It’s hard to cast your mind back to a time before the industry was spruiking the benefits of taking a data-led approach to everything from audience profiling, planning, buying, and metrics to demonstrate success. The explosion of data across the media landscape has impacted all media categories, including the previously data-poor Out of Home industry. The industry now is faced with almost too much data, every media operator has a data offering, and the question lies, how do we leverage this to its fullest?

More creativity is available with smart-tech OOH touchpoints

The world of OOH advertising is increasingly data-driven, and one of the most substantial developments in the industry is the implementation of location data for targeting and measurement. Media planners and marketers alike are putting into action more data-led planning, whilst at the same time being able to demonstrate tangible outcomes.

Indeed, according to the Ads Driving Online Activity Survey by Nielsen, nearly 5 in 10 US adults turn to Google, Bing, or other Internet search engines to look up information regarding the advert they have just seen or after hearing something advertised on an OOH format. They also compare this to the percentage of people who used a search engine after seeing an online banner ad, which was only 36%.

Thanks to the advances in modern, real-time data streams, a new category of audience targeting is emerging, in the form of “hyper-targeted” programmatic ad placement. Through the use of new location data streams, brands and agencies are now able to deliver curated advertising content to an equally curated audience.

These data streams, working in conjunction with the latest DOOH and MarTech solutions, allow for more creativity. DOOH now can leverage geolocation data, gather insights, and update digital billboards and outdoor media formats in real-time — tailoring the content to factors such as weather, time of day, traffic conditions, and even the direction that people are heading.

“Data is not only instrumental towards targeting the right people at the right time, but it can also improve the efficiency of creative campaigns with real-time, relevant messaging, and consequently optimising the audience attention,” says Maria Rodrigues, Director of Business Development for Media Agencies at ForwardKeys.

Volatility and contextual advertising – the agile approach

It is about knowing who and where the customers are and focusing on what is displayed on the screen to maximise consumer engagement. Contextual advertising drives impact due to relevance and the element of surprise where consumers are not as used to tailor messaging in the outdoor environment.

JCDecaux’s recent DKNY campaign in New York City demonstrated the positive effect of data-driven campaigns both in terms of targeting and creative messaging.

A bespoke “DKNY” audience was created via the Neustar platform, which was overlaid with JCDecaux digital inventory data, to identify the highest propensity to reach that audience. According to time of day, the creative strategy comprised 15 unique dynamic creatives to contextualize their message and connect with their custom audience. JCDecaux showcased the real-time capabilities of its digital screens.

Today, connected citizens expect captivating and engaging content, with timing and relevance of the information being the key drivers of capturing their attention. Thanks to the data-rich landscape of DOOH, advertisers can communicate their messages more efficiently.

“To continue advancing the digitalisation of the OOH industry, advertisers and agencies should collaborate and contribute towards improving the data ecosystem, enabling an increase in efficiency and ROI”, says Ben Milne, Managing Director at PSI OOH.

Discover the data solutions ForwardKeys offers for the media industry interested in travel audiences around the world, visit the industry tab. 


ForwardKeys’ data gives us a view of what we can expect in terms of the recovery in audiences in the airport environment and travel. This is useful in the context of OOH advertising as it highlights which countries, cities, airports, and even terminals are going to be most valuable to reach the growing travel audience. It helps inform our targeting choices and investment strategies.

Ben Milne
Managing Director

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