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Unlocking the winning formula for FMCG success in Out of Home

As Australia’s largest retail media and broader Out of Home business, every year we work with hundreds of FMCG clients and brands, continually looking at ways we can help brands drive awareness, sales and profitability as the FMCG sector quickly evolves. From sudden lockdowns to changing tastes, along with new market entrants, the category is more competitive and dynamic than ever, which presents challenges and opportunities in equal parts.

With more than half of all advertising budgets going to online, and traditional TV audiences continuing to decline, Out of Home needs to demonstrate that it can reach the right audience, that it can drive sales during non-promotional periods to help brands maximise yield, and that it can play a role in building brands. Efficiency and effectiveness are mandatories. Reaching the right audience and influencing purchase is critical, and in a current covid/post covid world, even more so as we need to make every dollar work harder.

Out of home’s audiences and revenues have been on a steady growth trajectory for over a decade and there is a very good reason for that. The channel can reach almost every single metropolitan-based transacting adult every week, as well as reaching the 30 per cent of Australians residing in regional areas.  It is proven to influence along the journey, works effectively with other channels, TV and especially online, and plays an important role in the context of the purchase environment – retail centres. So why is it that today, less than 4c in every advertising dollar spent is on Out of Home, despite the fact it is proven to deliver significant results for brands. What is holding marketers back?

Accountability is at the heart of the issue. With the ever-tightening of marketing purse strings, the need for campaign performance is real and the market is calling for the traditional Out of Home channel to catch up with its digital counterparts. Over recent years, significant industry-led investment in audience measurement has become the top priority and will create a step change in terms of industry unified currency and global best practice in Out of Home audience measurement. Concurrently, some Out of Home players have gone all-in on digital, some are touting programmatic as the silver bullet, each individual operator forging a dual path – with industry, and in areas where they believe the growth will come from. One thing is very clear though – unless the ROI for a client is fundamental to the proposition and the outcome, there is no path forward.

Audience-focused future 

Traditional Out of Home campaigns are usually sold by individual ‘products’ such as billboards, bus shelters or retail panels, meaning campaigns are booked by format and often with a prescribed list of sites or location such as 100 per cent proximity to store. In an industry historically lacking in robust data, this approach largely derives from the assumption of where we deem a brands audience to be.  Legacy ownership within the industry has meant that the individual operators have a format specialty and therefore have made a recommendation that for example, ‘billboards are right for this brand launch’ or ‘this beverage campaign should be near supermarkets in these small retail shopping centres.’)

We firmly believe that the future of Out of Home is audience, and that identifying the right audience comes not from what consumers say they do, but from what they buy. The reason this is so important is because reaching category buyers, those who already buy your or your competitor’s product, is proven to deliver double the ROI than just planning to a demographic. 

To understand where to reach the right audience, oOh! have invested in leading data partner Quantium, accessing transactional data to understand site-by-site performance in the context of a category buyer. Powered by over 2.5 billion retail transactions annually, it accesses the movement and shopping behaviours of Australians based on de-identified and aggregated data. 

There are already over 250 FMCG category-based segments mapped to our unrivalled national footprint of 35,000 locations – from top sauce buyers to baby needs buyers, flavoured snacks to carbonated drinks buyers. Target the buyer, reach the largest volume of them as possible, remove the constraints of proximity to a store, and you have a recipe for results.

Taking extensive network reach, and combining it with transactional audience data gives us the building blocks for highly targeted campaigns which can be planned to reach over 80 per cent of your buyers in a single campaign using one piece of creative – simply put, it’s what we’re calling, a Better Way to Buy. 

Real world results 

According to econometric modelling leaders, Analytic Partners, planning campaigns to category buying audiences rather than demographics not only delivers more than double the ROI, but using a blend of multiple environments such as Retail, Street and Railway stations increases ROI by 31 per cent1

In March, Ingham’s took a category buyer approach using the oOh! small format network exclusively, planning to the ‘Top Chicken buyers’ Quantium segment across oOh!s retail centres and street furniture network, with the aim to drive awareness and conversion of their whole chicken product ‘The Free Ranger’ in NSW & VIC. 

For the first time we were able to measure the campaign’s effectiveness by using oOh!’s exclusive Quantium campaign reporting which measures the uplift in buyers pre, during and post campaign, category performance, age, affluence and distribution of the audience – all based on supermarket transactional data.

Ingham’s trusted in the data-led audience approach, targeting category buyers based on actual transactions mapped to each of our small-format locations. This allowed the brand to maximise reach to the right audience across both digital and non-digital small-format street and retail assets at scale.

Over the four-week campaign period, the brand increased its penetration within the whole chicken category by 27 per cent and buyers increased by 30 per cent compared to the category at 3 per cent. ‘The FreeRanger’ also attracted 72 per cent new buyers to the brand, with the proportion of new buyers 50-per-cent higher for Ingham’s compared to the broader category.

These results were achieved with oOh! as the sole media partner and no other media support. Chief Marketing Officer of Inghams, Seb Brandt commented on oOh!s data-led planning approach and Quantium post-campaign reporting:

“ This new platform and data set from oOh!media is the future of outdoor. My biggest nervousness around outdoor in the past has been wastage, high eyeballs, low cut through. This Free Ranger campaign is a great example of how we can use outdoor as a targeted message for a new and emerging brand with specific geotargeted distribution. Looking forward to using this product (Smart Reach) again soon ”. 

Big picture relevance  

Thinking audience first in Out of Home is revolutionising how to achieve the greatest ROI, particularly in the FMCG space. We always knew our vast network had the ability to reach more Australian’s than any other Out of Home business, and in fact most media suppliers in the country, however the true power of scale comes when credible data smarts are applied, and campaigns, specific to each brand can be designed with real cause and effect. This better way to buy throws down the gauntlet to clients seeking data-driven accountability and attributable outcomes, and perhaps presents a new era and increased investment in a sector which I believe is to date, largely untapped.

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  • Bel Harper is Group Director, Product Strategy at oOh!media 


  1. Analytic Partners, oOh! 4.0 Study 2021.