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Out-of-the-box ABM

Extend your marketing mix outside the "Facebook/Adwords" box

3 min read

Times Square Isn't for OOH Rookies

Always dreamed of seeing your name up in lights — your brand's name, that is? Times Square digital spectaculars (those enormous, brilliantly colorful billboards) are the penultimate example. But you can bet those companies didn't launch their first out-of-home advertising campaign in Times Square. The cost alone would prohibit that, but there are other very practical reasons to start smaller.

With out-of-home, you can wow your intended audience no matter where they are out in the real world. Like all of today's marketing, OOH is data-driven. By mining customer and location data, you can find the diamonds — data nuggets you can use to set a budget, choose locations, create can't miss, inspiring content, measure results and continuously improve. Get our OOH playbook here.

Why start smaller?


Of course you want to make a big splash, and you could reach more people in a big city, but you have to be strategic about it. Big national brands (and many others) are already big in OOH. You don't want to be overwhelmed by them, especially as you're just learning what it takes to create a successful campaign. So pick a location where you can stand out.


Cost efficiency is essential for every brand, big or small. In addition to design and placement costs, you'll want to budget funds to test your ad content, inventory choices and locations to refine and improve as you go. A well-targeted smaller city (or specific geographical area) will be more affordable and will likely give you greater penetration or allow a longer campaign run within your budget. That can reduce your CPM and increase ROI.

A chart like this makes it easy to compare OOH costs by city and type of media, which can vary considerably from one market to another. You can easily see why it's financially smart to start off in a smaller city. And why it is more budget-friendly to stick with traditional (non-digital) OOH options for your out-of-home debut.



You know who they are, but you want to advertise where your targets are highly concentrated. Times Square may be a fun dream, but it may also be irrelevant for your marketing goals. And super-sized digital billboards may not be your best media choice, either.

You could pick one or two test markets that reflect your target demographics, but if you're a local or regional enterprise your geo-targeting is already self-defined. Using location analytics tools such as Geopath, you can pinpoint specifically where and when your target viewers will be within your geographic parameters, right down to the vehicle and foot traffic patterns and GPS coordinates.

OOH offers a wide variety of placement opportunities, outdoors and inside, so along with choosing a smaller city, a smaller selection of inventory types will help you stay focused. For example, posters may be more effective than roadside billboards, or a combination of street furniture and transit ads may be just the thing to reach and influence your targets as they're on the go around town.


Despite persistent myths to the contrary, you can measure OOH performance as you do other channels.

Testing and tweaking improves campaign performance, and a manageable data pool makes that process easier and faster.


Whatever you want to achieve, OOH can get you there:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Drive website or in-store traffic
  • Reinforce customer loyalty/trust
  • Launch a new product/service
  • Promote an event or a new market presence
  • Connect viewers with social campaigns

Your goal will determine your CTA — essential for every OOH ad — as well as the performance metrics that will gauge campaign success.

Keep it simple. Learning the OOH ropes can feel overwhelming at first, so don't try to do everything at once. Limit the scope of your campaign, so you can zero in on key data to plan and measure — too many variables will confuse the issue. Start with traditional (print) placements. There's an additional learning curve (and cost) associated with digital displays, programmatic advertising, etc.

One of the easiest ways to stick your toe in the OOH waters? Use it to augment an existing online campaign. There's nothing like outstanding results to inspire you to expand further into the real world, so read here what happened when we combined out-of-home with a Facebook ad campaign.

Streamline the process and confidently connect with top-tier partners nationwide using's one-stop platform to design, execute and track your OOH campaign.


Launching your entry into out-of-home in a smaller city, or just a few niche markets, allows you to try out different OOH media and gather valuable data you can use to expand campaign locations strategically and cost-effectively. As you hone your OOH skills, keep dreaming. One day, your brand, too, might be up there in lights for millions of Times Square visitors to see.