How Wi-Fi is Driving Advertising Conversions for OOH (Out of Home) Advertisers

By Paul Ramsey, senior account manager, GlobalReach Technology

Since 2016, we’ve worked with a consortium in North America to add Wi-Fi connectivity to their digital kiosks. Funded by advertising, they are just one of the Digital Out-Out-Home (DOOH) advertising networks to which we provide connectivity. These multi-function street-based structures replace telephone boxes to create a network covering several cities with a free Wi-Fi service. And, as they are in major city centres, they are also prime ad sites, attracting millions of views.  Adding public Wi-Fi is a key way to drive conversions at these sites.

Industry Research Finds Connectivity Increases Advertising Conversions

The global outdoor advertising market (OOH) will grow at a CAGR of 6.4% 2022-2032 (Fact.MR research: Outdoor Advertising Market Analysis By Type – Global Market Insights 2032). Advertising industry research finds where there is high-quality connectivity within the vicinity, OOH advertising is more successful. As a result, there is demand for high-performance Wi-Fi at digital kiosks, digital billboards and other DOOH sites. We’re already at the planning stage with major international advertising infrastructure companies about building scalable Wi-Fi services that will grow with their digital networks.

Here’s why. 

2022 global research from PosterScope, ClearChannel and JCDecaux found that:

  • Mobile searches in OOH locations are 38% more likely to lead to purchases than searches from home. 
  • Advertising is less effective at the point of need when the consumer does not have a strong internet connection.
  • 55% of consumers react better to the advert if there is a website URL in view.

The Infrastructure Model to Add Public Wi-Fi Connectivity

As cities become smart cities, it’s in the interests of the governing body to consolidate services.  We see street furniture like smart benches incorporate Wi-Fi hotspots for public connectivity. Digital advertising infrastructure already has power to the units, and easily houses Wi-Fi vendor hardware.

The model is simple to deploy. The billboard or kiosk houses the Wi-Fi access points. A supporting captive portal provides public access and can be branded to the service provider or city. This splash page can also be used as a campaign extension, supporting the ad delivered at that site. Consumers are typically ‘on the pause’ at these places and able to freely browse their phones. They’re viewing the ad while waiting for public transport, or to cross the road, or having a coffee or meal within sight of the screen. 

Our cloud-based Wi-Fi management dashboard supports our captive portal services. This provides real-time detail (and historic, if needed), about the health of the network and user analytics.  Because there is a major correlation between advertising effectiveness and Wi-Fi performance, it’s important that service providers have transparency and control of their network. Additionally, the user analytics provide data that the service provider owns (rather than the mobile operator in the case of a cellular network), about the number of users connected to the Wi-Fi service at a particular access point/DOOH site.

Additional Revenue from Prime Inner City Sites

Additional revenue opportunities are also possible when the advertising infrastructure is in a built-up, inner-city area. Where providing decent cellular network coverage is difficult, offloading traffic to public Wi-Fi lets mobile operators give their subscribers a continuous user experience. The service provider that owns the Wi-Fi network has the opportunity to make additional revenue through these carrier offload agreements.   We also operate hybrid connectivity models, such as converged cellular 5G / Passpoint Wi-Fi networks.

GlobalReach Technology is a leader in high-quality enterprise wireless ISP services.  We are trusted by the largest operators and brands to make difficult connectivity simple across a massive range of vertical industries and complex operating environments – including large-scale advertising infrastructure. Contact our team to find out more about our services.