Marketers, advertisers, and digital network owners all rely on accurate audience data to measure their KPIs and maximize their ROI. Obtaining this data, however, is often a challenge. In the online environment, marketers and advertisers have access to a variety of audience measurement tools, such as Google Analytics, social media analytics, and various paid tools that collect a wealth of data. In the offline environment, the situation is a little different. Before we go into too much detail, let’s consider what audience measurement tools actually are and how they work.
What are Audience Measurement tools?
Audience measurement tools collect data about the people viewing different types of content. Marketers and advertisers use these tools to collect data on the people viewing their ads, while digital network owners use them to find out more about the people viewing their digital screens. Radio and TV channels use these tools to analyze the audiences reached through their broadcasts, and cinemas use them to learn more about movie audiences. And these are only a few examples. Different audience measurement tools are capable of measuring different aspects of an audience, and are designed for use in different contexts. In this article, we’re going to focus on the tools and capabilities relevant to marketers, advertisers, and media owners.
Audience Measurement metrics
Some of the most important metrics that audience measurement tools need to be able to provide include:
- Audience size (people count)
- Audience age
- Audience gender
- Dwell and attention time
These metrics make it possible to deliver more relevant content to a particular audience, which increases engagement and ROI. As already mentioned, these metrics are easily available when it comes to online content. But what options for KPI measurement exist in the offline world?
Offline Audience Measurement
Offline advertising, in the form of out-of-home (OOH) or Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, is experiencing something of a resurgence. Now that people are using ad-free streaming services instead of watching television, using ad blockers when they browse the internet, and finding other ways to block out online advertising, D/OOH is one of the last mass advertising options available.
In the past, one of the main drawbacks of D/OOH was the fact that it was difficult – if not impossible – to get accurate audience data. Companies would resort to manual audience measurement, for example sending people out to count the number of viewers and manually noting the audience demographics as accurately as possible. This process was subject to human error and sampling, which made it less than reliable.
Today, however, new audience measurement tools have emerged. These tools are capable of providing highly accurate audience data for offline advertising on billboards and digital screens. This way, the advertisers and brands know exactly how well their content is performing across different locations and which parts need to be optimized.
High-tech offline Audience Measurement tools
Advanced AI technology, machine learning, and deep learning now enable the development of accurate offline audience measurement such as face analysis.
Face analysis software, combined with strategically placed cameras, makes measurement easy. With the technology we can determine how many people are looking at the content displayed on a billboard or digital screen, how old they are, what their gender is, and how much time they spend looking at the content. All this data is available in real time! And if the face analysis software is integrated with a CMS, it is even possible to display tailored content based on the demographics of the actual audience standing in front of a digital screen at any given point in time. Other high-tech audience measurement tools used in the offline environment include Wi-Fi tracking and Bluetooth beacons.
Outdoor Audience Measurement tools
While Wi-Fi tracking is best used indoors, Bluetooth beacons can be used outdoors provided that they have been designed to withstand the environmental conditions in which they are to be placed.
Face analysis is a great measurement tool for both indoor and outdoor settings. However, when using face analysis outdoors, it is important to consider aspects such as varying lighting conditions throughout the day, distance from screen, and so on