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Virtually all brands now invest heavily in digital channels. But a just-released survey reveals that 97% of marketers across the country are reconsidering their dedication to digital. They are looking for alternatives to combat diminishing returns they blame on impossibly tough online competition for ad space and SEO and growing consumer weariness and distrust of digital ads.
The nationwide survey, the first of its kind large enough to be statistically significant, was conducted by Kickstand Communications and OneScreen.ai. While marketers point to declines in ROI and effectiveness of paid search and social media ads, more than a third of consumers say they now ignore emails and texts, too.
Digital messages simply are not getting through to their intended targets.
99% of marketers say OOH is the “perfect counterbalance”
Indeed. People are emerging into the real world with real enthusiasm, leading many marketers to believe that out-of-home audiences are paying closer-than-ever attention to their surroundings – including OOH ads. They say OOH surprises and delights consumers jaded by online ads.
Consumers themselves seem to agree
Nearly 60% identify OOH as the most trustworthy advertising medium, and nearly three-quarters of consumers say OOH offers the most relatable messaging. United States Postal Service (USPS) research showed that advertising presented in physical format are more memorable and generate higher recall than digital format ads.
OOH is expected to heat up as warmer months arrive
Plenty of marketers are already using out-of-home to amplify omni-channel campaigns.
- Nearly half are using traditional OOH exclusively, and 96% of them are confident in their results
- Nearly half are using digital OOH exclusively, and 75% of them are confident in their results
Oddly, though, only 13% are using both traditional and digital media. That leaves the door wide open for marketers to meet and impress audiences out of home in the real world.
With increasing foot traffic predicted everywhere from restaurants and bars to stores, movie theatres, sports and concert venues, OOH advertisers can take advantage of broad-based messaging to reach commuters and travelers, and use contextual messaging to influence shoppers looking for that perfect Mother’s Day or graduation gift.
Broadsign suggests that “with digital fatigue and a cookieless future on the horizon, marketers have the opportunity to shift and spend towards OOH, delivering more relevant and contextual content to audiences. And Paddy Shepherd, head of programmatic for the7stars, describes OOH as “the last frontier of true creativity in conjunction with context.”
92% are upping their OOH game
The vast majority of marketers who have already tasted the benefits of OOH say they will spend more on this channel in 2022 -- even if it means pinching some funds from other channels. They’re taking aim at email, paid search and paid social ads in particular.
Marketers who haven’t yet ventured out of home should take note.
Still, out-of-home is just one of several digital alternatives marketers are considering. They are testing campaigns using:
- Owned social media
- Press releases
But they have not abandoned digital advertising
Smart marketers are augmenting it with OOH that reaches targets in more places, more often, to reinforce messaging and give audiences the chance to instantly connect with their brand online.
Less is more, when it comes to digital ad success these days. Instead of bombarding digital users mercilessly with too many ads they will then ignore, skip over, delete or block, marketers can reach out into the real world to deliver messages in static and mobile ways that are far more appealing.
And while digital advertising is often aimed at existing customers or re-targeted prospects, OOH also reaches new and occasional customers.
The ability to use proximity-based mobile device tracking allows marketers to measure not only foot traffic in the vicinity but actual digital engagement as viewers use their device to respond to the ad on the spot.
The potential for increased sales and ROI is obvious. This means marketers can confidently scale back weakening digital efforts and realize greater gains at the same time.
As brands search for innovative, cost-effective alternatives to digital ads, out-of-home is becoming the essential must-have channel for marketing success in 2022.