In this opinion piece, Posterscope Australia national head of strategy Ryan Heddich discusses how to optimise location data in out-of-home advertising.

Dollar for dollar, the out-of-home (OOH) channel is arguably the most powerful of all the major media.The digitisation of the world’s oldest channel and the technological capabilities that hardware and software platforms bring have reached significant scale across markets globally.

Estimates for the OOH market in 2018 put Australia at 53 per cent digital, UK at 50 per cent digital, China at 45 per cent digital and US at 30 per cent.This means in most of the world’s biggest OOH economies, somewhere between half and one-third of advertising expenditure on OOH is digital, not generic paper and paste.

Therefore, it’s time to start thinking about OOH as a truly dynamic digital channel rather than an old-fashioned mass medium.

We are beginning to see campaigns that use the channel’s potential to better connect, engage and influence. Personalisation, location awareness, connected ecosystems, responsive communications, service and convergent commerce are all possible, yet under-utilised by advertisers everywhere. The increasing availability of location-based data means we now know more than ever about both the here (where people are) and the now (the moment in time that they are occupying), and through technology-enabled activation, we are better and more efficiently able to use this knowledge to inform the medium and the message.And we know that doing this works; whenever we activate dynamic messaging for our advertisers, we see increases in campaign performance measures.

On average, results show an 18 per cent improvement to spontaneous recall, a 53 per cent improvement to message recall and a 10 per cent improvement in purchase intent.

This explosion in usable location data is coming to the forefront in Australia, with providers of this data ranging from Telecom operators, mobile ad networks, data brokers and platforms, allowing us to understand audiences’ location affinities based on behavioural insight.

The increase in volume of data is great, but, it is important to understand what the most usable data for any given use case is, as every data set has its own limitations and unique qualities that need to be assessed.

OOH & Mobile media are intrinsically linked and location is of paramount importance to getting the best from reaching consumers in “now” moments in both channels – after all, the mobile was invented so you could leave your home or desk and continue to do whatever you wanted to do, so unsurprisingly OOH amplifies the effect of mobile.

As our channel transforms through digitisation we have the capability to improve our engagements in the public space, which will still account for 90 per cent of retail transactions by 2020.

Dynamic DOOH ad-serving platforms have begun to appear on top of existing legacy industry infrastructure.

This is a huge step forward in unlocking the true potential of the digital OOH channel and enabling us to deliver more relevant, effective DOOH communications at scale.

The real value in using dynamic is that it enables us to deliver more targeted, smarter and optimised campaigns that ultimately deliver more value to advertisers.

That’s the story that should get people’s attention and start shifting behaviour to move away from being a ‘nice to have’ and to standard practice.