Place-Based Advertising: The Next Big Thing in Out-of-Home Media Caddy
The internet hasn’t been kind to traditional advertising. In fact, all but one advertising medium has seen a slow but steady decline since 2008, when digital advertising began to truly chip away at vehicles like television, radio, and print. The one outlier? Out of home advertising.
Sustained Growth in Out-of-Home Advertising
Out of Home (OOH) is a $7.5 billion-dollar industry. It’s the only sector in advertising aside from internet ads that has grown consistently since 2008; forecasters also say it will continue to grow at least over the next five years. In many ways, the same “digital” disruption to traditional ad mediums is totally overhauling the utility and ROI of OOH.
Digital signage now accounts for almost 17% of all billboard revenue, but it’s important to note that billboards aren’t the only revenue-driver in the industry. In fact, “Alternative,” “Transit,” and “Street” out-of-home advertising make up nearly 30% of the overall spending within the sector, and growing. Increasingly, these alternative methods of reaching consumers out of home are highly place-specific, catching consumers out and about while doing certain things or even at the point of sale. This is called place-based advertising, and it’s the future.
The Rise of Place-Based Advertising
Place-based advertising is specialized and targeted. Using data bounced off of mobile phones, WiFi usage, and interactivity, place-based ads serve consumers exactly what they’re looking for when they’re most receptive to see it. It’s a win-win for both advertisers and consumers who love a relevant message!
Digital place-based spending rose over 13.2% last year, led in part by captive ads such as those in movie theaters and restaurants. It’s rising even faster than billboard OOH spending, due in large part to high dwell times and total flexibility on part of marketers.
What’s Working in Place-Based Advertising?
Who’s using this technology, and how? In major metropolitan areas, brands like Coors are linking with WiFi kiosks to direct passers-by with Shazam to see which songs are most often played in that neighborhoods. Mobile ads then direct them to stores nearby where they can buy a Coors Light. Digital tabletop caddies such as Media Caddy’s best-selling Bar Caddy sit directly on restaurant or bar tables, streaming a mix of infotainment, local ads, and national ads to consumers waiting on food or drinks, which in turn results in unheard-of dwell times in front of said ads.
Transit advertising, a subset of place-based advertising, is growing rapidly as Americans flock back to cities and public transportation grows ever more popular. Digital subway ads, bus shelter ads, and “street furniture” (i.e. benches in front of bus stops) are some of the most exciting places showing growth in place-based. Atlanta’s MARTA is testing a series of dynamic transit ads that simultaneously scroll digital text, audio, and mobile messaging, reinforcing messaging for brands and providing a much-needed revenue stream to the transit system. Will it work? With an audience as captive as subway passengers, it’s hard to imagine it won’t.
The Future of Place-Based
For now, utilitarian features of place-based advertising – scannable QR codes, phone charging stations, instantly-redeemable coupons – are what consumers value most in this type of messaging. Brands are playing around with other technological linkups such as photo feeds from traffic cameras, instant weather reports, and Wi-Fi enabled coupons specific to a person’s exactly position within a store. It’s a brave new world out there, and advertisers are finally realizing they have to come to consumers, not the other way around.
Mobile phones will almost certainly be the main driver behind new functionality and tech in the place-based advertising sector. As people dole out more information about themselves via wireless signals, advertisers will find new ways to create content specific to those people. When everything’s digital, messaging has to be current, relevant, and flexible to be noticeable.
Media Caddy has revolutionized the way place-based advertising is seen in restaurants, sports clubs, and bars. From local attorneys to national soft drink brands, its advertisers love the Point-of-Sale contact its caddies give them and customers love the deals, coupons, and engaging content provided, too. It’s hard to say exactly where place-based advertising will be five, ten, or even twenty years down the line but one thing’s for sure: technology like Media Caddy’s will never go out of style.