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Best Practices: Use Mobile GeoLocation for OOH Ad Measurement

Posted by admin on Apr 27, 2017 11:00:05 AM



What’s the best way to measure ad lift from out-of-home ad campaigns? Here’s a case study showing how it can be done using an advanced, all-mobile approach. The key is to harness technology that allows researchers to locate and push surveys to panel members when their smartphones’ GPS location function signals that they’ve come within a short distance of OOH signage. It's an innovative alternative to the guesstimates you may have been relying on, derived from traffic counts and other methods that massage second-hand data. The mobile approach lets you  access actual, GeoValidated® passers-by who definitely were exposed to your signs, moments after they've come within view of them.


The Challenge

A global information and entertainment channel wanted to test an outdoor advertising campaign for a new content-streaming app targeted primarily at Millennials.


The Solution

First, use geofencing and proprietary GeoIntensity® technology to "map" more than 130 billboards in three major U.S. cities on which the ads for the new streaming app were mounted. Once the billboard campaign began, panelists ages 18-34 received push notifications as soon as they came within 80 meters of one of the mapped signs.


Note:  It was  important for best practices that the survey be conducted with an app that panelists have downloaded. The alternative to innovative in-app mobile research is the far less reliable "mobile optimized" method that requires smartphone users to access an online survey by clicking on a link. This creates connectivity issues that can slow the process, causing drop-offs and other problems that compromise data quality.

  • To measure lift, a baseline had to be established before the campaign began. It was done by surveying control groups of respondents who were not exposed to the campaign.
  • In this case the control groups consisted of 300 panelists in three cities that did not receive any out-of-home (OOH) advertising of the new app — and 300 panelists in the three campaign cities who also had not seen the new advertising because they were surveyed before the campaign began. The unexposed control panelists and the control cities were demographically similar to the campaign panelists and the campaign cities.
  • Once the campaign began,100 completes were collected from ad-exposed panelists in each of the three cities.
  • Fielding aided by proprietary GeoNotification® technology was sequenced to collect 20 completes per week in each city over five weeks. This allowed measurement of the OOH ads’ cumulative impact as the campaign progressed.

The Results

Awareness was approximately 20% higher in the three test cities than in the three control cities. Respondents surveyed in the fifth week of the campaign were 5% more likely to be aware that the new app was on the market than was the case for respondents who’d been surveyed after being exposed to a billboard in the first week of the campaign.


The Outcome

The client learned with confidence that its OOH campaign was having its intended effect with the Millennials it was targeting. The study also gathered data about respondents’ intention to use the app and their perceptions of how the client’s app compared to its competitors. Insights from the study could now inform the client’s marketing strategy for the app.


There's a lot more to talk about when it comes to best-practices for OOH ad measurement, or for any other type of survey that can benefit from mobile GeoLocation that identifies panel members when they arrive at locations crucial to your study. Just contact us at, and we'll set up a one-on-one live demo session.

Topics: MFour Blog

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