OAAA’s Innovations Committee Tech Talks: Attribution and ROI

A new monthly feature article will highlight insights collected from members of the OAAA Innovations Committee. The committee members will answer questions related to OOH data, technology, and innovation. If you have a future question for the committee, send your submission to [email protected].

This month’s question is: How does your company differentiate between OOH campaign attribution and Return of Investment (ROI) measures?


  Kevin Bartanian, EVP of Sales & Business Development, StandardVision
ROI is a holistic view to understanding what the marketing department has invested its budget on and what financial results have been achieved from those investments at global,       service, product, or regional levels.

Alternatively, attribution’s evolution of measurement provides granular and detailed data for each advertising campaign/medium. The ability to collect and assemble event-level consumer response data fuels analysis, giving CMOs, Field Marketers, and Media Managers more real-time, accurate, and insightful information on which campaigns affect pipeline/activity.

The analytic approach to attribution ultimately helps advertisers on the ground transform critical decisions on which type of advertising methods they should do more of.


  Eugenie Chen, Director of Analytics, Vistar Media 
At Vistar, we focus on the impact of advertising on consumer behaviors instead of assessing the value of a campaign using associated profit in dollar amounts. Strictly speaking,           Vistar does not conduct OOH attribution or ROI studies. However, our ad effectiveness studies do provide marketers with a good overview of campaign performance using brand         lift  and store visit lift metrics to evaluate return on campaign objectives.


  Ian Dallimore, Director of Innovation + Strategy, Lamar Advertising Company
This has been an internal and external conversation for our company for the past year. While they both mean the same thing relating to measurement in the advertising world, the       way we speak about each are different. ROI is something we’ve struggled to put an exact quantitative number on; how OOH resulted in “xyz” of the campaign’s actions.

Attribution is more than just a number, it’s the ability to take mobile/digital and combine with OOH and see an action. We’ve been working with a handful of attribution companies that have helped us accomplish not only a measurement of the action after being exposed to OOH but more! Where else did that consumer go during their journey, how long did it take to convert, and what else does this consumer do? We are at the infancy of this as an industry and it’s our opportunity to truly use data to better tell a story of the consumer’s journey and their action, but also highlight what inventory should’ve also been purchased that wasn’t before.


  Mikhail Damiani, CEO, Blue Bite
Attribution and ROI are both performance measurements. However, while ROI focuses on measuring the efficiency of a monetary investment in media as it compares to                    investments in other media, attribution focuses on measuring the efficiency of media at driving a particular action or conversion.



  Michael Galkin, Director of Marketing and Research, Branded Cities
ROI and attribution have become hot talking points in the industry as of late. Currently, our company is educating itself in best practices on how to speak intelligently and      accurately  on these rather complex subjects. We are looking forward to helping our client and agency partners gain clarity in understanding the value that OOH can deliver.



  Mike Gamaroff, SVP of Channel Strategy, SITO Mobile
OOH campaign attribution helps define ROI. Real-time verified walk-in attribution technology enables brands to identify consumers who were exposed to an OOH/DOOH ad and    then visited a brick and mortar store. However, in order to truly measure ROI, brands need to understand if their campaigns are reaching the right audience and utilize purchase    insights to measure whether ad exposure led to an offline or online sale. At SITO, we deliver closed-loop attribution, LABS (location, audience, and behavior sciences) audience  reports, and purchase insights to provide a holistic view of a campaign’s ROI.


 Jeff Gunderman, President, EYE Corp Media
Attribution is the tracking of actions or results (which many times are not related to revenue) to a particular advertising initiative. Attribution may include factors like engagement,  clicks, views, awareness, and purchase intent. It’s the actions attributable to the campaign. ROI on the other hand is specifically the profit generated over the advertising expenditure  and requires the ability to link specific sales to the campaign initiative which is much more difficult.


  Mike Norton, EVP, Norton Outdoor
As a “traditional” OOH operator, Norton Outdoor Advertising still considers OOH ROI to be the net sales effect that our OOH campaign(s) provided. In other words, to the extent  possible to determine such, how much more did Company X sell during and shortly after its OOH campaign?

The term “attribution” has grown from the online sector of marketing/advertising and the data available on those platforms. Such data allows for an analysis of what platforms, sites, apps, and creative executions appear to result in the best conversions. Conversions could be click-thru, sign ups, sales, or other key performance indicators (KPIs).

The good news is that OOH seems to be closing in on using mobile and other data to be a more consistent and reliable part of attribution modeling. By determining where a mobile device has been during a consumer’s path to purchase, a marketer can determine that seeing a particular piece of OOH inventory/creative played a crucial role in a conversion. For example, after passing by a Nike OOH display for the new Kyrie Irving basketball shoes, that mobile device was used to search for terms like “Nike,” “basketball,” “Kyrie,” etc., a marketer could attribute at least some of that success to the OOH ad. If that device was used to find a specific retailer nearby, or better yet used to purchase the shoes, OOH should get a higher attribution score. The technology and data are there, and this is being done by some. It is our hope that this data is used more often, to prove the importance of our medium.


  Sharon Peyer, Business Development, Crane Connectivity
OOH campaign attribution is how much our campaign contributed to increases in consumer favorability, awareness, purchase intent, and sales (across all channels).

For Crane, ROI is an increase in advertised product sales resulting from our campaign (over specified time periods) divided by the total campaign cost.



  Kevin Romano, EVP, Christie Experiential Network
As we begin to grow our network, we have needed to balance our modeling of the investment in our OOH campaign attribution product offering with the overall fit/prediction of our   mutually improved business results.



  Ahmad Sayar, VP Strategy & Innovation, Posterscope
We believe ROI and attribution are innately different things. We don’t often see client sales data (or profit margin for that matter) so we cannot always determine a return on    investment. We can very easily determine attribution since we can survey or track location data.

Here at Posterscope, we are always trying to prove the effectiveness of OOH and have explored all possible opportunities to do so. In an ideal world, we’d be able to analyze ROI for all of our campaigns; however, we typically are asked to measure specific KPIs of the campaign, such as increased awareness, brand sentiment, or foot fall into stores. As a result, most of the work we do is attribution reporting rather than ROI reporting.


  Andy Sriubas, Chief Commercial Office, OUTFRONT Media
ROI is a metric we have aimed to quantify for our clients for years and is usually determined by third party research that measure factors like awareness, recall, intent to purchase,    etc., as a result of a consumer seeing an ad on one of our assets. On occasion, ROI comes directly from a client as they can see a spike in some measurable activity (case movement,    ticket sales, etc.) that correlate with the timing and location of an OOH campaign.

Attribution is more closely connected with our mobile product on metrics like click-through rate (CTR), secondary action rate (SAR), and store visitation. There is a more immediate and definite result tied to consumer action vs. general campaign strength. The next generation of attribution will include real-time impression counts connected with verifiable secondary actions using connected signals from mobile, cellular, and beacon infrastructures.


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Modified: 2 years

Published: August 24, 2017