Starcom MediaVest London’s CEO, Stewart Easterbrook, took part in a panel at a MediaTel event this morning, ‘The union of out of home and mobile’
The research shows that out of home experiences that explicitly incorporate and leverage mobile are
likely to increase purchase funnel actions, conversations across communities, and brand equity.
Over half of UK adults now own a smartphone, and around 86% of smartphone owners regularly go online via their phones (Ofcom 2013). This, together with the fact that out of home has the second highest monthly reach behind TV, means that 16% of adults report using their mobiles to search the web partly as a result of out of home ads in the last month (Outdoor Media Centre). Clearly, search and brand sites need to be mobile optimised.
Searches resulting from out of home can also result in purchases. Thirteen percent of adults have bought because influenced by OOH advertising in the last month (OMC). Brands should look to see how they can increase likelihood of purchase through search, for example by showing local stockists and local deals, and through couponing.
Bringing mobile and out of home together also provides an opportunity to engage higher value customers. Young, mobile, affluent, connected and urban individuals are most likely to buy because of out of home. Forty four percent of 16-24s report having made purchases because they have been influenced by out of home media (OMC).
However, mobile activities should not be just about enquiry and purchase. Brand owners need to look to see how they can extend brand experiences through mobile, for example by using mobile to continue a story started on out of home. A partnership between Bing and Jay-Z to promote his autobiography is a good example of how this can be done.
Emotion is one of the biggest drivers to brand funnel and further media actions, and brand owners need to create out of home and mobile content that are likely to have emotional impacts. Fifty six percent of adults have had a positive emotional response to an out of home ad in the last month, closely followed by TV (OMC). Recommendation is the most common action by these people, followed by increases in brand equity.
Brand owners should also use mobile and out of home to drive talk and social media conversations. Ten percent of adults share (online or offline) something about an OOH experience per month (OMC). According to our Community Igniter research, 18% of people use out of home as a media source for at least one of their conversations.
Until recently, out of home advertising has been off limits to mobile phone activities on the London Underground. However, opportunities to engage people at some popular underground stations are now opening up due to Virgin Media, Vodafone and O2 opening up Wi-Fi hotspots in them. These provide the chance to target and engage higher value people, but connecting needs to be simple and easy. As with other locations, content needs to be compelling and people need to be given relevant reasons to undertake further activities on mobile.
QR codes and near field communications have had a lot of coverage in the media. However, QR codes show little sign of success in most campaigns, and people are more likely to manually search on their phones instead, due to high barriers to using QR codes. More phones now have NFC chips, but they don’t have scale, there aren’t many opportunities for people to use them, and research shows that most people see no or only little value in them.
Instead of QR codes and NFC, brand owners need to look at simpler ways of engaging people. I really like the partnership between Boots pharmacy and Weetabix. Weetabix recently ran a TV ad that encouraged people to take a photo of the ad and then go into a Boots store to get a discount.
Some apps are available that can extend a brand experience such as Aurasma, through which people can download additional content when a person points it at an image, such as an out of home ad. However, it has a small user base and it is not always simple to use.
Google Now is an emerging technology. This tracks people to give them ‘the right information at the right time’. There may be opportunities around out of home, for example tracking people who pass posters for particular ads that can then be used for better targeting and tracking of subsequent online behaviours.