REI's #OptOutside boosts in-store foot traffic 3.6x with digital OOH
- Co-op and outdoor retailer REI leveraged first-party data to reach new and loyal customers through digital out-of-home (DOOH) and mobile media for its long-running #OptOutside campaign last year, per news made available to Marketing Dive. The effort drove a 14% increase in brand awareness, a 9% boost in consideration and a 7% increase in purchase intent, with retail locations seeing a 3.6x increase in in-store visits.
- REI tapped solutions from Vistar Media and Acxiom's LiveRamp: the latter helped the retailer connect its first-party consumer segment to geospatial data from Vistar, which used location data and geospatial technology to learn about the behaviors and actions of groups of consumers. Vistar examined movement patterns to activate cross-screen and DOOH media in order to reach REI loyalists and new customers at locations where they were most likely to be during the day.
- Through the campaign, REI wanted to spread awareness about its #OptOutside initiative to current and new audiences. In its third year, #OptOutside continued the brand's commitment to close all retail locations on Black Friday and pay its more than 12,000 employees to spend time outside while encouraging consumers to do the same.
The idea behind #OptOutside is clearly one that continues to resonate with consumers by fitting into REI's brand image of being dedicated to the outdoors. Though REI's #OptOutside is about closing stores in favor of fresh air on Black Friday — a risky strategy for a retailer given the importance of the deals day across the sector — the latest campaign results reinforce how the campaign is paying off, including for in-store visits, with help from DOOH.
DOOH is proving increasingly popular with marketers looking to better personalize and integrate cross-channel campaigns with traditionally static formats like billboards. Roughly $4.5 billion is expected to be spent on DOOH advertising by 2019 — a $1.2 billion increase from 2016 — according to Ad Age. Revenue from DOOH is also forecast to surpass traditional media spend by 2020, and will grow at 15% per year for the next four years, according to PWC predictions cited by the publication.
This trend comes as consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and also expecting a greater level of personalization and relevance across channels. Marketers that don't deliver on this stand to lose out, as a lack of personalization cost businesses $756 billion in 2016, according to Accenture. As digital technology makes achieving personalization easier, however, marketers walk a fine line between creating tailored messages and potentially overstepping bounds to come across as creepy.