Mobile and DOOH: Choosing the Right Technology

Michelle Huang | September 21, 2015

Would you believe that more people own mobile phones than toothbrushes? With communication and connection priorities topping those of even hygiene, including mobile marketing in your digital out-of-home strategy would seem to be a reasonable approach.
As DOOH and mobile trends change so quickly, however, staying focused on a few key points will keep development to a minimum while maintaining viewer interest.

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Images courtesy of oOh! Media and ScreenMediaDaily.


Keeping in mind that strategy and objectives should be the starting points of campaign planning, choosing the technology to unite DOOH with mobile is a decision that will guide your campaign’s direction and success. This choice should be based on the following three concepts:

  1. Understand your audience.

The receivers of your campaign will decide whether it is something worth interacting with, which directly influences campaign success. Understand who your target audience is, why they would want to engage with your message and what will make them more likely to do so. Surprise, delight and set KPIs to measure and learn from viewer behavior.

  1. Variety is the spice of life.

Your DOOH-mobile campaign should not be in a monogamist relationship with its technology; multiple approaches to mobile interaction are best. Regardless of how well you know your target audience, the preferences of individuals within it will vary based on their experience with and access to technology. No need to overwhelm with too many choices – simply choose a few that are most likely to appeal to your viewers.

  1. Location, location, location.

The environment in which you deploy your campaign is important, so incorporate this in your strategy from the get-go. A QR code on an expressway billboard will not be as effective as a QR code on a mall kiosk. Place yourself in the viewer’s shoes (and the viewer’s context) when selecting your range of technologies.

Tech Pros and Cons

QR Codes
Pros Cons
  • Cheap to deploy – display on screen or use decals at the location.
  • Familiar. Has been used for several years.
  • The user requires a QR code app.
  • Can be considered “clunky”.
NFC Tags
Pros Cons
  • Growing popularity largely fueled by mobile payments.
  • Customized NFC tags are affordable (under $2 each).
  • Requires active functionality in hardware.
  • Limited to contexts in which users can physically reach tags (not suitable for billboards).
Short Code URL On-Screen
Pros Cons
  • Simple technology, accessible for all smartphone users.
  • Cheap to deploy with easily understandable call to action.
  • Typing a web address may be a barrier to interaction.
  • Prone to errors due to manual entry.
SMS Shortcode
Pros Cons
  • Available on almost all smartphones.
  • Can deploy on-screen without onsite visit.
  • Can be costly and complicated to set up SMS gateway.
  • Users may hesitate to send a text if charges are incurred.
Beacons
Pros Cons
  • Reaches users in close proximity.
  • No action required on the user’s end.
  • Bluetooth LE transmitter is costly to buy and deploy.
  • Requires user to have appropriate app installed and Bluetooth turned on.
Geofenced Messages
Pros Cons
  • Can push to user with no interaction.
  • Requires user to have suitable app installed and location services turned on.