Out Of Home DOOH Strategy

The top 4 benefits of programmatic DOOH

Vistar Media


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January 20, 2022 | 5 min read

Programmatic technology has now become a mainstay in the digital out-of-home (DOOH) space

Programmatic out-of-home (OOH) combines the emotional staying power and captivating formats that have long made OOH an advertising staple, with the efficiency, precision, and measurement capacities of the advanced digital channels that buyers’ are activating today.

The unique elements that programmatic technology has brought to the OOH industry enable the medium to better fit alongside the other core digital channels in a brand’s media mix. Advertisers are gravitating towards programmatic DOOH as they seek to connect with audiences who are tired of tiny, invasive ads in cluttered environments such as display, search and social. Here are four key benefits of programmatic DOOH for brands with a focus on what makes the channel especially compelling compared to other mediums in today’s late-pandemic, omnichannel shopping era.

1.) Buying audiences, not just locations

With programmatic DOOH, marketers can use data-driven decisioning to purchase digital signage when and where their target audiences are most likely to be, reflecting real-world movement patterns. Buying on location alone often doesn’t reflect the truly dynamic shifts that an audience can have over the course of a day. Furthermore, advertisers can verify their exposure to these same audiences by corroborating DOOH audience exposure with mobile and location data, not only enhancing targeting but also unlocking measurement to pin down return on ad spend.

Programmatic DOOH is a one-to-many medium, offering impact at scale; but it is no longer confined to the spray-and-pray tactics of decades past, a welcome and necessary change for advertisers increasingly accustomed to the granular targeting and measurement that come with digital.

2.) Cutting through the clutter

Advertisers are familiar with the past decade’s rapid growth of search and social advertising, bottom-of-funnel channels where marketers can easily measure impressions, conversions, and the cost of customer acquisition. But the ever-accumulating number of ads on Google, Facebook and other such platforms - not to mention brand safety issues - have led many consumers and brands to sour on these channels where ads can be perceived as creepy, if noticed at all.

By contrast, programmatic DOOH offers advertisers the opportunity to connect with customers while they are out in the real world. Instead of leveraging programmatic in the hopes of grabbing the consumer’s attention as they doom-scroll, advertisers can use programmatic DOOH to connect with customers in the midst of their real-world journeys, providing a laugh on the train, family conversation in the car or during a pitstop at the mall.

Programmatic DOOH advertising allows brands to integrate into these valuable in-world experiences, while consumers are at the height of energy, engagement and activity.

3.) Capitalizing on context

Much of digital advertising is returning to an emphasis on context, recognizing the impact of reaching customers at the right place and time as well as second-guessing the sometimes privacy-unsafe behavioral targeting on which much of the past decade’s digital advertising ran. Programmatic DOOH, however, capitalizes on the context trend while allowing advertisers to reach customers in public spaces at key moments when brand messaging lines up with the content of the customer’s experiences.

Consider a beverage brand advertising in grocery stores, or an ad for food delivery running on a bus as commuters head home from work. Digital screens are found in so many places and spaces today — think: gyms, malls, liquor stores, doctor’s offices, taxi tops and more — that brands can get strategic about their DOOH creative messaging to squeeze the most value out of these unique real-world contexts.

4.) Acting and adjusting quickly

One of the drawbacks of traditional OOH is the time it takes to implement. Launching a conventional static OOH campaign may take weeks as advertisers and signage operators develop banner specs, print materials and physically install creative. Programmatic DOOH resolves this issue, allowing advertisers to swiftly identify ideal audiences, electronically upload creatives, and configure them in the most suitable environments; campaigns can launch within a matter of minutes.

There are many good reasons for advertisers to launch a campaign in short order, especially in today’s world. For instance, marketers may need to turn around an impactful campaign with short notice, whether they’ve received incremental budget to bolster an existing or last minute initiative, heavy up in specific markets where awareness may be lacking, or shift their creative strategy to accommodate for breaking news or changing conditions. Today’s media landscape requires buyers to do better in all aspects of executing their campaigns, whether that be monitoring real-time conditions, shifting data strategies as behaviors change over time, or granulary managing spend and budget waste. Programmatic DOOH lends itself to the needs of an agile marketer, supplying the adaptability advertisers expect — even from giant signs with ample creative power.

Summary: programmatic DOOH’s promise

Consumers today are tired of the scandals and ad-filled screens that TV, display, search and social bring. Instead, screens in the physical world seamlessly integrate with moments of action, social connection and engagement. Marrying the benefits of OOH being a mass, one-to-many medium with the precise targeting and holistic measurement capabilities of other digital channels, programmatic DOOH provides the creative, measurable and adaptable capabilities that is solidifying itself as a core fixture in marketers’ omnichannel media mix.

Out Of Home DOOH Strategy


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