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How to Optimize Advertising CPM and ROI for OOH Advertising Campaigns

April 29, 2021

2020 has seen major shifts in out-of-home (OOH) advertising and brands need to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviors. It's more important than ever before to leverage the latest data-driven technologies to get your message in front of the right people so you can optimize the return on investment (ROI) for your campaigns.

When we talk about OOH advertising, we can't ignore cost-per-thousand (CPM). Yet, it isn't the be-all-end-all. You need to put the data in context by analyzing past performance, benchmarking results against the market, and balancing CPM with your ROI. This will help you determine what CPM you should aim for and, therefore, influence your media buying and negotiation strategy.

Here's how to optimize the CPM and get the best ROI from your OOH advertising campaigns.

Refine Your Targeting
Getting your ad seen by the right audience is the key to increasing the ROI of your campaigns. Otherwise, you could be paying for a lot of impressions without getting results. A focused targeting strategy can help you reach the right people at the lowest CPM. For example, placing a lower-cost poster ad at the right location may give you more exposure to the right audience than buying a higher-cost bulletin on a freeway.

There are many ways to target your OOH campaigns, for example:

  • Targeting by audience: Select your audience based on demographics, purchase behaviors, personal preferences, etc. You can also create custom audiences using your customer data.
  • Targeting by points-of-interest: Select ad placements to drive traffic to your website or physical locations.
  • Targeting and retargeting by location: Leverage location-based data points to reach consumers in specific regions or geofences.


Use the Right Formats
Using the right formats at the best locations helps you reach the right people at the best moment to lower CPM and improve results. For that reason, it's important that you have access to a variety of OOH advertising formats to optimize your spending.

Traditional large formats (e.g., bulletins, posters, wallscapes) are ideal for reaching a large audience with tremendous visibility and high impact placements. Street furniture (e.g., bus shelters, urban street furniture) offers a lower cost format for reaching a more specific audience while delivering an eye-level viewing experience.

Other options to consider include place-based OOH (e.g., stadiums, airports, shopping malls) and transit (e.g., buses, transit shelters, subway stations) to help you deliver tailored, contextual messages. You can also purchase digital displays to take advantage of capabilities like running multiple messages, social media integration, countdowns, dayparting, live updates, conditional content (weather, temperature), and touch-screen interaction, etc.


Leverage Data Analytics
To get the most out of your OOH campaign budget, you need to know where your audience is and how they react to each ad format. As such, you need reliable measurements that can quantify exposure, foot traffic, web traffic, creative effectiveness, and audience demographics to track business outcomes for each location with audience and delivery insights.

You can then identify media placements that give you the highest exposure at the lowest CPM while effectively meeting your marketing objectives. The use of real-time data can also help you plan, book, and buy media in a more targeted manner to optimize best performing locations and maximize ROI.

Balancing CPM with ROI
Using the latest technologies and data science, you can connect with the right audience at the right time through your OOH campaigns to build brand awareness, drive online or offline traffic, and deliver a seamless customer experience. The key to OOH advertising success is to get your ad seen by as many of the right people as possible at the lowest CPM in order to achieve a high ROI. OOH campaigns offer a high promise of potential ROI. On average, $5.97 in product sales is generated for every dollar of OOH advertising spending. The more effective your advertisements, the more spending it can generate. But only if the ROI and CPM are balanced.

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