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Take your marketing out of home to cut through the clutter


Take your marketing out of home to cut through the clutter


Catherine Monson advises marketers to take it outside in the fight to cut through the marketing communications clutter and engage with consumers.

Catherine MONSON 2015-blueDigital marketing is everywhere. Device addiction and the internet of everything mean there are more opportunities to reach consumers and there is now real time data available to indicate what they want and when.

The pressure is on marketers to leverage this technology and reach their target audiences in ways that are both noticeable and innovative.

Every brand manager worth their salt is incorporating online marketing, emails and social media into their marketing mix. And while print is far from dead, its role has changed to that of a supporting – rather than starring – channel.

This in itself presents new opportunities. In an age where people are being smothered with digital discourse, just by thinking outside the box (and in fact, simply outside) you can cut through the clutter and steal the limelight in interesting and visually exciting ways.

Therein lies the irony. Communicating with customers through the internet and their digital devices is so easy and effective, everyone is doing it and as a result traditional channels can be used to grab the attention of audiences experiencing digital content overload.


The opportunity to shine is outside

Sooner or later, we all need to leave the building and look up from our devices (Pokémon Go not withstanding). We need to walk, drive, bike, train and bus it to various destinations, and along the way our gaze falls upon billboards, vehicles, buildings, benches, stairways, petrol pumps and any number of other inanimate objects.

The ‘Arbitron out-of-home (OOH) advertising study 2013’  conducted a survey to investigate the travel habits of people and their relationship to out-of- home media. It found:

  • Close to nine-in-10 aged 18 or older travel the roads or rails in a month,
  • the average time spent traveling is over 20 hours per week,
  • 84% noticed advertising on static billboards, digital billboards, sides of public buses, bus shelters, taxi cabs, commuter rails or any street level advertising such as kiosks or newspaper stands,
  • over two-thirds of travellers make their purchasing decisions at some location outside of their home over the course of a typical week; over half report making their purchasing decisions most frequently when they are not home,
  • roughly four-in-10 OOH media viewers have talked about products they saw advertised with others and 8% have blogged or posted to a social network about them,
  • OOH media has prompted four-in-10 viewers to visit a store or restaurant they saw advertised.


Clearly, outdoor visibility strategies have a high probability of successfully drawing attention to a brand, a product and a message.

There are tremendous opportunities out there and you need not have the budget to commandeer an entire billboard. Your vehicles are moving billboards and turning them into eye-catching advertisements is not cost prohibitive. You can also communicate cleverly with window decals, stair graphics, promotional merchandise, urban wraps, flags and banners.

Of course, you can also utilise digital channels outdoors. Many retail stores and event organisers, for example, are using the space outside their doors to let potential customers interact with their brand, encouraging passers-by to enter the world of the brand, and hopefully, enter the store as well.

Whether you go digital or traditional, online or outside, making your message stand out is always the name of the game. Once you have their attention, make it worth their while. The more relevant the content is to your audience, physical location, time of day and even weather, the more effective it will be.

The best way to get noticed is always to take notice of your audience – what they like, what they’re doing and where they are. Now, all you have to do is get out and meet them there.


Catherine Monson is the CEO of Signwave/Fastsigns International


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