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How COVID-19 Has (Already) Transformed Out-of-Home Advertising

By Brian Farris   |    August 6, 2020   |    10:32 AM

Should Your Business Rely on OOH During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Out-of-home advertising (OOH) refers to any advertising outside of the home, like a billboard or sign. As more and more people stay at home, the industry has experienced some changes that have people wondering, “Is OOH a good advertising fit for my business?”

If you’re one of the many small businesses that use OOH in their marketing mix, here's what you need to know.

COVID-19 has altered consumer behavior

Whenever there’s a shift in consumer behavior, the way we market and advertise products and services must also change. 

Even as economies open back up the coronavirus pandemic has clearly changed the way people behave. While we may technically be allowed to do certain things, people across the country remain apprehensive about engaging with the outside world.

Rethink the OOH tools your company relies on for marketing

A change in consumer behavior means the way companies reach their customers also has to change. 

If your company relies on ad spots in movie theaters or billboards on highways, for example, you should re-think your outreach strategy. People are spending more time at home these days, so your new goal is to try to reach them where they’re at.

Consider new digital marketing strategies

Your customers are probably spending a lot of time at home lately, and digital marketing can help you reach them through their screens. If you’ve historically relied on OOH to get your message across, here are some alternatives to consider: 

On the topic of email marketing, note that selling something shouldn’t be your only focus. The simple act of maintaining a brand presence with your audience can be valuable enough on its own. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll hopefully think of your business first.

No matter what you do, avoid the temptation to slash your marketing budget to zero. It can be tempting, especially if the business is struggling right now, but it’s rarely a good long-term move. Fortunately, the examples above can be accomplished on a shoestring budget.

But remember, OOH may still have value for your business

Even during the pandemic, some companies can find massive value in out-of-home advertising. This especially true as the industry continues to offer more data-driven options for advertisers. 

This data generally comes from location-based services, which can provide “Detailed analysis of mobile data that determine brand affinity, interests, preferences, income size, gender, commute patterns, dwell time in the online and offline world”. As a result, advertisers can choose the most effective locations for their OOH advertisements. 

If you know that OOH still has a place in your business, be sure to look for a data-driven solution that can be measured. It’s the best way to ensure that your marketing budget is always spent wisely.