Using data insights to navigate the future of out-of-home advertising

Ipsos’s Andre Youseff explains how to optimise future outdoor advertising initiatives

The integration of data insights into Out of Home advertising is one trend that has been transforming the industry in the MENA region in the ever-changing advertising environment.

Since 2020, this integration has become crucial and a need of advertisers, particularly in light of the pandemic and the increased exposure of digital advertising.

Out of Home advertising has a long history in MENA, but the incorporation of data-driven approaches is driving it into a new era of efficacy and relevance.

Data collection and analysis are essential in the field of Out of Home advertising, with a particular emphasis on measuring people, as this data is vital in assuring the precision and success of Out of Home campaigns

OOH advertising in the MENA region has experienced significant growth since the pandemic. According to recent studies, Out of Home advertising spend in the region increased by 176 per cent from $358 million in 2020 to $986 million in 2021.

This growth is expected to continue, with outdoor advertising spend projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2024. This was affected by economic growth that helped in increased spending on advertising, followed by the definite rise of the digitalisation-shift, as well as the growth and emergence of the need to have audience measurement or media measurement to understand better the Out of Home landscape

The importance of audience measurement and data in Out of Home advertising continues to grow progressively in global markets over the past few years, where the evolution of data-driven practices in Out of Home advertising has led global organisations and industry associations to establish best practices and guidelines

The MENA region is composed of up of 19 countries, each with its own culture, language and topography. This diversity, although rich and dynamic, presents advertisers with both challenges and opportunities.

It is necessary to first understand the dynamics of this complex region before delving into the function of data insights in this challenging zone.

In MENA, data insights have become the hub of effective Out of Home advertising projects. Here’s how data is transforming the Out of Home landscape in the region:

Data insights help advertisers to design highly localised advertisements that resonate with certain communities.

Advertisers can adjust their messaging to be modern and relevant by analysing local preferences, cultural differences and current events. This level of personalisation enables marketers to interact with their audiences on a more personal level.

Traffic patterns: Traffic patterns have an extensive impact on the success of Out of Home advertising campaigns, and showcase dynamic and diversified landscapes.

As development and economic growth lead to greater car ownership, major cities in the region, such as Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo frequently face considerable traffic congestion during peak hours.

The MENA region, on the other hand, has some of the world’s most advanced transportation infrastructure, including modern highways, bridges, and public transportation networks.

Furthermore, cultural considerations might influencetraffic patterns, with working hours sometimes varying during Ramadan and weekend routines.

This is how advertisers leverage this data to strategically place Out of Home ads, ensuring they attract commuter’s attention during high traffic periods.

Precise measurement: Data-driven Out of Home advertising enables for precise campaign impact measurement. Advertisers may monitor campaign results, identify audience demographics and measure engagement rates. This data is crucial for making data-driven decisions and optimising future outdoor advertising initiatives.

Insights into urbanisation: Some MENA countries, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have rapidly rising urban populations, while others remain more rural. Data insights aid in determining where urbanisation is most prevalent and where Out of Home advertising may have the greatest impact.

Advertisers can then wisely allocate their resources.

Digital integration: The digital transformation of the MENA area is accelerating the integration of Out of Home advertising with digital media. Consumers will have more involved and engaging experiences because of this confluence. Advertisers are increasingly relying on data and location-based targeting to seamlessly interact with their target audiences.

By Andre Youseff is Chief Adex Officer at Ipsos