The experience economy – ‘the move from buying things to doing things’ – is most definitely on the up. As Ikea’s Head of Sustainability, Steve Howard, said: “If we look on a global basis, in the West we have probably hit ‘peak stuff’.”
Persuading people to invest in experiences requires different tactics to those employed to persuade people to invest in ‘things’. Consumers need to understand how an experience will make them feel, and attach a monetary value to this feeling. Therefore, providing a taste of the experience to bring it to life, generating anticipation, excitement and the experience’s worth this way, is critical for attractions and other ‘experience’ providers to succeed.
Extensive analysis of the IPA’s databank of advertising campaign case studies by Binet and Fields shows that the ideal marketing mix for long-term growth is to apportion budget to one-third activation – where online and mobile are particularly effective – and two-thirds brand-building – where traditional media such as out-of-home (OOH) and TV come into their own.
OOH and TV are the two brand-building media channels most developed for the digital world. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) has increased OOH’s effectiveness. The introduction of digital has almost doubled the number of ‘very large business effects’ experienced by businesses using DOOH within their marketing mix.
Welcome to Yorkshire in Newcastle
But recent ‘Brand Gap’ advertiser and media agency research, conducted in summer 2018 by Work Research, shows that despite this, it is the ‘response channels’ – online, mobile and social – which continue to take more and more media investment. Pulling money out of brand building and into response means that advertisers struggle to cut through and grow. As one ‘Brand Gap’ advertiser respondent said: “I can’t think of a single brand that has grown via paid-for online display”.
But DOOH can be the best of both worlds, providing both branding and activation, and as a result offering advertisers the greatest return on investment.
Mark Ritson, marketing professor and Marketing Week columnist, summarises this succinctly: “Outof-home delivers safety and accountability with digital delivering enhanced creativity and effectiveness”. DOOH channels capture, captivate and then activate audiences.
Broadly, there are three ways in which this takes place. Firstly, as DOOH currently reaches 63% of the population (source: Route), the medium delivers scale and wider awareness of an attraction’s message, boosting opportunities for brand discovery. As one ‘Brand Gap’ media agency respondent explained: “There are advantages to your campaign being overheard by wider audiences.”
Secondly, DOOH provides a tangible taster of the attraction itself through extensive creative opportunities and flexible, contextually tailored messaging.
This flexibility means attractions advertise to the right audience, in the right locations, with the right message, through targeting driven by big data sets identifying who is where, and when. This datarooted audience-based advertising channel solution makes budgets work harder by reducing wastage and broadcasting to the right people with the message content and tone they’re most likely to respond to.
Great Exhibition of the North at Kings Cross
DOOH campaigns can change display by factors hugely relevant to attractions, including day of week and time of day; weather and temperature; ticket sales and special offers. They can incorporate social media feeds, live streams from the venue, and countdowns to build anticipation and capitalise on ‘fear of missing out’ (or ‘FOMO’), which research shows is a very real phenomenon. An up to 350% increase in desired actions is seen when urgency-based behavioural messaging is used.
Creative contextualisation increases agreement with key measures including message recall, relevance and recommendation – all vital for attractions’ success. It is also proven to prompt particular action: when a well-known high street chain restaurant changed DOOH creative by time of day, footfall into store increased by +3.5% and sales by +6%.
Thirdly, DOOH links brand messaging and brand image seamlessly with online channels, which, ultimately, will lead to activation. Since mobile screens are increasingly used as purchase points, everywhere consumers are exposed to DOOH campaigns is transformed into a potential activation location.
Invest in Cornwall used JCDecaux DOOH channels to showcase and promote Cornwall’s opportunities for next generation businesses to a London audience.
Invest in Cornwall in London
The campaign effectively communicated the positives of launching a business in Cornwall, and led to tangible action: an 800% increase in enquiries from businesses, a 198% increase in total unique visitors, and a 688% increase in London-based web traffic.
Writing on LinkedIn, the organisation’s Head of Inward Investment Nicola Lloyd said: “Invest in Cornwall partnered with JCDecaux to splash the region, and the opportunities it has to offer next generation businesses, on [digital screens] across London. The enquiries we have received … have justified the need for campaigns like this, for us to showcase what Cornwall has to offer and let people know what exists here.”
Gerard North is Head of the Public Sector at JCDecaux