Billboards are having a serious moment right now. Netflix recently announced it’s offering $300 million for the acquisition of an L.A. billboard company, sparking renewed interest in what could be called “old school” out-of-home (OOH) advertising. As the worlds of offline and digital marketing blur, billboards could become a powerful channel for media companies like Netflix, and other brands — especially those that use data-informed insights to perfectly match the billboard’s content and location.
It’s no secret that traditional advertising has been on the decline. However, a recent industry report shows billboards and other parts of the OOH segment are still alive and in-demand — especially from tech companies and Hollywood, which love the old-fashioned billboard.
If OOH advertising is part of your brand’s strategy and budget, then it makes sense to leverage location data to ensure optimum ROI. Seventy-three percent of consumers now allow apps to access their location, providing insight into real-world consumer behavior. When aggregated and anonymized, this location data reveals valuable insights about where people go and what they do there, helping billboard companies and the brands using them understand neighborhood traffic patterns. This ensures these displays get not only good volume of eyeballs, but also the right eyeballs.
In Netflix’s case, these location-informed insights might help them understand where their target audiences travel and what they do on the way from point A to B. But beyond this, it can provide richer insights into the attributes and brand affinities of those audiences: are they coffee lovers or hockey fans? Are they more likely to shop at a Whole Foods than a Wegmans?
I’d recommend Netflix consider the following four things to optimize its billboard OOH advertising campaigns.
1. Use location data insights to better understand the groups of consumers that view billboards today. By geo-fencing each billboard location, Netflix can understand the real-world activities and interests of people who walk or drive by. Are they movie-goers or comedy fans? Are they college students or families with children? With location-derived insights, Netflix can start to tailor its OOH advertising campaigns to best fit the consumers who see their ads in each market.
2. To boost new subscriptions, Netflix should first look to their current subscribers. What could location data tell Netflix about its best customers? By understanding where their current customers shop, dine and stay today, Netflix can enrich its customer data with location-derived insights, then find more prospective customers just like them. Netflix can use these customer insights to more effectively prioritize its target markets and OOH advertising locations.
3. Event attendance is one of the best indicators of consumer interest. Netflix should identify upcoming events that its target audience may be planning to attend. Perhaps their best customers are regular Coachella attendees, or interested in live country music — leading the company to favor billboards on the way to Indio, Calif., or Nashville, Tenn.
4. Netflix shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to retarget the consumers who’ve viewed their OOH advertising. By geo-fencing billboard locations, Netflix can capture consumer attendances in each area and create new, custom audiences for use in digital advertising campaigns. This allows Netflix to get even more value from its OOH advertising spend, by re-engaging the same consumers with their brand message on the mobile device.
Beyond Netflix, these methods are important to any company that wants to effectively identify billboard locations for an OOH advertising campaign. Location intelligence lets companies of all kinds make the most of their marketing budget in order to attract new consumers in key locations and markets.