By: Anna Bager, OAAA President and CEO

I am very proud to share that today, we published the “OAAA OOH Impression Measurement Guidelines,” a framework that proposes new standards and minimum reporting requirements for OOH audience measurement. This marks a huge milestone in evolving measurement for our industry and an important first step in ensuring OOH is included within the marketing mix.

The new recommendation is based on a move toward an impressions-based measurement system that will include both forecasted and reconciled-as-delivered daily impressions consistent with how other media is measured today. These are the metrics advertisers and agencies require, and our aim is to respond to these needs.

The advertising ecosystem is data-driven, mobile-led and digital first and without clear and consistent metrics to measure audience impression, OOH (both printed and digital) has remained somewhat of an outlier in the traditional marketing mix. The OAAA Data & Analytics Committee led the solution-focused initiative to facilitate further integration for OOH into the same attribution models used to evaluate the efficacy of other media channels.

The resulting guidelines explain the intended role, format, and components of measurement for OOH that address advertisers’ need for better transparency. By recommending a more dynamic measurement system, we are demonstrating the industry’s commitment to develop not just a stronger audience forecasting model, but a solution to measure as-delivered audience impressions – as other media channels do.

A key recommendation in doing so is to embrace Opportunity to See (OTS) as our core currency metric.  This is the same metric used by all other measured media and the core metric used for data inputs into Marketing Mix Models and Multitouch Attribution Models.

An important takeaway from these guidelines is that we’re enhancing the definition of OTS as a measure that will now combine predictive audience models with a clear measure of observed audience exposure.  As a currency metric, OTS will also leverage “view-sheds” that take into consideration the size, placement, facing, dwell time, viewing angles and other fixed attributes of OOH inventory that influence the calculation of impressions.

To be clear, the OOH industry is not walking away from other forms of measurement as we feel strongly that the industry and/or individual organizations can choose to develop additional solutions to further refine measurement, including methodologies to estimate Likelihood to See (LTS). Measures of LTS would need to accurately factor in variable attributes like weather, time-based conditions, or other ways to further the understanding of actual audiences reached, which are important considerations, however, should not be at the core of our new measurement.  For clarity, the new OTS does not equal Circulation or DEC and in no way are we recommending a move back to DEC or Circulation as our core currency.

We believe whole-heartedly in collaboration and have worked with industry leaders to both develop and review these guidelines. Sequent Partner’s, Jim Spaeth, thoughtfully shared: “There is no greater measurement responsibility than the specification of media currencies.  These new Guidelines from OAAA begin the process of filling a gap in OOH media measurement by introducing a measure of Opportunities To See (OTS) between the existing Circulation and Likelihood To See measures (LTS).  These three parallel the first four stages of the long-standing ARF, Media Making Better Media Decisions (ARF, 2003).  Circulation is a currency of the past but does provide a measure of the broadest potential a medium could offer.  The new OTS measure offers the benefit of being most comparable to existing currencies used for other media.  The LTS measure predates the efforts of other media to look past mere opportunities to more value-laden outcomes such as viewability in digital and commercial exposure in television and attention in both.  Looking forward, the medium’s contribution to sales, or advertisers’ other marketing objectives, is also addressed in the recommendation for daily impressions measurement.  Capturing the variations in a campaigns impressions delivery over time is essential to the modeling measurement of its full contribution.  Ultimately, a media currency is an agreement between buyers and sellers to transact business using it as the denominator of value.  Changing the yardstick doesn’t change the underlying value to advertisers.  Taking these Guidelines next to the ANA, ARF, MRC, Geopath and WOO is the right next step.”

The OAAA Data & Analytics Committee is proposing to do just that. We will continue to facilitate industry wide collaboration by engaging with the MRC, ANA, ARF, WOO, Geopath and other related groups representing multiple aspects to ensure we’re developing accurate, timely and transparent audience measurement.

Our greatest intent with this new framework is to bring OOH measurement to a point where it is consistent with and comparable to how other media are measured.


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One Comment

  1. Jim Schultheis

    This article would have been informative if they actually explained how to do OTS.