How Outdoor Billboards are Tracking their Views

The outdoor billboard business has only relied on traffic numbers and demographic figures in just how effective an advertising campaign is, but that is now a thing of the past. Today’s smart billboards are now tracking the cell phones of those that pass by their signs and finding other ways to collect data on them.

Tracking people


Americans know they are being tracked by advertisers when they are surfing the web, but now it is occurring in the real world. This was first introduced back in 2016 when Clear Channel Outdoor partnered up with cell phone network providers.

How it works is simple. The cell phones of travelers going by a billboard have their signal tracked in terms of where they go and what the users looks for on the internet from their phones. This makes it possible for the advertisers to know if a traveler that sees their billboard actually visits their store or place of business.

To help protect those being tracked, it is done anomalously so no person can be identified.

Identifying viewers


To help an advertiser know just who is walking or driving by a location, old technology is being used in a new way. Cameras are now being installed on outdoor billboards capturing just who is looking at them.

This approach is collecting real time data on the age and sex of those viewing the billboards. Other data being collected includes just how long the eyes are in contact with the billboard. One of the company’s pioneering this approach is Quividi.

This real time data is more accurate than the general traffic and demographic data all outdoor billboard businesses have been using in the past. Once again only the data is being stored not the person’s identity.

How the data is being used

The data being collected in the above examples, along with other paths are now being complied for use by advertisers and the companies who sell the advertising. No individuals are having their pictures stored or being identified by their account numbers for now.

The information makes it possible to better target the audience that frequencies the location of the outdoor billboards. This increases the Return on Investment (ROI) for any organization looking to target a specific demographic.  By knowing the area of the target audience, a more effective advertising campaign can be launched.

Using technology to your advantage

The use of outdoor billboards for years has just been considered a mass media approach, but that is changing. With the use of cameras and sensors, a target audience can be reached more effectively since it is now possible to know who is looking at what and where.

Combining mobile and billboard campaigns

The use of an outdoor billboard is now helping to drive a target audience to the mobile site of an organization is now being launched by many. This is by the offer of coupons online or vouchers. It is also the best possible means for providing additional information that cannot be listed in the 8 seconds a traveler might be viewing the billboard.

The outdoor billboard business is changing by now having the ability to track viewers in real time. By using both OOH advertising and social media, reaching the target audience has never been easier in the highly profitable business of outdoor billboard.

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