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Top 3 programmatic digital OOH predictions for 2023

by Gavin Wilson

December 1, 2022

Gavin Wilson is the chief revenue officer at VIOOH - the leading premium global digital out of home supply side platform. With over ten years of programmatic advertising experience and several senior roles at adtech companies, Wilson is a respected figure within the media industry. Here, he shares his top three predictions for the digital out of home industry for the next 12 months.

Due to the current economic climate and the uncertain times we’re going through, advertisers and brands need flexibility and efficiency with their media spend more than ever. Therefore, the media channels that offer multiple hats (meaning the channels that offer both upper and lower funnel capabilities, which can offer agency and brand planners diversity in their execution of campaigns) will naturally succeed.

This is where the beauty of programmatic digital out of home (DOOH) comes into play. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the adoption of programmatic DOOH took off due to the efficiency and flexibility it offered brands. Brands that initially tried programmatic DOOH under test-and-learn campaigns have returned with larger budgets as they continue to take advantage of the increased efficiencies and flexibility offered, benefits which they will continue to need in times of economic uncertainty, and beyond.

In VIOOH’s most recent State of the Nation report (SOTN) which was released last month, we surveyed agency and advertising executives to gain a deeper insight into the current status of the DOOH industry. One of the key takeaways from the report showed that the executives surveyed reported 50% of campaigns in the UK in the last 18 months have included programmatic DOOH, and this is set to increase to 56% in the next 18 months, with just over one in ten (11%) planning to double their investment.

As we can see, the future of programmatic DOOH is looking bright with or without the threat of a looming recession.

Below are my top predictions on how programmatic DOOH is going to continue to grow next year and which areas still need to develop.

Cross-channel utilization

Buying programmatic DOOH alongside other programmatic channels delivers a range of benefits to advertisers, including the ability for advertisers to plan using the same audience data across multiple touchpoints, enabling them to reinforce campaign messaging and build frequency. It further gives advertisers a single view of a campaign and allows them to manage frequency capping across media, as they’re able to monitor campaign exposure and turn on and off different channel activations as needed.

The report did however highlight that cross-channel attribution is an area that still needs to be improved to help continue the adoption of programmatic digital OOH - with nearly a third (31%) of UK media professionals reporting they would like more information on cross-channel measurement and attribution to show the impact programmatic digital OOH has within an omni-channel campaign.

This is not just limited to digital OOH and is an issue across all media types. As we start to see more widely adopted, robust metrics and case studies detailing the ROI achieved and the impact on key KPIs from programmatic DOOH campaigns will be key growth drivers.

Full-funnel activations

DOOH is a one-to-many broadcast channel but equally, as the SOTN insights show, programmatic trading means that increasingly, more and more marketers and planners are using the channel for direct response as well.

From my experience, I believe programmatic DOOH can and should be used for both upper and lower-funnel campaigns. Advertisers can use guaranteed deals at the beginning of a campaign to achieve mass exposure and awareness, for example, a large OOH campaign on available premium frames, and then follow this up with data triggers or a non-guaranteed campaign to boost that campaign throughout its life cycle. For instance, an advertiser may have a month upfront of high-impact guaranteed deals and then over months two, three, and four have a less intense campaign where the data triggers used in the campaign warrant campaign bidding and buying via the DSP.

This is essentially trying to target a customer through longevity and you may expect a higher impact upfront and then a lower impact throughout the life cycle of the campaign. The customer may become more engaged through repetition and, when coupled with other channel strategies, greater customer response is seen.

The allocation of performance and brand spend on programmatic DOOH is usually done on a case-by-case basis, more broadly, advertising budgets in the UK currently skew towards performance spend - with just over half (52%) of UK media professionals stating this is the case for them. This is expected to continue into 2023, with performance-focused campaigns predicted to take just over half (51%) of advertising budgets in the UK, which is unsurprisingly given current economic uncertainties.

Dynamic creative optimization

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is becoming more and more exciting for the digital OOH industry. This is due to agencies needing to plan channels easily and wanting to be able to utilise and extrapolate creative cross-channel: dynamic creative that is easy to change allows such flexibility.

Taking the example of a sports match - for example, if England beats New Zealand at rugby - you would want that dynamic creative to change as quickly as possible after the game so that fans’ journeying home witness the OOH messaging congratulating England, publishing the score and referencing tickets for the next game.

Here at VIOOH, we are seeing DCO starting to get more agencies’ attention because they are seeing that programmatic DOOH is able to really engage their client’s target audiences. As highlighted in our report, nearly a third (31%) of media professionals stated that they are looking to increase their programmatic DOOH spend for the following 18 months and the ability to use dynamic creative was one of the main reasons for this

As highlighted in this year’s State of the Nation report and this piece, due to the efficiencies and opportunities programmatic brings to the table for advertisers - cross-channel utilisation, full-funnel activation, and dynamic creative optimization - it’s no surprise that media professionals in the UK are increasing their media spend on DOOH. I predict in the next 12 months, we’re going to see the proportion that is traded programmatically increase, and recession aside, planners and buyers globally are echoing this sentiment.

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ooh
DOOH
Programmatic
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advertising
DCO
omnichannel
full funnel marketing