7 things to consider when choosing your digital out-of-home SSP

February 22, 2022Samantha Brault

With more brands and agencies buying out-of-home media programmatically, enabling programmatic transactions across DOOH networks presents an opportunity for media owners to access new revenues and gain a bigger portion of total ad spend. But how should media owners get started with programmatic?

The first step is to make inventory available to media buyers through a supply-side platform (SSP). However, not all SSPs are created equal – and many are lacking features that are crucial to meet the particular nuances of the DOOH industry. Let’s examine some of the most important things to consider before jumping into a partnership with an SSP.

The more SSPs you connect to, the greater your visibility

As a media owner, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to lock yourself into a single SSP. A good SSP will have integrations with many different DSPs, which are each accessed by many different advertisers. Connecting to multiple SSPs can give your inventory a big boost in visibility. And of course, increased visibility means previously unused ad space is more likely to be sold.

Where is the SSP active, and what inventory do they have?

More inventory connected in your region should correspond with higher demand, so you should always consider whether the SSP is active in your market and whether they have a large number of publishers connected. It’s also good to consider whether the SSP will help generate demand for your inventory from media buyers within their market. Ask them questions like ‘do they have a local team in the market‘? Do they have existing relationships with buyers, and can they offer insights as to the interest in your inventory? Do they have strong relationships with their integrated DSPs, and are they willing to put you in touch with the contacts they see potential in for your network?

How will your inventory be represented?

It’s important to understand how the SSP will represent inventory and what the options are for customization. Making sure your inventory is properly categorized and tagged will dictate how effective the connected DSPs can be with their targeting capabilities. Ultimately, the more information you can make visible to your buyers, the more parameters they have to work with to include your inventory in their planning.

Media owners should also ensure that the SSP is properly equipped with as much detail as possible regarding inventory, as it will dictate how the SSP will pitch the inventory to DSP and buying partners. Creating short-form collateral that can be easily presented and shared while giving buyers relevant information on screen location, costs, and venue types will all help ensure that your network and offerings are being presented in the best possible light.

What are the integration capabilities?

Integration capabilities are some of the most important factors to consider when evaluating an SSP. Ensuring your network’s CMS and technical capabilities can integrate with an SSP without any problems is essential. For example, a custom or proprietary CMS may be more difficult to integrate than a CMS that’s already connected to an SSP, like Broadsign Control and Broadsign Reach.

The SSPs’ creative capabilities should also be considered, as you want to make sure you’re integrating with a platform that can facilitate dynamic campaigns. HTML5 and Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) are becoming increasingly important to media buyers looking to launch impactful campaigns, so ensuring your SSP has the technical capabilities to support this should be a requirement. 

What kind of fees do they charge?

Evaluating the SSP’s fees compared to market standards is an important step to take before any integration. Some SSPs may offer different fees for different deal types, so it’s important to cover these basics before engaging in negotiations. While they fluctuate between providers and services, SSP fees can range anywhere from around 10% up to 25%, so it’s important to understand each SSP’s value proposition along with the fees they charge to see if they align with your goals.

Audience measurement and the impression multiplier

How the SSP handles audience measurement, the type of data integration, and what the options are for DSPs should all be considered. Given the broad reach of DOOH, views can’t be tracked on an individual basis. Instead, audience measurements are tracked based on totals and averages. 

When getting started with an SSP, you should make sure that audience measurements are displayed in a way that both media owners and buyers can understand. Media owners can analyze screen location and use an SSP’s measurement tools to determine each screen’s reach and audience at a given time.

Does the SSP understand the intricacies of DOOH?

An SSP that’s specialized in DOOH is likely to have more capabilities that cater to the complexities of DOOH and have a greater focus on innovating in the area. With online and mobile advertising, programmatic campaigns are priced on a one-to-one impression basis where one ad is served to one viewer. With DOOH, however, one ad can be viewed by thousands of people at any given time. When integrating with an SSP, it’s important to ensure that audience metrics represent the true reach of each screen, otherwise, you may be at risk of undervaluing the medium by selling inventory on a one-to-one basis. Just imagine if an ad displayed in Times Square was priced for one view. 

OOH publishers curate their traditional audience metrics of reach and frequency using many different methodologies and tech, from pedestrian and traffic counts to mobile data, wifi sniffers, and facial recognition. DOOH SSPs have systems in place, namely, the impression multiplier, that allow media owners to translate those audience numbers into impression figures per play, ideally on an hourly basis.

To benefit from programmatic, media owners should work with an SSP that will maximize the value of inventory. When programmatic started to make waves in the DOOH industry, many were concerned that Real-Time Bidding (RTB) would negatively impact the value of their inventory. Fortunately, given the quality associated with DOOH, this issue can be addressed. DOOH inventory is generally only deployed in high-impact or high-traffic areas that yield big results in terms of audience impressions, so there’s no reason to worry about low CPMs if your SSP understands the impact and value of DOOH. 

Ready to get started with programmatic?

Given its benefits and revenue-generating potential, programmatic will continue to grow in the DOOH industry for the foreseeable future. Despite increasing adoption, there’s still a great need for education in the space for both media owners and buyers. It’s important to integrate with an SSP that will not only help you generate revenue from your network but will also open doors to new buyers around the world while allowing you to stay in control of your network. 

To learn more about getting your network started with programmatic, contact us for more information and a personalized demo of our SSP, Broadsign Reach.

If you and your team are ready to level up your programmatic DOOH knowledge ahead of another record year for the channel, you can use this link for a 15% discount on doohx’s foundational certification course PDOOH 101.
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