Blog | April 27, 2021

Why now is the best time to advertise with digital out-of-home

If you’re an advertiser or marketer, the past year has probably been one of the most unpredictable of your career. Consumer behaviours have changed, new privacy regulations have been put into place, and advertising channels have evolved. 

But as Sir Winston Churchill said: “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” 

And one channel that has had a particular amount of change over the past few years is out-of-home, and it’s a great option for you to shake things up in your upcoming marketing campaigns.

DOOH is ready to bounce back

As you might imagine, with lockdowns in place, the number of people outside their homes drastically decreased. With the exception of healthcare- and essential retail-based screens, the OOH industry undoubtedly had a rough year.

But just like individuals who took the time to learn new skills, OOH media owners also took this period to work on themselves.

Many invested in the product development and training necessary to make their ad space easier and more flexible to buy by making their inventory available programmatically.

Others participated in community service and public information campaigns, proving that OOH is a good option for brands looking to make a large-scale impact.

Not only did these initiatives help keep DOOH relevant during the lockdown, but the learnings and elements put in place will make the channel even easier for you to buy in the months and years to come.

DOOH buying made easy with programmatic

Prior to the first lockdown of 2020, digital out-of-home was the fastest-growing advertising channel globally in terms of market share growth, outperforming channels like radio, newspapers and magazines.

A reason for this growth is, unlike these other traditional channels who are in direct competition with digital alternatives, DOOH offers a unique reach and impact that other online digital doesn’t. People need a break from their digital devices, and DOOH extends your campaign to these moments.

This, added with the fact that the industry has brought online-friendly buying to the outdoor space through programmatic, makes DOOH the perfect addition to any digital campaign. 

Here are just a few ways you can benefit from this pivot as a media buyer:

DOOH is contextual

With the withdrawal of third-party cookies fast approaching and data privacy of even more importance, you may soon be left without many of your go-to targeting options. Turning to context is a great alternative.

Context in DOOH campaigns can be fairly simple, like selecting the right city or venue type for your campaign. However, with many publishers and DSPs, you can get much more creative and much more relevant than ever before with the help of triggers.

These triggers can range from sports scores, stock prices, and even your own custom data source. 

Take this campaign from delivery service, foodora. Using weather as a trigger, they were able to deliver two versions of the campaign: pickup when it was sunny, delivery when it rained.

How Foodora got creative with programmatic digital out-of-home

DOOH is flexible 

If we learned anything this year, it’s to expect the unexpected!

While we hope we won’t be adjusting campaigns due to a global shutdown again any time soon, brands encounter their own unique situations that will impact delivery. And these reasons don’t have to be bad! 

Perhaps the product you were advertising is sold out, or a celebrity was recently seen eating at your restaurant and you want to show off.

No matter the reason, when DOOH inventory is bought programmatically, it’s easy to change a campaign to deliver at a different frequency, to switch out creatives, or even to stop a campaign without incurring penalties.

DOOH is accessible

With more and more DSPs offering DOOH, including leading omnichannel DSPs, buying a campaign is easier than ever.

This is especially true if you or your campaign fit into any of these situations:

  1. A large DOOH campaign across multiple publishers or areas
  2. No special needs – no static OOH part of the campaign, no location takeovers, etc.
  3. An omnichannel campaign and want to see reporting in one place 
  4. A DOOH campaign with a budget that might not pique the interest of publisher salespeople
  5. No ongoing business relationship with DOOH publishers

Of course, direct sales are and will remain an important part of DOOH for the long haul, but with programmatic, the possibilities are now truly endless.

We actually partner with 35 DSPs and counting. 

Ready to shake things up with DOOH?

Have you worked with digital out-of-home before? If you haven’t, now is a good time to start. The coming months will mark a new era for advertisers, and DOOH can add a well-deserved, fresh boost to your marketing campaigns.

And to close off, here’s another Sir Winston Churchill quote we saw fitting: “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

So if you’re looking for one final covid-self-learning activity, check out Programmatic U where you’ll find a short series of videos to get you caught up with everything DOOH for media buyers. There’s even a certificate up for grabs at the end. 

Happy learning!