Outdoor advertising is not a new concept. Historical photos of North American highways quickly reveal a familiar sight to motorists: billboards. This advertising form has been around since the early 1800s and isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon – around 15,000 new billboards are installed each year in the United States alone.

However, while billboards still have their place, for most brands, they are not the most effective form of advertising. The biggest advertisers on billboards tend to be large corporations such as Apple, American Express, and Amazon, which are not heavily reliant on advertising to influence consumer behaviour, at least not compared to other companies.

Fortunately, the landscape of outdoor advertising is changing. The rise of retail media networks has made outdoor advertising more reliable, effective, and advanced than static billboards. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into retail media networks, exploring what they offer, the technology behind them, and the challenges and opportunities they present.

The Evolution of Outdoor Advertising Outdoor advertising has come a long way in its several thousand years of existence. Yes, several thousand years. We could go back as far as ancient Egypt, but for simplicity, this article focuses on modern advertising.

Over the last fifty years, billboard advertising reigned supreme. The problem was, while this method could be effective, it came with limitations and challenges that diminished its impact. On one hand, traditional billboards are costly. On the other hand, there was very little targeting; one simply had to hope the right people saw your advertisement.

Furthermore, billboards can hardly be described as engaging. They may provide good exposure, but they don’t prompt action, certainly not immediate action, as do other forms of advertising.

Does this mean the end of billboards? Absolutely not – in the era of dynamic and engaging advertising, practical solutions have emerged.

The Rise of Retail Media Networks Retail media networks have become major players in the advertising landscape, and it’s easy to see why. These networks, existing in commercial spaces, allow for effective and targeted advertising, much more likely to yield results.

Advertisers agree. The market is expected to reach some $100 billion in the next two years and represent a quarter of all digital media spending. In other words: it’s popular. It works in physical stores, on shopping apps, and directly on e-commerce sites; essentially, anywhere products are sold.

This allows for a much more direct and engaging advertising process than the experience of a distant, static billboard. The beauty of retail media networks isn’t just in the location of the advertisement (although that is certainly helpful); the type of advertisement also has an impact. A billboard is immobile. A retail media network is infused with technology and can include digital screens, dynamic content broadcasting, and interactive displays, to name a few common features.

Redefining Experiences with Retail Media The first way retail media networks have transformed out-of-home experiences is that they insert brand messaging into the shopping experience. Historically, advertisements were broadcast far from the point of purchase – think watching an advert on television or passing a billboard while still thirty minutes from the shop.

Retail media networks present advertisements to consumers at the point when they are about to make a purchasing decision. A shopper entering a busy store can be overwhelmed by choice. A well-placed and timely advertisement can make the difference between choosing one product over another.

A consumer sees a billboard out of context; it’s just something momentarily grabbing their attention while driving. Retail media networks create an engaging experience for the consumer by placing the advertisement in context. The products they see advertised aren’t just an idea; they are available for the consumer to purchase immediately. it support company

Technology and Interactivity in Retail Media In the ever-evolving landscape of the advertising industry, billboards remain relevant and worth exploring, particularly in appropriate contexts. The billboard market is robust and expected to exceed $45 billion USD by 2028, demonstrating its enduring importance. Nonetheless, it’s vital to recognize that the technology used for static billboards is basic, reflecting a traditional approach in an era where interactive features are increasingly commonplace.

Retail media networks, representing modern solutions, address traditional challenges by fostering consumer engagement. Digital outdoor advertising exemplifies this evolution, transforming merely viewing an advertisement into an interactive experience. A walk through a contemporary shopping centre reveals a plethora of digital adverts that captivate and engage consumers.

Billboard advertisers can easily update their advertisements, ensuring they remain relevant. For instance, an advertisement can be updated to reflect the local sports team’s victory moments after the game ends. In the city of the losing team, the advertisement could be updated with a note of commiseration. This allows for local market customization in a way that was not possible before.

Challenges and Opportunities As we’ve seen, retail media networks have a lot to offer, but also a lot of potential. They allow advertisers to reach consumers at the critical moment, just before they make a purchasing decision, which was not possible until now.