JCDecaux is the UK market leader in out-of-home (OOH) advertising solutions. We enable brands to reach consumers in airport, rail, roadside, and retail environments through traditional, digital, and programmatic advertising.

Founded: 1964
Staff: 500

Sector Experience

Out of Home
Programmatic Media

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5 ways for advertisers to embrace uncertainty and succeed with DOOH in 2023

by Rajvi Kantaria

January 27, 2023

2023 is the year of the rabbit, and according to Chinese astrology rabbits are kind, quick, patient, responsible, and skillful. These attributes are closely aligned to five digital out-of-home (DOOH) strategies we believe will help marketers embrace these uncertain times and maximize performance. When woven into an omnichannel strategy, these DOOH strategies can also help improve the performance of digital channels by building greater awareness, trust, and consideration.

Read on to find out what the latest industry data and thought leaders are telling us about how 2023 is shaping up and how to channel your inner rabbit for more effective marketing planning and activation.

1. Be kind: create unified experiences

Reflecting on the channels that performed best in 2022 and predicting where marketers will see the best results in 2023, Kelly Parker, CEO at Wavemaker highlights cinema, DOOH, AV, and retail media as winners. She says, “The reason all these channels have had so much success is because they are big, public and trusted at a time when so much in our lives is divisive... Mediums that bring people together and create unifying experiences have been the winners for me in 2022. And they’ll continue to do so in 2023.”

Furthermore, according to the latest AA/WARC Expenditure Report, the four channels that will see the biggest increases in ad spend in 2023 are: cinema (21.1%), DOOH (8.4%), BVOD (7.2%), and digital radio (6.3%). These two insights point towards a renewed focus on brand marketing, with a focus on community and inclusivity.

DOOH offers marketers the ability to reach a wide audience with nuanced creative tailored to specific communities to create unified experiences. For example, for the past six years, JCDecaux has partnered with British Journal of Photography to celebrate identity and showcase how DOOH presents an opportunity to rejoice in the diversity of a changing nation via the Portrait of Britain.

2. Be quick: plan smarter, move faster

In times of uncertainty, well-informed marketers embrace change and often implement more agile strategies to keep up with consumer trends. Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general advises setting and changing budgets, “subject to their geography, portfolio, channels and media – all of which will have variations that can also be optimized accordingly.”

To do this effectively, marketers need to have a single omnichannel view of performance that encompasses two things. Firstly, both upper and lower funnel metrics should be measured and secondly, an up-to-date measurement approach needs to uncover how each and every channel impacts the performance of other channels in the media mix.

Another way to make your budget work harder is to dig into performance by location which can help overcome many of the challenges associated with the increasing fragmentation of online content consumption, especially across younger audiences. From an optimization perspective, if you know where your best-performing audiences are geographically, you can use DOOH to find locations that over-index for similar audiences and optimize your investment.

When looking to achieve reach with your marketing budget, the latest data from Route shows that investing in an OOH presence in just 60 of the UK’s 999 towns and cities provides exposure across 83% of all adults, and 93% of all 18-24 year olds. Furthermore, DOOH across the UK equates to 4.5 billion adult impressions a week, up from 2.1 billion pre-Covid (June 2019).

For those investing in, or considering, prDOOH, an omnichannel demand-side platform (DSP) is a great way to dig into how DOOH affects the performance of other channels as it centralizes data. For those with more established strategies in place, integrating additional sources of first-party data on the buy-side to better inform targeting and creative is an efficient way to make faster data-driven optimization decisions.

3. Be patient: play the long game

In 2019, Airbnb shifted its marketing strategy to be “more brand driven and PR led, and less dependent on search engine and performance marketing.” In November last year (three years after this change was put into effect) the company’s CFO Dave Stephenson said the “radical” decision was a key factor in increasing the brand's profitability. This not only highlights the importance and effectiveness of brand marketing, but also shines a light on the need for robust measurement strategies that enable marketers to critically assess the results of any change in strategy.

When considering making any change in strategy, marketers need to consider if this change has an impact on campaign goals and therefore, success metrics. When shifting to a more brand-led approach, there may be a short-term drop in sales attributable to advertising, but this is because the activation tactics and creative are geared towards building awareness and consideration.

In DOOH we see a multitude of metrics used to evaluate performance, from a programmatic-first approach of looking at metrics more closely aligned to online advertising such as impressions and uplift in the performance of other channels to more traditional metrics such as footfall and brand equity. The important thing to remember is there is no one-size-fits all approach and while marketers can learn from the experiences of others it is vital to carve your own unique approach in collaboration with your media and technology partners to accelerate changes in tactics and measurement.

4. Be responsible: invest in a sustainable supply chain

Marketers are increasingly focusing on sustainable media and developing ways to transform our industry into one that plays a role in driving positive change. Together, we need to work to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing, and running advertising to real net zero.

For JCDecaux, this journey started in 2014 with our Sustainable Development Strategy, which is now active in almost 50 countries. Since then, we have achieved some significant milestones including reducing the average energy consumption of our digital 6-sheet screens by more than 45%, transitioning to 100% green renewable energy, introducing solar-powered street furniture, and using recycled rainwater for cleaning.

We’re committed to working with all our suppliers and advertisers to continue to push the conversation forward, simplify this complex issue, and deliver advertising solutions that benefit the environment.

5. Be skillful: invest in knowledge

Education is key to building a stronger advertising industry, creating strong leadership teams, and nurturing new talent. As a leader it can be hard to know which areas to invest in, and as an individual it can be difficult to identify where to direct your efforts outside of any compulsory training. At JCDecaux we are investing in and championing several areas that we believe will help our teams and the wider industry grow.

If you are looking to build your marketing knowledge, Digital Changemakers is a series of podcasts hosted by award-winning analyst Ian Whittaker where he explores five megatrends facing marketers today in their quest for brand growth.

Many women from our leadership teams support industry newcomers by dedicating time each month to mentor younger women via Bloom - an organisation that helps organizations and empowers individuals to ensure that women in the industry have equal opportunities.

Two other areas in which we all need to take responsibility for improving education and knowledge are sustainability and diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I). AdNet Zero and Media For All have many free resources available as well as options to collaborate and share learnings and drive the industry forward.

As 2023 gets into full swing and we prepare for any challenges that the industry may face head-on, keeping in mind the key traits of the rabbit - quick, skillful, kind, patient, and responsible – will help guide us towards effectiveness and success. These traits will mean different things to different people and different brands. I encourage you to think about what quick, skillful, kind, patient and responsible mean to you and share this with your colleagues, clients, and suppliers. It might be slightly unconventional but often unconventional yields surprising results.


OOH advertising