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Programmatic DOOH: 6 capabilities marketers may not know about

by Skylar Spencer

September 14, 2022

Although outdoor advertising, such as mainstream billboards, has existed for decades, the rapid acceleration of adtech has resulted in a more modern, savvy and innovative approach for marketers to reach consumers in the physical world via programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. What may sound like a buzzword to some is the reality, and frankly, future of outdoor advertising for brands, as the DOOH market is expected to grow by 10.35% and reach a market size of $33.4bn by 2026.

While DOOH is a relatively newer channel, however, some marketers are still in the dark about the channel’s full scale of capabilities, often writing it off as too expensive, complex and not equipped for precise targeting. But DOOH actually presents an ultra-effective tool for brands to reach consumers in ways that were never possible with traditional out-of-home (OOH) — even complementing and often maximizing a brand’s multi-channel media strategy.

With that, here are six capabilities marketers may not know about programmatic DOOH:

1) There are a wide variety of DOOH screens that exist today

The reality is DOOH screens are everywhere – and we really do mean everywhere - even if you don’t realize it initially. The industry has evolved well beyond just large-format digital billboards, and now consists of more niche venue types such as gyms, doctors’ offices, gas stations, taxis, grocery stores and so much more. This means there are thousands of both indoor and outdoor screens that exist throughout the entire consumer journey – giving marketers even more opportunities to target their audience in contextually relevant locations.

2) DOOH offers advanced, localized weather targeting capabilities

Imagine this: you’re a consumer who unfortunately deals with allergies and the pollen is extra potent in your area. You pass a digital screen with an eye-catching ad for the season’s must-have allergy medicine - better yet, the creative tells you the distance to your nearest retailer to purchase it.

Thanks to the combination of highly advanced weather data and advertising technology, brands can leverage this kind of weather targeting capability to reach audiences with the right message when local weather conditions are most likely to influence consumer behavior, triggering creative messaging when it matters most. Vistar Media, for example, has a partnership and direct integration with IBM Watson’s Weather Targeting solution. This kind of targeting based on physical, geographical conditions positions marketers to be fluid with their messaging to ensure it’s actually resonating with the right people, at the right times and places.

3) DOOH’s creative capabilities are more robust and informative than ever before

One major selling point for DOOH is the ability to think beyond just one piece of static creative. Today, marketers can leverage dynamic creative capabilities for OOH — from promoting sports scores in real-time during a big game, to sharing directions to the nearest store and localized imagery, that ultimately unlocks personalization at scale.

Not only can brands activate dynamic creative that highlights highly tailored messaging specific to a moment in time, but they can also leverage compelling video creative. According to Wyzowl’s 2021 State of Video Marketing Report, 84% of consumers have been convinced to purchase a product or service due to video exposure - thus, there are even more benefits when combining video with DOOH advertising. In fact, marketers can leverage their existing high-quality assets and activate them in contextually relevant OOH environments. From bars, casual dining restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and much more, video DOOH can deliver a greater impact and reach for brands.

4) Programmatic technology offers a simplified buying, planning and activation process

One huge benefit of programmatic technology is that it offers a simplified, automated method for buying and managing OOH advertising. More streamlined systems simply allow OOH to be purchased at scale with minimal back and forth, so brands don’t need to manage multiple contracts, reporting formats, measurement results, etc.

Instead, all media planning, buying and analysis can be done through a single, centralized platform, allowing any team – big or small – to manage complex campaigns by being more efficient with their time and resources.

5) Pairing DOOH with other media channels can maximize a campaign’s impact and results

Some marketers may forget that OOH can be leveraged as a tool to complement, and in turn, maximize a multichannel campaign and strategy. For instance, mobile is a natural companion to DOOH advertising — both reach busy, on-the-go consumers with contextually relevant messaging throughout their day. So, pairing DOOH and mobile allows advertisers to build on an already established connection, creating additional touchpoints with key audiences who have likely been exposed to their ads.

This can be accomplished by combining DOOH with a device ID passback offering, which helps identify the device IDs that saw a brand’s DOOH campaign, allowing marketers to retarget consumers following initial real-world exposure. But, this feature isn’t limited to only mobile – device ID passback allows brands to retarget exposed audiences across a variety of channels, including digital display, connected TV (CTV), social, audio and more. These capabilities truly position marketers to seamlessly connect their campaign’s message in both the physical and digital worlds, ensuring they remain top-of-mind during the entire consumer journey

6) DOOH can drive results across the full marketing funnel

Evaluating the ROI of OOH media has been a challenge since the industry’s inception, but thanks to new location technology, the medium is now measurable and attributable across both upper and lower funnel KPIs. While online campaigns are mostly driven by direct site engagement and conversions, the impact of DOOH exposure can be measured in multiple ways such as brand lift, foot traffic, web conversion, sales lift and more.

Companies today offer an advanced suite of measurement solutions (in-house and third-party) for clients, allowing brands to understand the impact of their campaigns across the entire funnel. This can include: a brand study (measures upper funnel KPIs like awareness, consideration, purchase intent and favorability); foot traffic study (measures lift in visits to a brand’s brick-and-mortar locations); online conversion study (measures effectiveness of DOOH across online KPIs, from web conversions and behaviors, to app downloads and in-app actions); and finally, sales lift study (measures incremental sales lifts).

All in all, programmatic technology unlocks a new world of advanced targeting, creative and results-driven capabilities when it comes to OOH advertising, and has no signs of slowing down as the industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace.


Digital Advertising
Out Of Home
marketing strategy
Programmatic DOOH
Creative advertising