Believe The Hyper: Looking Locally

Relevance is the key to any successful customer strategy today, and local geographic and demographic targeting is a vital component for achieving that relevance. More and more, marketers are turning to digital media to address their need for local targeting ability -- or "hyper-targeting" -- the concept of pinpointing specific high-value audiences or cohorts within broader targets.

Hyper-targeting is not only en vogue, it's a mandate. Every form of digital media is going hyper local - from your Twitter profile to branded social platforms to your Facebook page and local search. And while traditional media will always provide the scale marketers need, they continue to seek out ways to localize their message to each individual market or audience. As a result of this trend, agencies are feeling the demands of clients that want to advertise locally, but buy on a national level across multiple markets. These planning needs are getting more granular daily and understanding local markets from a national seat can present a steep challenge for both marketers and agencies.

Digital out-of-home media (DOOH) offers tremendous hyper-targeting opportunities. However, there are exceptional challenges in creating large, scalable campaigns, due to a complex landscape of networks and matrix of environmental considerations. In addition, DOOH is growing at a rapid pace and new networks are cropping up weekly, making it impossible for marketers to keep track of all the DOOH media available to them and to understand each network's specialty and strengths. Two similar networks can easily look the same on the surface, but deep down, be very different. Understanding the ins and outs of each network is a daily partner conversation, not an "as needed" transaction when optimizing the true impact of the medium. So, how does a marketer choose the right networks, venues, contextual environments for their client and achieve both scale and hyper-targeting with a deep knowledge of the entire landscape at their fingertips?

The answer lies in aggregation as it did with newspapers, television and on-line advertising. Aggregators will build your plan by audience, not by channel. Every market is different and needs to be addressed differently. In addition, there are differing levels of density and coverage by each network/network type per market, which can make 'lifestyle planning' and even geographic or category targeting somewhat irrelevant.

Let's look at the Los Angeles market. Because of the physical layout and the surrounding mountains, simply doing a 10-mile radius around the center leaves out enormous amounts of reach, because it doesn't match the topography. This market actually shoots out in two triangles and its residents travel much further for their daily activities than people in other markets. Now imagine having to understand such subtle nuances about hundreds of markets. That's a key skill an aggregator brings to the table - insight.

Avoiding the pitfalls to successful hyper-targeting
There are several pitfalls that the typical agency executive might not be aware of when it comes to purchasing DOOH media. For instance, it would be difficult to effectively hyper-target to, say, the top 5% of Hispanics in the leading Hispanic zip codes. You'll lose out on scale because cutting markets that way may only give you about 3,000 people per zip code. Instead, if you relax your targeting to the top 15%, you'll get 20 times the audience for an incremental increase in budget, because tier-two audience zip codes have 40,000 people each. What may look like a "B" target could in fact make your campaign an "A".

Agency partnerships with aggregators give brands instant access to insight such as this that they just can't get working network by network. It allows brands to immediately see the whole landscape and understand the true impact they can have with their campaigns. It expands the understanding of the medium and increases the size of campaigns and reach for less money than with other media.

Imagine consolidating three weeks of work to 30 minutes for an initial plan. The aggregation model allows plan and strategy revisions to occur in seconds, decreasing media waste and staff time, and reducing creative, distribution and billing requirements and ultimately creating a more efficient end-to-end ecosystem. An aggregator can ensure that you only plan and buy what you need and want, focusing on the maximum audience that will drive results which also saves advertisers money -- the more targeted you can get, faster, the more impact you get for less. In assessing a 12 network plan and buy, aggregation increases the efficiencies of the process by over 800% which increases exponentially each time another network is included.

Measuring and moving forward
Traditional brand measures work well for benchmarking hyper-targeting success through digital out-of-home media. Remember that DOOH is digital, but it's not the Internet. Measure against your strategic goals, including, for instance, sales lift, brand awareness/trial, recall, coupon redemption, and campaign activity lifts.

Jump into this fast-growing medium quickly -- even if it's in small ways. The earlier you do, the more quickly you will hone your targeting skills and the better prepared you will be not only today but a few years from now, when there are millions of screens to evaluate for hundreds of campaign requests a week.

In the future, look for online companies like Amazon to make the jump to the real world through digital out-of-home media to enable instant gratification purchases in any environment, drop-shipped to your house. I've already seen this technology in action, but to date, it has lacked a true physical presence to grow until being integrated with DOOH.

Remember that a holistic cross-channel integration approach is critical for maximum success. When using DOOH to reach your customers, give them choices in how they can interact with you, such as promoting a mobile 'text in' response, Web URL, or toll-free number and make sure there's value to them in your offer.

Lastly, in today's media environment, it's almost more important to be a part of the conversation -- not BE the conversation. Today's digital media requires a subtler tact and a respect for your consumer. Understand that being around your consumer is usually more beneficial than being in front of your consumer. You will generally see great results out of your influence in DOOH when you do.

Adding digital out-of-home media to your complete customer management strategy will allow you to hyper-target the exact audience you want, when and where you want to reach them. DOOH creates the ideal customer experience and positions your clients' business for continued growth over the long-term.

2 comments about "Believe The Hyper: Looking Locally".
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  1. Bill Collins from DecisionPoint Media Insights, July 15, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.


    This is an excellent overview of the value of Digital out-of-home (DOOH) media and the important role that aggregators such as Adcentricity will play in buying of Digital out-of-home.

    The emerging efficiency of DOOH aggregators such as Adcentricity is comparable, I suppose, to the emergence of the cable interconnects some years ago. Now just about every sees their value. My hope is that the same will happen for the DOOH aggregators such as Adcentricity.

    Bill Collins
    DecisionPoint Media Insights

  2. Charlie Ray from Broad Street Interactive, July 20, 2009 at 10:54 a.m.

    We are having great results for our clients with hyper-local targeting. It's exhausting working with all the small markets sometimes but worth it for the ROI for our clients.

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