Survey: Brands Marketers Switching from Paid Social to OOH

Digital advertising fatigue has set in, and brand marketers are ready for change.

According to a new survey from OneScreen.ai, the majority of marketers are actively looking for alternatives to paid social in 2022, and 67% believe their digital returns have diminished, even after scaling up programs.

OneScreen’s survey of more than 600 marketing professionals across 45 states found that 97% of marketers are currently looking for alternative advertising and marketing channels. 

Why the change? Blame it on the pandemic, of course.

According to the survey, 77% of marketers believe increased online focus during the Covid-19 pandemic made SEO competition tougher, and 61% say the challenges of competing with massive brands for search position are partly to blame for declining digital ad returns. Costs are also climbing on social.

OOH Spending Increases

OneScreen.ai Chief Revenue Officer Jeanne Hopkins says out-of-home (OOH) spending increased 72% in the first quarter of the year, not just because marketers were increasing their ad budgets, but because they were shifting from poor performers to new channels to test and experiment.

​​”Any demand gen marketer knows that the cost of Facebook/Meta and Google AdWords campaigns increased by two times in [the fourth quarter of 2021], simply because of the online competition of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers trying to get a foothold on the lucrative holiday shopping season,” says Hopkins. “For challenger brands, B2B companies, that meant that clicks cost more, and conversions were less likely. Think about the number of emails, texts, and offers you received during that time frame. Everyone is competing for the single dollar.”

Six-in-10 marketers say they believe growing digital fatigue among consumers and a general distrust of digital ads are among the causes of poor performance. As a result, one-third of marketers now say they’re testing OOH placements as an alternative channel to bolster digital return on investment (ROI).

OneScreen.ai’s survey results are echoed by another recent survey, which found that brands are shifting budgets away from email, paid search, and paid social advertising toward OOH.

Switching Strategies

Among those channels that marketers are switching to from paid search, it should come as no surprise that OOH took the lead. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, OOH ad revenue jumped 38% between July and September last year, amounting to $1.7 billion in ad spend.

Ninety-three percent of marketers in OneScreen.ai’s survey said they believe OOH placements are essential for reinforcing brand message, and 92% plan to increase their OOH budget in 2022. 

“We know OOH works; we have research to prove it,” Hopkins says. “It can be local, it can be regional, it can be national. It can be a billboard, bus shelter, blimp, or a floating screen shoreside. So many options, so many ways to capture interest and reinforce your brand for a conference, an event, or to generate action.”

Eighty-four percent of marketers said they predict a rise in interactive OOH ads in 2022, as well.

While the effectiveness of OOH campaigns has traditionally been difficult to measure, Hopkins says technological advances have made it so this is no longer the case. Almost 92% of survey respondents said they use a “variety of trustworthy methods” to measure the effectiveness of OOH campaigns, including digital integration, promo codes, QR codes, and unique landing pages.

“My suggestion is to start small, use the same messaging in all your channels, and lather, rinse, repeat,” Hopkins says. “It’s tough to do because marketers are all about ‘being creative’ yet your prospect might misunderstand what your unique messages mean when taken as a whole.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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