Why Marketers Are Spending More In OOH Media

Over the past several years, out-of-home (OOH) advertising has seen strong incremental growth – more than double that of all other forms of traditional media. According to a MAGNA report published earlier this year, OOH ad sales grew by an average +4% per year over the last nine years (2010-2018), compared to -1.5% for all non-digital media sales (linear TV, print, radio). This trend is expected to continue with many analysts predicting the industry will double in total market value by 2023. 

Digital ad sales continue to increase, with expected double-digit growth (+12%), making up over 50% of all ad spend. However, linear ad sales are set to decrease by -5% this year. As radio shifts to streaming formats and television contend with OTT and VOD services, out-of-home media continues to expand both supply and demand. In fact, many predict OOH could double its share of marketing spend by 2025. 



While outdoor advertising has always been an awareness driver for brands, the ability to effectively measure its impact was limited in the past. Today OOH plays a far more strategic role for marketers as they plan and optimize campaigns to not only cut through the noise and capture consumer attention, but also drive store traffic, conversions and sales. 

As media consumption behavior shifts, and more consumers cut the cord in favor of on-demand or streaming services, it’s becoming harder than ever for advertisers to reach their audience as people block or tune out ads.  In contrast to other media, OOH and digital OOH ads can’t be blocked, skipped or fast-forwarded. They aren’t controlled by a newsfeed algorithm or plagued with fraud. OOH has also become the preferred media type for millennials. 

With that overview in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest factors driving OOH’s growth, and why more brands are investing in the channel: 

Digital Transformation

 The OOH industry had found a way to turn $1 into $8, by transitioning static out-of-home media placements into rotating digital displays, capable of serving eight times the ads every minute. Although, digital OOH makes up less than 15% of total OOH inventory, it represents nearly a third of total spend

Not only has this caused supply to increase, also demand as advertisers across technology and other industries shift media dollars to take advantage of digital OOH’s ability to dynamically serve creative and measure impact in real time. 

Access & Automation 

What was once a very antiquated medium has now blossomed in the 21st century with automated and programmatic ad platforms for OOH media. For marketers, planning and buying OOH media can be a very fragmented and labor intensive, given the number of media types, media owners and logistics to sort through. 

With the latest Out-Of-Home platforms (DSPs)  marketers can analyze and programmatically buy the latest OOH media inventory available across literally thousands of different markets, neighborhoods and media types. 

Mobile & Geolocation Data 

Mobile phones act as the new survey for the OOH industry. Every day, billions of location observations are captured and shared as consumers use their smartphones, and opt-in to receive accurate information regarding weather, news or surrounding events. 

Location observations also play a valuable role for brands, making it possible to report (in aggregate) how many consumers are exposed to an OOH ad, what their daily journey is like and whether they visit specific locations. In addition, as marketers begin to understand their audience and who’s being exposed to their ads, they can better personalize and optimize their campaigns – further increasing reach, relevancy and effectiveness. 

Solving For Diminishing Return 

In today’s landscape, social and digital media buys represent the lion’s share of media spend by brands – representing more than 50% of share on average. That said, digital and social buys are not as effective as they once were. For example, CPM rates on Facebook have fluctuated as much as 30 to 50% this year. 

In contrast, OOH media offers historically low CPM rates. According to a recent report by Omnicom Media Group’s Benchmarking, OOH also delivers the highest ROI of any media format, with a $5.97 return for every $1.00 spent. 

Many brands are jumping on the opportunity, leveraging OOH as a bigger part of their marketing strategy, to improve reach and frequency as well as overall business outcomes, such as foot traffic and sales. 

Tangible data, automated platforms and the transition to digital has fueled the out-of-home industry and marketers have taken notice. Brands and agencies that recognize this shift have gained a competitive advantage implementing OOH technology into their marketing tech stack, leveraging consumer data and personalizing OOH at the local level, while taking advantage of unparalleled CPM rates. 


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