Lucy Markowitz | Vistar Media, Director of Sales| Location Data Moving the Needle in Digital Out-of-Home


Brands today are eager for better ways to reach specific audiences out in the real world, and location data is playing a critical role in the rise of targeted, measurable digital out-of-home campaigns. But even still, many in our industry are only thinking about location data in a limited capacity. Below, I’ve shared some thoughts on the opportunities ahead.

Location data is playing a significant role bridging people with places and their paths to get there; what’s next?

What’s interesting is that today, most location data is used to provide static point-in-time views of a consumer. What’s next will be deeper emphasis on time-based location data – in other words, movement data. Understanding how consumers’ movement changes throughout the day, and being able to activate media against those shifting movement patterns is the next step in digital out-of-home.

I also believe that location data will start to face increased scrutiny from brands as they become more savvy about data sources and uses. There are a lot of players in the game, which means that brands have to take the time to understand what makes sense for their particular business.Some of the important attributes to look at are accuracy, scale, precision and passiveness. There is no one partner that is the gold standard–often it’s combining sources and understanding the benefits of each.

What are the tools businesses need to measure OOH performance?

For many years, OOH “performance measurement” was limited essentially to delivery reporting on impressions. Now thanks to our ability to analyze consumer movement data, we can identify consumers that were actually exposed to a digital out-of-home campaign and then tie that exposed audience to real world outcomes.

Foot traffic studies are a great tool when it comes to tying consumer exposure to a real-world visit. For many verticals, foot traffic correlates to sales; chances are, you’re not walking into a McDonald’s unless you’re going to buy a hamburger. So tracking whether exposed consumers actually entered your stores is a powerful measurement capability.

Visitation is great for retail marketers, but for some marketers in areas like automotive and CPG, sales are the final KPI that matters. In a similar way that location data tells us where someone went, it also can tell us where someone lives. Some of the largest transactional data sets for sales are stored at the household level. By combining location data with transactional data, we are able to understand what households are exposed to what ads and understand how sales were changed at a selection of households.

We’ve seen a lot of traction with heavy digital spenders that previously had been hesitant about investing in OOH, specifically due to these measurement capabilities. The more that we, as an industry, can prove the ROI of OOH, the more digital budgets will shift into the channel.