How to Leverage Data to Determine your Next Billboard Site

06.09.2022 | Justin Lucas

Data is at the heart of making great business decisions.

Companies that excel at leveraging data today are the industry leaders of tomorrow. This is especially true for outdoor media companies. 

Identifying an ideal location to place a billboard is uniquely challenging, because it requires both advertisers and real estate developers to understand site context in addition to the consumer behavior of a moving audience. 

When deciding where to place a billboard, outdoor media companies must consider several factors, including the socio-demographics, population density, traffic volume, and land use of a particular site. 

The challenge comes in pulling together these insights from diverse sources to understand the full context of a site before making decisions.

Thankfully, location analytics bridges the gap between real-world and digital metrics, painting a more detailed picture of a location in relation to a moving audience, so outdoor media companies can make well informed, data-driven decisions.

Leveraging location analytics is critical not only for the successful placement and performance of outdoor media, but also to optimize asset portfolios and minimize risk. Ultimately, a company’s ability to grow a successful outdoor media portfolio is only as good as the data being used.

Benefits of Using Location Analytics to Determine Ideal Billboard Placement and Optimize Messaging

Location analytics adds another dimension to better understand the context of a billboard site and can even help identify the behavior and preferences of a moving consumer. With these insights, outdoor media companies gain a competitive edge and can even analyze competitor sites to see what factors play into their performance.

Outdoor media companies cannot rely on one metric alone to make decisions on billboard placement, which is why leveraging location analytics is a smart choice for making these complex, high stake decisions.

Read on to discover the benefits of using location analytics when placing billboards.

1. Quickly determine land use and site context

When identifying the ideal location for a billboard, outdoor media companies look at traffic volume and visibility data to determine a billboard’s reach and potential success. But there are several other factors that play into the successful placement of a billboard, such as proximity to existing or future infrastructure, zoning rights, and transit accessibility.

When securing new locations, it’s imperative for development teams to understand the context of a site as much as possible to reduce risk. By leveraging location analytics, outdoor media companies can determine what approvals are required with various municipalities and transit agencies before getting too invested.

By knowing a site’s current or potential land use, companies can also leverage mobility indicators to evaluate traffic volume and traffic patterns of a particular site. Having an idea of where people are traveling to and from can help predict the performance of advertising placed on them and provide a glimpse into consumer behavior.

Taking time to dig deep and analyze land use and site context can yield huge dividends and potentially generate consistent and high demand for advertising space.

2. Better understand a site’s moving audience

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is as unique as the moving audience it caters to. OOH media companies are continually looking for unique locations to place billboard advertising, which adds to the high stakes of finding ideal locations for billboard placement.

Beyond land use and mobility insights, outdoor media companies also need to consider the unique role billboards play in marketing to a moving customer, and how this factors into billboard placement.

Traditionally, businesses gain insight into consumer behavior by analyzing market research, social media data and other digital metrics. But to analyze a moving consumer, other metrics are required.

Location analytics make it possible for businesses to gain additional insight into their moving consumer based on travel patterns, population density, residential types, income levels, and shopping patterns.

Having access to deeper consumer insights can help to identify the most impactful location for a billboard, while also determining which type of billboard to develop. Static, digital, wallscape, small or large, billboard style and type must also be considered with both consumer data and location in mind.

Pinpointing the best possible billboard site geared to the right consumer can increase ROI and help hit growth targets.

3. Optimize billboard messaging and display

Due to the nature of dealing with a consumer on the move, outdoor media companies need to look outside traditional marketing and advertising metrics to come up with ideal messaging and display ideas for a billboard.

Location analytics lets users analyze a location from community level insights down to parcel-level detail. Other factors like weather and foot traffic come into play when advertisers think about billboard displays, and when billboard styleintegrated with third-party data, location analytics can help determine the most appropriate content for a particular audience at a given time.

Using location analytics to uncover details about a community and its residents undoubtedly gives outdoor media companies a competitive advantage not only with billboard placement, but also with developing effective marketing messaging and the timing of displays.

4. Analyze and Measure Performance

Location analytics can also provide insight into the existing performance of a billboard site, analyze risk, and optimize asset portfolios. When assessing a particular site, location analytics allows outdoor media companies to test different locations and development scenarios. With this insight, companies can more confidently target sites that are more likely to perform well and mitigate risk.

Outdoor media companies can also incorporate location analytics in media measurement of omnichannel marketing efforts to help with the attribution of sales to a billboard site. Having data to quantify the effectiveness of a particular billboard site is helpful not only for performance metrics, but also to optimize billboard messaging and content.

5. Easily Account for ESG Factors

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards are becoming increasingly important for businesses to attract investors and comply with certain government mandates. ESG factors measure the sustainability and ethical impacts of a business investment and consider criteria such as impacts to deforestation and local communities.

Location analytics seamlessly integrates environmental and community considerations with other location datasets to provide a full set of insights for outdoor media companies looking to place billboards.


In our increasingly digital world, making data-driven decisions is critical to the success of virtually any business. Outdoor media companies must consider both real estate development and marketing strategies when placing billboards, making it a complex and often challenging process. But with the help of location analytics, outdoor media companies can gain a competitive advantage with both ideal billboard placement and messaging.

As a leading provider of data intelligence, UrbanFootprint works with one of the leading outdoor media companies in the U.S.

Learn how UrbanFootprint’s Location Analytics solution can help you find the best locations for your company.

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