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Piecing together the omnichannel puzzle

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In a mad dash to capitalize on the connected TV (CTV) usage boom among consumers, media buyers and advertisers are flocking to the channel, with US CTV ad spending expected to reach $11.36B this year. However, despite the CTV hype, it’s hard to gauge its effectiveness as an ad channel. Rather than funnel significant spend into such a nascent channel because it’s the trendy thing to do, a smarter approach is to balance spend across digital, CTV and breakout channels like out-of-home (OOH) via an omnichannel strategy.

Being able reach the right audience across multiple channels with one cohesive message is the holy grail of advertising and crucial today, as consumers encounter multiple daily touchpoints, from perusing social media platforms to binge-watching the latest streaming series, commuting or even using a self-service kiosk at the market. For brands, delivering a truly omnichannel campaign can translate to greater customer acquisition and retention and drive purchase decisions. Brands who use three or more marketing channels, for instance, have been shown to experience a 287% higher purchase rate.

From CTV to OOH, online, mobile, and every channel in between, each is a piece of a larger omnichannel puzzle that brings something unique to the table. OOH, for instance, is more mature and a safe bet for brands in that it provides a broad creative canvas for above the fold content that can capture the screen fatigued consumer’s attention, especially with its continued digitization. Marrying OOH or digital OOH (DOOH) with another channel like mobile can make for an even more impactful campaign. That said, executing an omnichannel strategy has historically proven challenging due to transaction silos. As programmatic adoption accelerates across DOOH and CTV, the omnichannel puzzle pieces are coming into place.

Established programmatic digital channels as an omnichannel bridge

Throughout the past decade, ad tech developers have helped streamline the programmatic digital buying process across online and mobile channels. Campaigns bridging online and mobile advertising have proven instrumental in reaching consumers on the platforms and devices they frequent most throughout the day. Unfortunately, in recent years ad fraud and privacy concerns, coupled with a fear of escalating screen fatigue, have put their effectiveness into question. The death of the cookie has also raised new flags about the future of targeting and measurement. Given these concerns, adding new channels to spread a connected message alongside these channels opens up new targeting and creative capabilities.

Exploring the CTV edge

With consumers hungry for entertainment but limited to remote options with global lockdowns, CTV consumption has surged in the last year, continuing to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels.[1] Its measurement capabilities and the flexibility it provides compared to linear TV have made this channel increasingly attractive to brands looking to make more data-driven decisions in the current climate and deliver more hyper-targeted messaging. CTV is an edge piece of the omnichannel puzzle, but it is still a very young channel and one that is grappling with questions about viewability and ad fraud. For instance, a ParrotTerra scam uncovered in February diverted ad dollars by spoofing millions of devices and IP addresses per day. To this end, going all-in on CTV because everyone else is, is flying blindly, and ultimately won’t benefit advertisers nor consumers, especially as it still needs to iron out a lot in terms of how it will translate to programmatic.

Programmatic DOOH: omnichannel’s anchor

Throughout the pandemic, consumers have found a renewed appreciation for outdoor activities, and with significant vaccine efforts underway, commuter traffic is picking up as more people return to work and feel comfortable venturing out into public. A recent report by the Harris Poll commissioned by the Out of Home Advertising Association (OAAA) revealed that 75 percent of consumers are tuning out online and mobile ads due to screen fatigue, and safe outdoor activities are of interest to 78 percent of millennials. It also found that consumers are becoming more aware of and receptive to outdoor signage. All of these factors are sparking renewed advertiser interest in DOOH as a meaningful vehicle to connect with and engage consumers.

DOOH already has an edge for the flexibility it provides in audience targeting, as well as to display and change dynamic creative in real-time based on conditions like the weather, traffic or time of day. By bringing the DOOH transaction process into the same pot where online and mobile live, programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) is quickly becoming an anchor that connects the rest of the omnichannel puzzle. With it, media buyers can plan and execute DOOH ads from the same DSP where they purchase ad space across other channels versus in a silo as they previously would have. pDOOH’s prominence in the ad tech world is growing, because the medium makes up for what other channels lack, providing greater brand safety and less susceptibility to ad fraud. There’s also more transparency in pDOOH buys, as media buyers know the physical location of the screens they buy. Combined with mobile in an omnichannel campaign, pDOOH will also allow advertisers to harness geolocation and other data for more accurate targeting and retargeting.

DOOH’s transition to programmatic is well underway and has been accelerated in the last year by the global pandemic. It’s also further along in its evolution than CTV, and as a channel that has proven its staying power over the years, is one that advertisers can’t afford to leave out of their omnichannel strategy. As programmatic omnichannel campaigns with DOOH continue to become more accessible, the creative potential and flexibility that they afford will allow advertisers to maximize omnichannel ad spend and deliver cohesive, meaningful campaigns that can cut through the digital clutter, transcend screen fatigue, and ultimately draw in consumers.

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Christian Dion, marketing director, Programmatic Solutions, Broadsign

Web: broadsign.com

Contact: christian.dion@broadsign.com

Tel: 514-399-1184 ext. 1126

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/broadsign

Twitter: @Broadsign

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