OAAA Research Gives Snapshot Of How Consumers Spend Time Outside Homes

May 7, 2012 by Dave Haynes

Research released last week by the Outdoor Advertising Assocation of America provides an interesting snapshot of how consumers spend their time away from, with an astonishing amount of it allocated to travel. About 62% of a consumer’s time spent away from the house (and not at work or school) is getting places.

The USA TouchPoints report used 1,000 smartphone diaries to capture behavioral data every 30 minutes over 10 days. Apart from travel, the next biggest time consumer was shopping, at 13%. Food service was 10%, just being outdoors was 10%, the gym was 2% and public transport was 2%, though I wonder how that is different from travel … and buses take FOREVER to get anywhere.

The study also concluded 80% of Americans interact with out of home places and media vehicles. “While outside the home or workplace, these consumers are engaging with activities critical to marketers, such as: using media and being reached by messages; socializing and influencing other people; and shopping and making purchasing decisions.”

“This rich, multidimensional study will help the advertising industry identify the sequence of media exposure in the full context of daily lives,” says Stephen Freitas, OAAA chief marketing officer. “With the help of smartphone technology, the OOH industry can demonstrate how the medium can increase ROI by placing ads when and where consumers are likely to be receptive to the message.”

The report done by the Media Behavior Institute determined that when added to other media, OOH ads can potentially increase consumer reach. For example, adding billboards to Internet advertising can more than double afternoon reach, the OAAA suggests. Street furniture and social networking can increase reach by up to 66 percent.

As reported in Marketing Charts:

The potential certainly exists to impact this large swathe of the population. According to survey results released in February 2012 by BrandSpark International in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens, among the more than 3,000 North American respondents, 80% said they always (18%) or sometimes (62%) notice outdoor ads.

Meanwhile, the peak time for away from home is during the afternoon, with consumer reach on the average day generally highest from midday to 6 PM. In fact, the afternoon is the peak for away from home reach on both weekdays and weekends.

Retail Gets More Share of Time on the Weekend

The OAAA study also finds that while the a similar proportion of consumers are away from home on the weekend as during the week, their share of time spent in different locations shifts quite significantly. For example, on the weekend, consumers spend 9% less of their away from home time traveling, while spending 16% more at retail locations, 10% more at food service establishments, and 27% more simply being outside.

Midday is Prime Time for Retail

Looking at when the average consumer reach is highest among the different categories, the OAAA study reveals that retail peaks in the early afternoon (roughly between 1PM and 4PM), which is roughly the same range for outside’s peak. Travel opportunities for marketers are highest at 8:30-9 AM, 12-12:30 PM, 3-3:30 PM, and 5-6:30 PM. OAAA insight indicates that the distinct, staggered prime times for the different categories suggests that multiple placements can be most effective for maximizing consumer exposure.

Other Findings:

According to the study, different places have different reaches among demographics. For example, adults with household income of $75k+ per year over-index on time spent traveling, at retail locations, and at food service establishments.

The most common consumer activities while away from home are: using media; socializing; and shopping. Media use peaks in the early evening (roughly 5-6:30 PM), while socializing peaks from about 7:30-8 PM and shopping between 1 and 4 PM.

Leave a comment