Mobile-location data turns out-of-home billboards into ‘digital channel’
Clear Channel-Cuebiq partnership used mobile location data to show 264 percent lift in gym visits from OOH campaign.
One of the most unexpected aspects of mobile-location data and location analytics is how it has turned some traditional media channels into “digital channels” via digital measurement and attribution. This has happened with TV in isolated contexts but more broadly with out-of-home (OOH) media.
Traditional billboard ad exposures can now be tracked into stores using mobile location, measuring their impact and comparing OOH to channels such as search, display, social and email.
Companies such as Placed (recently acquired by Snap) and GroundTruth (formerly xAd) and others have partnerships in this area. Not long ago, the nonprofit formed in 1933 to measure OOH advertising, called the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement, renamed itself Geopath and now uses mobile location data from multiple sources to track OOH performance.
The latest member of this club is Clear Channel Outdoor, which recently announced a partnership with Cuebiq to measure real-world impact of OOH (digital and traditional) ads. Cuebiq is using first-party location data from its SDK (software development kit), which the company says is integrated into more than 180 mobile apps and “anonymously collects GPS, Wi-FI, and IoT signals.” Cuebiq says its reach is more than 61 million uniques or “1 in 4 US smartphone users and more than 2 in 5 smartphone users worldwide.”
As part of the partnership announcement, the companies released data from a case study involving the gym franchise 24 Hour Fitness, in which OOH performance was tracked in test markets:
24 Hour Fitness used Cuebiq’s accuracy and scale against CCOA’s OOH inventory in two markets to anonymously identify mobile IDs exposed to their OOH campaign. CCO RADAR audience insights were used to identify the CCOA locations that most efficiently reached 24 Hour Fitness customers and non-customers. The company was then able to measure the lift in physical gym visits among customers exposed to the advertising. The exposed audiences showed a significant increase in guest traffic.
Cuebiq captures lift using the control/exposed methodology, which is common in the industry. Users exposed to an ad are compared with a control group. The control group consists of those who match targeting criteria but have not been exposed to the ad in question. Cuebiq compares the location visits of the exposed group to the control group to determine if there was a visitation uplift from exposure to the campaign.
In the test markets the parties found that the OOH campaign drove a 264 percent lift in gym visits. Absent location analytics, the true performance of the campaign might have been unknown or underestimated. These kinds of mobile-location attribution capabilities promise to make some traditional media more competitive again with digital.
In addition, in the case of OOH, there isn’t a “viewability” problem.