DOOH is not like other digital media - and that’s a great thing for your campaign

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Programmatic Digital Out of Home advertising occupies a unique place in the marketing landscape. Blending digital capabilities with real-life routine, DOOH screens have the power to reach audiences in unexpected ways, and do so seamlessly.

Prior to worldwide stay-at-home orders becoming the norm, global revenue for out of home advertising was growing at a remarkable 4.6% clip year-over year. As lockdowns ease and people venture out again, DOOH represents a huge opportunity for brands to be contextually relevant, helpful, and entertaining to a larger audience all at once. Outdoor digital ads aren’t just billboards - they’re eye-catching signage in high footfall retail and lifestyle locations that people will be returning to in droves.

For some advertisers, the thought of such a “1-to-many” format may give pause, and lead DOOH to be treated like most traditional out-of-home advertising of the past and even present - which is to say, in a silo. Programmatic DOOH is certainly unique; it behaves unlike traditional billboards in that it’s customizable to the moment, and it’s different from most other digital channels in how it’s targeted. Still, it is possible and in today’s world advisable to have a unified omnichannel strategy that incorporates programmatic DOOH, and to purchase high impact inventory programmatically through platforms such as the Verizon Media DSP.

Wherever your audience goes, they’re likely to have their digital devices on them. So why incorporate yet another digital screen in groceries, theaters, restaurants, gyms, etc. into your digital campaign mix? Because programmatically-managed DOOH screens are different. Programmatic DOOH offers real-time creative flexibility. To change a traditional billboard requires advance planning, a work crew, and a ladder. Programmatic DOOH ads can be tweaked with the push of a button to reflect changes in the weather or other real-time events.

There’s also no arguing the impact of serving contextually relevant messaging. Verizon Media makes it possible with leading planning and forecasting tools designed for DOOH campaigns, allowing marketers to target down to a specific street corner, and serve ads on place-based screens that deliver interactive deals and promos in the right place at the right time.

If you were, say, running the marketing for a toothpaste brand, which scenario would be most impactful: a traditional analog billboard appearing on a busy street corner competing for attention among scores of other messages, a mobile banner ad served after a user searches for dentists in their area, or an ad delivered to a screen outside supermarkets, viewed by audiences that index towards the brands demographic who are in the exact mindframe to take action? The third scenario is what’s offered with Verizon Media’s DOOH campaign planner, with desired screen criteria and robust targeting that make this “1-to-many” approach anything but a gamble. In situations where the location of the DOOH ad doesn’t imply a specific interest, Verizon Media allows you to layer signals over screen locations in order to enhance indexing related to demographics and/or online interest.

Of course, there are still principles of sound digital strategy that apply to crafting effective DOOH creative. For example, your ads still need a short, memorable call to action. But the “dwell time” - that is, how long your audience is captivated by your message - and the potential for the DOOH screen to grab attention, as well as the ability to incorporate technologies like XR formats that allow people to interact with it from their other devices, are great example of how DOOH exists firmly at the intersection of two marketing worlds, and encourages omni-channel thinking to be most effective.

With all that said, the targeting advantages of programmatic DOOH would be mitigated if there weren’t also measurement tools to match. You still need to track and optimise your campaign results across screens, which can get a little tricky when the same ad is seen by multiple people. By being able to use data and analytics from across our own products and services as well as our omnichannel technology platforms, we are able to understand user journeys across devices, analysing and optimising campaigns to ensure the best return on investment for DOOH campaigns.

Verizon Media also works with measurement vendors to go deeper into the reporting, helping you better understand what creative is resonating at specific times and locations and your ad’s effectiveness at driving brand recall and affinity. This is another reason why DOOH should not be planned in a silo; you need insight into all of your campaign screens simultaneously in order to deliver the most effective messaging no matter where your audience goes next.

Anyone can run a digital ad today. It takes little effort to execute a campaign across social media, to the point that these messages can be ignored by inundated consumers. But DOOH screens are not exactly like all other digital screens. While the lines between outdoor and digital advertising capabilities are becoming blurrier by the day, DOOH still has a unique role in the marketing funnel, one that should not be ignored by premium brands - because audiences are not ignoring DOOH placements.

The Verizon Media DSP is a leader in programmatic DOOH supply from the major outdoor screen providers, making it easy to add this impactful option to your omnichannel mix and captivate eager-to-roam consumers with an all-screens-on-deck approach to campaign planning and execution.