3 Reasons Investment in Audio OOH Yields Positive ROI


Marketers will spendOpens a new window $123.22 billion on programmatic advertising in 2022 — over 90% of all digital display ad dollars. Every programmatic channel, including display, video, audio and social, can expect increased investment. In fact, Audio-Out-of-Home (AOOH) has seen its programmatic audio spending increase by 23% this year. 

 This surge in out-of-home spending may sound surprising since online shopping remains a popular way of transacting among consumers. Yet, with over 84% of shoppersOpens a new window still visiting brick-and-mortar stores, according to Merkle, brands are recognizing the value of engaging customers in-store at the point of purchase.

See More: Predictions 2022: What’s in Store for Out-of-Home Advertising This Year

 The brick-and-mortar market offers a channel that is difficult to recreate online: a touchpoint to engage with consumers when products are available for immediate purchase. Advertisers have leveraged various tools like audio to influence the knowledge, mood, and disposition of customers shopping in-store. Audio can affect every aspect of the customer experience, from the store entrance to decision-making to the final sale. Here are three reasons why investment in in-store audio will continue generating robust ROI:

AOOH Complements Digital Visibility

Studies show people still buy on a whim. According to DisplayMode, in-store marketing has influenced 68% of customersOpens a new window to switch to a different product or brand while shopping. Because visibility is critical to capitalize on this buying pattern and increase sales, many advertisers have turned to more connected, digital ad channels. 

 We have all noticed the increased digitization of out-of-home advertising. Billboards and place-based displays have evolved into digital displays, many of which are interactive. QR codes, for example, have bridged physical and digital experiences and connected out-of-home ads to personal devices. All these channels provide unique options for advertisers to engage with their customers. 

 In this ad landscape, in-store audio plays a vital role in driving campaigns. AOOH complements digital displays by adding another layer of customer recognition to the media mix. Because retailers’ can broadcast music, audio programs, and ads throughout the store, audio has an advantage over displays. Unlike the ads on mobile displays, popular streaming devices, or any other digital platforms, shoppers cannot skip audio ads. Further, retailers can use audio ads to target specific groups of people in a specific location based on product availability, shopper age and gender, and other variables. Retailers can then use reporting tools to understand how their advertising efforts influenced a shopper’s path to purchase.

 Audio Increases Attention and Retention 

Unlike visual displays, audio advertisements do not interfere with the act of shopping. Customers can observe and interact with a product while simultaneously hearing about it. For example, as customers walk down the aisle, they intentionally engage their senses to discover desired items. In-store shopping requires customers to navigate the store hands-free — normal distractions from virtual conversation or social media are eliminated. When an audio ad plays over the speakers, they are predisposed to absorb brand messaging. The multisensory stimulation may be a significant reason AOOH generates a 24% higher recallOpens a new window than traditional display ads, according to Nielsen.  

 Customer recall is rarely instantaneous. To leave a lasting impression, brands must engage with customers throughout their shopping journey. Some people learn better through visual mediums, and others through audio or tactile experiences. The same principle applies to retail. Imagine a shopper walks into a grocery store to buy milk and sees a display for a new energy drink flavor. They notice the product itself, feel the packaging and compare the different brands. Then, they hear an audio ad announcing a special discount on the new flavor as they move through the aisles. This person will leave much more mindful of the product than someone seeing a single ad on their TV or web browser.

 Beyond reach and recall, AOOH has the power to influence overall mood and experience. A recent surveyOpens a new window by Raydiant cited “enjoyment of the in-store shopping experience” as the number one reason consumers prefer visiting physical stores. Respondents ranked this reason higher than “the opportunity to see and touch products prior to purchase” and “the ability to buy and bring something home the same day.” These results show overall enjoyment influences consumer experience and retention. A customer humming along to a song between helpful, informative ads while shopping will desire to return. 

Customers Want a Reason To Buy

With the exceptions of a few verticals such as clothing or home goods, most in-person retail stores have a customer base with a high purchase propensity. For example, few people visit a grocery store like Kroger to browse or a pharmacy like CVS to see new merchandise. Brands speaking to their “captive audience“ of shoppers have the power to spur an extra impulse buy or quick switch to another brand. 

 AOOH advertisements promote based on specific regional campaigns and store inventory, so any product advertised over the airwaves is immediately accessible to shoppers. This contributes to customers’ increased propensity to purchase advertised products via AOOH — any product they hear about over the store’s speakers can be purchased at that moment. 

See More: My Campaign Is Ready, but Where Are My Creatives?

 In competitive environments like grocery, convenience stores or big-box retailers, messaging can make the difference in what items people choose. Brands need options to layer their campaigns and highlight their products. For this purpose, AOOH is the perfect partner. As a matter of fact, according to VeibenomicsOpens a new window , shoppers hearing an AOOH advertisement are 77% more likely to buy the advertised item.

 Every step of the in-store buyer’s journey offers new opportunities for brands to connect with their customers. AOOH will continue yielding returns as long as customers respond positively to the value of expanded visibility and increased knowledge about the products they buy. 

Have you invested in audio OOH advertising? How has it impacted your ROI? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .