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Understanding the Basics of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Measurement

Understanding the Basics of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Measurement

Although DOOH’s origins are in traditional outdoor advertising (such as static billboards, posters, or street signs), its digital capabilities really set it apart when it comes to measurement.

Rather than relying on data estimates, marketers can benefit from comprehensive analytics similar to what they see with online campaigns.

In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of DOOH measurement and break down the current attribution options available to brands.

But first, need a DOOH refresher?

DOOH offers in-person experiences with the dynamic capabilities of digital marketing. You can find DOOH networks in grocery stores, malls, transit centers, airports, and much more. To dig deeper into the definition of DOOH, head over to this article.

DOOH ad impressions, explained

Understanding your performance metrics is critical for any marketing campaign. For DOOH, we recommend learning about ad impressions in particular because they’re the driving force behind many measurement and purchasing options.

Ad impressions tally the total number of times that viewers have seen an ad. Most digital marketing channels have a one-to-one reach (one ad reaching one viewer), where each view is a single ad impression. But DOOH is a one-to-many platform.

For example, at any moment, a single digital display in your local grocery store could be seen by one person or by 17 people. That means each “impression” needs to be multiplied by a certain variable in order to land on a more accurate number.

The impression multiplier

Determining the impression multiplier requires data collection that offers insight into the number of people in an area at a given moment. Networks use various methods to get this information, including:

  • • County-level census data
  • • Proprietary survey data
  • • Independent third-party research
  • • Ticket sales in theaters or event stadiums
  • • Cameras or sensors integrated with a DOOH platform

At the end of the day, the goal is to land on an audience impression number that represents the total number of times people observed the ad while they were around the displays.

When it comes to purchasing DOOH inventory, impressions are often at the core. Here are 3 common ways to buy:

1) Cost Per Mille (CPM)
Nope, it’s not “cost per mile!” Cost per Mille (CPM) means cost per thousand. (If you’re wondering, “mille” is derived from Latin, and today it’s the word for “thousand” in languages including French and Italian.)

Brands who purchase CPM advertising pay publishers a flat rate for every 1,000 views they want their ad to receive.

2) Share of Voice (SOV)
Share of voice (SOV) refers to a brand’s share of control and reach in its industry compared to its competitors. A larger SOV means you have more influence and engagement.

Advertisers use this pricing option when they want to buy a specific percentage of a network’s ad inventory.

3) Loop Frequency
DOOH screens typically loop multiple ads from a variety of brands and advertisers. Brands can increase their impressions by purchasing more than one space in a display’s ad loop.

The length of each campaign and ad loop will vary, so people often measure loop frequency by the number of plays per hour or day.

Current practices and standards for DOOH measurement

As a relatively new category, the DOOH industry is still establishing consistent standards for measuring and tracking campaigns. In May of 2021, the OAAA took a big step forward by publishing a set of guidelines on the subject. Although it’ll take time for our industry to completely align, we’re excited about the future of DOOH measurement.

As standards continue to evolve, here are the most common methods for measuring DOOH campaign success today.

6 key ways to measure DOOH attribution

1) Mobile Location Data
This is one of the most popular forms of attribution for DOOH. Tracking a consumer’s proximity to displays can help measure campaign-driven sales and customize mobile device re-targeting.

2) Computer Vision
Some digital displays feature cameras with motion or face detection. This can determine how many times someone viewed an ad and for how long— improving your understanding of the relationship between how many people saw an ad and any rise in conversions. All Grocery TV displays feature this technology, which means our impressions are always verified.

3) Sales Data
Marketers can analyze conversions before, during, and after a DOOH campaign is complete to measure the impact of their campaign’s performance.

4) Campaign-Specific URL Links
Creating URLs for each campaign allows brands to easily understand which DOOH screens are driving traffic or sales.

5) Promo Codes and QR Codes
With similar benefits to custom URLs, promo codes or QR codes also help you confidently analyze traffic and conversions tied to your campaigns.

6) Conducting Surveys
Whether online, in focus groups, or near the displays in-person, survey studies offer direct consumer insights. You’ll find out whether audiences have seen your campaign, what they remember about it, and how it influenced their purchase decisions.

Want to learn more about DOOH advertising?

We hope this helped you understand the basics of how DOOH metrics work. Want to learn more about what DOOH campaigns can do(oh) for your brand? Stay in touch!

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