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The State of Digital Place-Based Media

Uncategorized by Jessica Chappell

The digitization and media saturation of the world has turned quite a few industries on their proverbial heads. The advertising industry, in particular, has found itself in a unique position. On the one hand, their old reliable advertising channels like newspapers and television are becoming less and less relevant. On the other hand, they are faced with a problem of overabundance. Advertisers have more avenues to reach consumers than ever before. It sounds great, but it’s a double-edged sword. Ad blockage and avoidance have become the norm, and younger generations are particularly averse to traditional, direct advertising techniques. Ad-blocking software, streaming services, and an increasing number of people ditching traditional TV altogether have forced advertisers to rethink their strategies completely. 

As advertisers attempt to cut through the noise and adapt to consumers’ increasingly fast-paced lifestyles, place-based advertising has become increasingly relevant. In the last few years, marketing efforts have shifted from online and digital to digital place-based media. Digital place-based media can act as a reach extender for TV plans, enabling marketers to reach very active, on-the-go consumers, who are also light TV viewers.

What is Digital Place-Based Advertising?

Place-based marketing refers to any marketing strategically placed in a specific location or type of environment with the intention of reaching a target audience. Digital place-based advertising, according to DoMedia, is essentially the same thing, but with the use of digital screens.  

“DPB delivers its messaging through content-based networks displayed on internet-enabled screens, capitalizing on context and utilizing location to target consumers. These networks distribute location-specific content designed to capture consumers’ attention. They then proceed to follow-up that content with targeted advertisements.”

These screens can be located on the wall of your gym or in the palm of your hand. Location-aware mobile media in smartphones uses GPS to offer location-based services and advertising through apps like Foursquare, Yelp, and Google Maps. This integration creates a seamless interface between the digital and the physical for many mobile technology users. 

What Are the Values of Digital Place-Based Advertising?

The primary benefit of DPB is its precision targeting ability. DPB allows brands to reach the right customers at the right moment in their purchasing journey with contextually relevant content being physically in the ideal place to receive the message. It’s an advertiser’s dream.

Reaching your target demographic – Digital place-based marketing is, unsurprisingly, all about placement. It can be difficult to predict who will visit a website or watch a certain TV show, but it’s easy to predict the wants and needs of consumers visiting a gym or a grocery store. A wellness company, for example, knows they will reach health-conscious consumers by utilizing a DPB network broadcast in gyms.

Connecting at the right moment in the path to purchase – Digital-place networks located near where consumers make buying decisions, like checkout lanes, are especially effective. By reaching customers when they’re already primed to make a buying decision, you increase their receptiveness to your ad content. 

Contextual Relevance – Advertisements that aren’t relevant to the consumer who views them are a waste of both the viewer and advertiser’s time. Digital place-based advertising allows marketers to not only provide contextually relevant content, but it can also be fine-tuned to the location of the customer within a given store. The mindset of a person walking into a store, for example, is quite different from the mindset of someone ready to check out. DPB allows marketers to capitalize on that and provide a more robust campaign that creates a seamless, useful experience for the consumer.

Geotargeting – Marketers can use geotargeting to customize their message based on Designated Market Areas, or DMAs. Modern technology, however, allows you to take it several steps further. Hyper-local geotargeting aided by GPS technology and smartphones will enable advertisers to get pinpoint accuracy when crafting their campaigns to meet the needs, wants, and concerns of specific geographic areas.

In Practice

François de Gaspé Beaubien is the Chairman and Chief Coaching Officer of Zoom Active Lifestyle Marketing. One of their initiatives was to launch interactive, personal video screens on cardio machines across the United States. These screens allow gym members to access personalized video-on-demand services with ad content during their workout. It’s an exciting idea for advertisers. Advertisers have a captive audience to whom they are providing a service–a service they are excited about. Within that service is your ad.

Beaubien describes it:

“When one approaches marketers with the premise of a premium video network engaging hard-to-reach and affluent consumers in a captive environment with one-to-one marketing, with unskippable prerolls, with perfect identification/segmentation—scrubbed for privacy—and live tracking via clickthroughs, and programmatic revenues combined with location-based data, then advertiser demand will exceed supply.”

Where to Start

Digital Place-Based advertising is an intersectional practice that relies on the collaboration of actors in several fields. The Digital Placed-based Advertising Association (DPAA) brings together and fosters collaboration between “advertisers, agencies, ad-tech, mobile companies, location data, software, hardware, and others while providing guidelines, best practices, and industry-wide research” that promotes the effectiveness of digital place-based advertising. 

If you’re looking to implement a digital place-based advertising strategy, as with any marketing strategy, you will need to start by identifying metrics, goals, and standards. The DPAA provides excellent resources and guidance for standardized methods and common practices for measuring the effectiveness of DPB. 

Their methods include establishing and measuring venue traffic counts, screen traffic counts, screen audience estimates of appropriate quality, and average ad unit audience estimates, to name a few. For the full guidance document, click here.

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We’ve helped some of the world’s top brands get more value out of their media buys and we can do the same for you. Ready to work with us? Still unsure? We’d love to hear from you.