Thanks to a Refreshed, Programmatic Mindset, Out-of-Home is Thriving


Out of home is the last 100% viewable, non-skippable, fraud free advertising medium. Consumers can’t change the channel, commuters can’t pay to drive on non-branded roads or find premium gas stations that are ad-free. Thanks to advancements in digital out-of-home technology, advertisers can programmatically deliver interactive, real-time, relevant messaging to their target with digital out-of-home – the last true mass medium.

With enhanced digital targeting capabilities online, traditional channels, such as TV, radio, print and out-of-home are at risk of becoming the dinosaurs in the room. Out-of-home (OOH) is leveraging the programmatic mindset to prove its effectiveness and efficiently target and reach consumers.

OOH was the only traditional form of advertising with increased investment levels in 2018, and even more impressively, has realized 34 consecutive quarters of growth.[1] OOH companies and programmatic firms seeing the potential demise have partnered together to create digital out-of-home, and by 2023 the channel is expected to more than double its 2016 value of $12.5 billion at $26 billion.[2] Nielsen studies have proven that (traditional and digital) OOH drives 4x more online activity per dollar than other traditional mediums. DOOH ads are twice as likely to be seen by consumers, and more importantly, 2.5X as impactful as traditional OOH activations.[3]

How an advertiser can leverage digital out-of-home:

Find the inventory and platform to best tell your brand story: Digital advertising is everywhere – billboards on the highway, TVs at the gas station, messaging on park benches, creative advertisements in transit hubs, the list goes on and on. In Q2 2018 alone, DOOH inventory grew by 15% and the expansion is not slowing. One example of continued growth is New York state installing 50,000 digital screens throughout their subway and bus systems.[4] Utilize the ever-growing catalogue of options to reach consumers in a way that fits your objectives.

Reach consumers in the proper locations based on business objectives: Inventory growth is matched by enhanced targeting, which allows marketers to leverage mobile provided location data to select units that index highest with their target. Vendors can build out commuting patterns for a desired consumer segment using mobile-detection technology (such as Bluetooth beacons) to ensure that an eastern-facing board is seen by commuters driving to their 9AM meeting. As inventory expands, capabilities of the technology continue to develop as DOOH grows into a full-fledged programmatic tactic.

Leverage DOOH by delivering unique messaging tailored for the medium: Restaurants are leveraging current traffic conditions through hyper-local geo-targeted efforts to inform consumers how long it would take to get to their establishment. Insurance agencies are reaching business decision makers on their way to and from the office with different messaging. Companies are growing their social footprint by pulling content from social media followers or allowing consumers interact with their out-of-home messaging. Messaging tactics and techniques are only limited by creative thinking, so be bold and stand out to your customers.

Consider augmenting DOOH Activations with Mobile Re-messaging: Consumers are 48% more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the same ad on OOH first.[5] Therefore, by exploiting the synergies between digital out-of-home and mobile advertising, advertisers can maximize their data stack, enhance their geo-fencing tactics, employ multi-screen retargeting and ultimately, have a way to measure OOH’s effectiveness from an attribution standpoint. Marketers should work with their agency and DOOH partners to ensure they are measuring activations, which can ultimately lead to optimizations for future DOOH campaigns and more importantly, help better understand the consumer ad journey.

As capabilities continue to progress and evolve, digital out-of-home should be widely considered by all marketers for its ability to stretch up-and-down the entire advertising funnel: introducing now consumers to a brand, driving relevant messaging to current/potential consumers, and ultimately, with mobile tracking enabled, allowing for re-messaging and DR-driven activations.


Some cutting edge examples of digital out-of-homes creative capabilities: 

Head Turner/Mazda – J. Walter Thompson

#MakeItCount/Nike – Grand Visual

Pick Up/Foodora - Broadsign

[1] Magna, 2018

[2] Ad Week, 2019

[3] Mediatel, 2018

[4] Magna, 2018

[5] iab., 2017

About Ideas Made Measurable!

At IMM, creating action isn’t just what we do — it’s who we are. Our agency is built to deliver full service capabilities while also delivering measurable results. Big data is the marketing buzzword everyone talks about but few understand. We are here to explain in plain English how data-driven, bottoms-up marketing strategies can help generate leads, drive sales and build your brand. We leverage the expertise of the staff at IMM, a data-driven, full-service digital advertising agency based in Boulder, Colorado.

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