A New Era Dawns for Digital Out-of-Home Advertising


More brands need to bring digital out-of-home (DOOH) into their marketing mix.

This advertising segment has taken off wildly in recent years, and new tech improvements — especially in automation and data analytics — are driving significant growth in the space.

With digital outdoor advertising increasing 35% since 2010, PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted it will surpass traditional outdoor advertising by next year. In the US alone, DOOH advertising reached a record $7.4 billionOpens a new window in sales last year.

And considering that the year before, outdoor advertising was the only traditional media category to experience growth (reaching roughly $33.5 billion in revenue), it’s no wonder that major companies including Apple, Netflix, Google and Amazon have spent significant portions of their ad budgets on DOOH.

Ultimately, there are two key tech advances mainly responsible for ushering in this new era.

Consumer data

The first of these advances reduces, as now does virtually every aspect of digital marketing, to data.

Developments in consumer geolocation and time data have given advertisers the capability to track people’s movement in real-time, hypertarget prospects and, for the first time, reliably evaluate the success of outdoor ad campaigns in order to optimize them.

As I wrote in a post earlier this yearOpens a new window , from its potential for offline consumer reach (increasingly hard to achieve) to the hypertargeting and personalization now available through interactive forms of DOOH, this now-data-focused marketing medium can be leveraged and measured in ways that were impossible a few years ago.

That new ability to measure impact of digital outdoor campaigns has been key to convincing marketers that the segment has come into its own. We can apply basic analytics to attribute both foot traffic into retail stores and online visitors to a site from DOOH.

This evolution in DOOH supports innovation previously not possible. As explained in NetimperativeOpens a new window , “creativity will be boosted by data-driven content powered by contextualised insight and situational triggers, increasing relevance and impact.”

Moreover, although outdoor has always complemented other advertising mediums, data analytics has taken this to the next level. Relevant technologies are merging DOOH campaigns across other media, enabling a unified strategy among devices and platforms.

For instance, consumers are nearly 50% more likely to engage with a mobile ad after seeing it on a digital billboard or sign.

Programmatic comes to DOOH

Many experts believe that programmatic tech is the key piece of DOOH to guarantee its leading role in modern digital advertising.

Out-of-the-home advertising options are more effective than ever, as is the tech that connects them to advertisers. Automation — particularly programmatic technologyOpens a new window — is streamlining and enhancing the brand building and activation features for companies through DOOH.

According to research from VIOOHOpens a new window (Viewed Impression Out Of Home), which calls itself an open, independent and global marketplace for out of home, “automation and efficiency are…key reasons why programmatic will resonate with advertisers. Programmatic methods offer more flexible trading with a wide range of enhanced targeting and data triggers.”

In the 2019 report, VIOOH conducted in-depth interviews of senior executives in the outdoor and programmatic advertising industry, concluding there’s an industry expectation that the accountability, measurability and accessibility brought by programmatic will open up DOOH to a new generation of brands and buyers.

Indeed, programmatic is transforming DOOH.

“It’s important to focus on the positives of programmatic and redefine the expectation: flexibility of budget allocation and execution, efficiencies of technology and application of data, a premium, transparent marketplace, and most of all, making DOOH accessible to digital buyers,” said Sue Hunt, Chief Revenue Officer at VIOOH.