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Busting location data myths

22 Jan 2018  |  James Power 
Busting location data myths

Ahead of Mediatel's Out-of-Home Summit this week, Primesight's James Power looks at how brands can use location data to unlock the true potential of digital OOH

Advertising is getting smarter. Technology allows us to reach audiences in ways we wouldn’t have thought possible twenty years ago. For the out of home industry, the billboard has undergone a dramatic transformation, giving advertisers the ability to engage consumers in better ways - all thanks to data.

Insight into individuals is hugely valuable to advertisers particularly when location is involved. Such insight can help build reactive, hyper-targeted campaigns. But the question then remains why, when over 40% of revenue comes from digital displays, is less than 4% of out of home copy dynamic?

The lack of awareness combined with common misconceptions is preventing advertisers from understanding the full potential of location data for out of home advertising. Below I look at three of the most prevailing myths and bust them, to prove that using location data can be the magic missing from your campaign with examples from big brands.

Myth No. 1: Real-time isn’t really real-time

When we say real-time we mean it. We live in a world where data is readily accessible to advertisers and programmatic technology allows marketers to react to events as they happen. Those marketers that react to the world around them genuinely capture their target audiences’ attention.

Network provider O2 is a great example with its contextually relevant, real-time content displayed via London Gatwick airport’s digital arrivals network. O2 wanted to target incoming passengers arriving from various European destinations to create awareness of its international SIM card.

In a media first, it used real-time flight arrival data to ensure that O2 messaging was targeted, relevant and delivered at exactly the right time. In addition, O2 used this data to make their ads play in the native language of the European country the flight was arriving from.

As a result, O2 saw the purchase and activation of SIM cards increase by 17% in store and 49% online.

Myth No. 2: It’s too complicated to bother

Believe it or not, using location data isn’t rocket science. Despite misconceptions that implementing it can be a long and complex process that isn’t worth the end result, B&Q proves that you can keep it simple and hugely rewarding.

The retailer decided to launch a campaign dependent on weather in certain locations. It made interchangeable templates for interior DIY for poor weather and out of home copy for better weather.

Depending on both forecasts and actual weather conditions, this reactive campaign served the right indoor or outdoor promotion to fit the right context. Location data would then direct consumers to the nearest store or to make an online purchase.

Lasting six months, this campaign proves that using location data isn’t as complicated as it might seem.

Myth No. 3: Accurate? Surely not!

When building a targeted location-based campaign, accuracy is key and without precise and accurate data it would not be effective. Beacons, capable of triggering push notifications on mobile, and software development kit (SDK) use mobile data to accurately pin an individual’s location to target them with advertising that is contextually relevant.

Whether it’s to drive physical interaction with an out of home advert, encourage them into the nearest store, or build brand awareness, location data is a useful addition to out of home campaigns.

Coors Light and Shazam teamed up to use accurate location data to create a fun and engaging out of home campaign using InLinks, multi-purpose digital advertising screens with integrated Wi-Fi, in New York.

This campaign correlated data from each neighbourhood in real time to produce a playlist of the most popular songs being listened to at a specified time in each neighbourhood. This clever use of location data allowed both tourists and locals alike to experience the personality of the neighbourhood through music.

For this to be effective, the data had to be accurate to define each neighbourhood as well as target each New Yorker near the InLink kiosks.

The result is an interactive campaign that impresses consumers with exciting content relevant to their surroundings.

By busting location data myths it’s clear that location data is the perfect ingredient for a successful out of home campaign. All of the case studies above are great examples of campaigns which have truly made the most of location data and delivered results, but the opportunities are endless.

With digital out of home offerings, brands can test this impressive medium on a small scale before deploying larger campaigns.

James Power is head of InLink sales at Primesight

You can find details about Mediatel's Out-of-Home Summit event here

Mediatel operate two essential services for the OOH industry. SPACE is a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of inventory in the UK. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution that enables easy integration of Route audience data into client's systems. See for more information.

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