Fashion Retailer Uses New OOH Campaign to Lift Black Friday Sales
Traditional retailers with physical storefronts critical to their business have seen tremendous innovation in marketing strategies over the past several years as they endeavor to adapt to consumers’ rapidly changing purchasing habits and more complex paths to purchase. Often, it’s a question of survival, with the consumer now controlling much of the sales dynamic, dictating when and how they make purchasing decisions. And a variety of mobile and digital options have led traditional retailers to adopt more sophisticated strategies to target and engage consumers to drive them into stores.
To understand which marketing strategies drive consumers into stores, it’s important to measure store visits in a way that links to media exposure. This guides media spend and informs retailers how in-person shopping differentiates from the online experience. Until now there were few reliable measurement tools that could do this. So how do you know the strategy is working?
The answer may start with a slightly surprising source thanks to one of advertising’s most traditional mediums: out-of-home (OOH) media. Long a popular channel for traditional retail brands (think roadside billboards, bus shelters, mass transit ads), OOH is now leading the charge with sophisticated digital location analytics to help retailers drive consumers into stores.
Help From a Familiar Friend of Retail: OOH Advertising
For decades, OOH has been a highly desirable advertising medium for the retail industry, and intuitively that’s always made good sense. Billboards are highly visible, unskippable and reach potential customers at a crucial time — right while they’re driving near a store.
Now OOH has developed new applications using mobile location data to measure which customers are exposed to OOH ads and what actions they take afterwards.
This allows brands to more accurately plan and measure campaigns when the goal is to drive consumers to a physical location. Just last spring, one of the leading U.S. outdoor advertising companies introduced the industry’s first digital audience measurement solution for campaign planning and measurement that taps into mobile location data in exactly this way.
This is particularly important for retail store owners because anonymous and aggregated location data from mobile devices can show that a customer who was exposed to your OOH advertisement subsequently walked into your store.
New OOH Targeting and Measurement Tools Help Drive Customers to Stores
Perhaps even more exciting and relevant for retailers is this type of technology can also help on the front-end of the sale — i.e., determining which customer segments to target around a particular sales event or promotion. Location data provides rich behavioral insights into the places your customers frequent when they’re not in your store.
These anonymous consumer insights include other retail stores, restaurants, travel, sports grounds and roadways they travel, to name a few. Armed with this information, today’s marketers can identify the best OOH billboard locations to reach their target customers. This means marketers can use the same kinds of sophisticated audience targeting data they already use for their digital campaigns and apply them to OOH advertising.
For several years now, digital OOH has provided advertisers with a great deal of flexibility to adjust creative, whether it’s tied to day part (think rush hour traffic), weather conditions or different products based on inventory levels. With these new targeting capabilities, store owners can use OOH to advertise specific in-store promotions — and then measure the impact on store traffic.
In fact, one major national retail chain recently did just that, using these new OOH capabilities for its Black Friday promotion. Using digital billboards to drive consumers to a Black Friday sales event at participating domestic retail franchises in six different DMAs, this brand generated an equivalent of 17.5 million impressions over only three days.
The OOH company set “geofences,” or simply put, a radius around the participating retail stores and its billboards to verify vehicles that passed billboards displaying Black Friday promotion creative, and then measure which of these vehicles subsequently visited a nearby participating retail store. The campaign results were impressive:
- average 36 percent lift seen in store visits across all participating markets;
- average 111 percent lift in store visits seen for consumers exposed during the 3 p.m.-
6 p.m. timeframe;
- promotion drove an estimated 45,000 additional visits across participating stores; and
- 47 percent of visits occurred within 24 hours of OOH exposure.
This campaign was a significant first step for the retail industry and an exciting proof of concept for local retail stores — in part because the strong results confirmed the widespread belief that OOH and retail are a powerful combination.
These results show retailers need media buyers who understand the merits of using the different media channels to achieve particular results. Certainly, online advertising is particularly helpful at building brands and engaging consumers while also giving retailers a flexible and dynamic way to adjust campaigns to match their merchandising strategy. However, now the immediacy of digital OOH offers a proven, measurable way to drive consumers into stores even around short-term promotions.