and purchases instantaneously and ‘on the go’. Insights shows nearly a third of Irish adults have either researched or purchased a product/service online via their mobile phone after seeing an OOH ad (TGI 2020).
Flexing those Creative Capabilities
With digital OOH’s flexibility and adaptability to change messaging quickly as required, dynamic OOH can connect with consumers by allowing brands to respond quickly to a change in circumstance.
With the ability to display dynamically changing messaging and content, advertisers can deliver various creatives based on real-time information alongside the advertisements. This kind of dynamic content can help the medium deliver messages that piques the consumers’ interests while maximising value for advertisers.
Utilising PML Group’s Liveposter platform to create event-based communications, advertisers can produce even more relevant and ‘in the moment’ content to drive action. Using variables such as sales countdown, promoting deals and stock availability to name but a few, OOH can drive stronger engagement with consumers in the physical space.
The ‘Moments of Truth’ research, a collaborative study from Posterscope, Clear Channel and JCDecaux in the UK, shows how live updates which could include features such as a countdown, limited stock availability or social proofing are more memorable and relatable to audiences.
Measuring memory encoding, these types of content variables are more effective at driving increased brain response (+22%) with both sides of the brain perceiving a reason to encode this information, driving it into memory. By creating urgency or having an element of social proofing e.g. the number of items recently purchased, viewers identified closely and emotionally with the details in the ad. The study also reveals how the use of contextually relevant messaging delivers an average +17% uplift in Digital Out of Home campaign effectiveness.
With a strong societal narrative encouraging online shopping and to click Irish, audiences are already primed to look out for value and brands who operate in the retail space.
Using the data points collected in our Now Near Next series along with our bespoke planning tools such as Pinpoint and Locomizer, we can identify OOH hotspots to help brands take advantage of available audiences and provide the best return on investment by select sites, locations and environments that deliver the highest impact.
As demonstrated above, OOH is an effective way to reach and influence consumers, marketers who include OOH in their media mix can greatly benefit from this offline-to-online channel and build a more connected consumer journey in the coming weeks.