Outdoor media communications is the oldest in the history of marketing and advertising. It starts from ancient times when man used to live caves. They used the cave walls and rocks to display the letters and art at that time. From then onwards, the concept originated and with the passage of time and advancement in education, knowledge and technology, it is still used as one of the very effective mediums for marketing communications by companies big and small.
The outdoor marketing and advertising have been evolved into very detailed science and art supported by data and trends and its effectiveness. The specialized outdoor companies plan the marketing campaigns for outdoor media based on the type of product and service and the intended audience in that geography.
The selection of the right locations and the right messages are very important for outdoor communications. The message varies when normally the campaign shift from one medium to another. The billboard should carry a different message than the same Ad in the newspaper or the magazine.
Therefore, the campaign has to be readapted based on the medium. I have seen and observed number of times that since the mindset mostly is not IMC driven (integrated marketing communications) therefore , the campaigns are done in isolation and many a time, do not talk with each other in synchronicity. With such approach, there is less effectiveness in terms of getting the desired results.
The outdoor communications should ideally be planned based on the predefined goals to achieve. It may be like increasing awareness about the brand, reinforcing the brand, increasing sales, educating the people, conducting surveys, and many more. These objectives once laid down will then define how to plan the outdoor media campaign.
Scouting of locations is very important for outdoor media. The wrong selection may waste your money without any results. The right locations are those geographic areas in the city and country where you feel your target audiences live. Your messages are primarily meant for them. The idea of right segmenting and targeting is very important.
The latest in outdoor communications has lots of variety to choose from. It does not start from the outdoor only in the literal sense, but it starts from in house. The small standees, the signposts which company may use in the office or store is also a part of outdoor communications.
Outdoor is also sometime called Out Of Home (OOH) media communications. Now outdoor has many choices. It has different sizes of billboards, streamers, banners, blimps, flags, cutouts, bouquets, and many more. In addition now there are electronic and LED digital billboards which can play videos as well. It may also be used to run the TV commercials or any other marketing communications with animation and moving pictures.
In addition to the selection of the right locations and right message the third important thing is the duration of the campaign whether one day, one week, one month or 3 months. It should depend upon the objectives and the budgets of the campaigns.
Lastly, after having planned and implemented the outdoor communications campaigns, the last part is very important and mostly overlooked and undervalued. That is the post analysis of the outdoor media communications campaign. It should be backed with data, how much response received, to what extent objectives achieved or not achieved and at what cost. Return of Marketing Investment (ROMI)
Companies whether small or big when they go through these planned stages are mostly better equipped and perform better most of the times in achieving their defined objectives.