The demand for programmatic digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH) has increased significantly across Germany in recent years, with PWC forecasting that 20% of DOOH will be traded programmatically in 2022. The big advantage of programmatic DOOH is that advertisers have significantly greater opportunities to reach relevant target groups at the right time and in the right place. This is confirmed by a study commissioned by VIOOH. It forecasts a further increase in demand for this type of advertising.
Programmatic DOOH is expected to gain considerable importance within the marketing mix in the coming year as well. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by VIOOH and MTM. According to the study, German executives expect 56 percent of all campaigns rolled out to include content that will reach target groups in programmatic DOOH formats. Just under a quarter (23 %) even expect nationwide investment in this still relatively young advertising format to more than double (101 – 200 %) (19 % globally). Investments are increasingly coming from new budgets or being redeployed from other traditional and digital channels.
High flexibility thanks to broad database
Advertisers benefit from the high flexibility of this type of advertising. This is made possible by specific technical functions that have undergone extreme development over the past few years. Today, programmatic DOOH is able to combine a wide variety of data sources and address target groups in an extremely precise way. As a result, programmatic DOOH campaigns can be optimized in real time - and even during rollout - to reach relevant target groups at the right time and in the right place. This reduces wastage to a minimum.
Trigger-based and contextual
Instead, the ability to publish campaigns trigger-based stands out. This is because it maximizes campaign effectiveness. The decisive factor here is context-dependent data (such as weather, location, demographic data of residents, number of employees, etc.). The advertising form is therefore particularly popular in industries where contextual or location-based messages are most relevant (for example, the automotive industry, fast-moving consumer goods, consumer packaged goods, retail or tourism). There, they act as triggers and provide an on-target approach. Socioeconomic data proved to be the most useful. As many as 60 percent of German executives are of the opinion that information on income, for example, is particularly suitable for addressing target groups. In this context, it is particularly important for brands that brand messages have maximum contextual relevance.
Nearly one-third of executives in Germany (32%) cite precise targeting (28% globally) as a key motivation for increasing budgets for programmatic DOOH advertising in 2023. But: German consumers also appreciate the precise targeting that programmatic DOOH offers - favorable conditions, in other words, for programmatic DOOH. Accordingly, 93 percent of advertisers in Germany said they would increase their programmatic DOOH budgets in 2023.
"Programmatic advertising provides marketers with maximum planning flexibility. Locations and volumes of playouts can be defined based on specific data. We can also use data to target specific segments more precisely - in terms of time, but also in terms of location," says Learco Oestereich, Group Area Manager DOOH at Areasolutions, describing the advantages.
Training initiatives for more expertise
In the marketing mix, programmatic DOOH is preferred alongside other programmatic marketing efforts. Not only can they be orchestrated excellently in a multichannel marketing strategy. Another plus point: "The possibility of linking programmatic DOOH advertising with other media types (such as video); this makes it possible to implement a coordinated strategy that is consistently oriented to the customer journey in terms of targeting and optimization," Oesterreich continues.
The prerequisite for this, however, is expertise. In this context, a large majority of German media managers (89 %) said they would continue to invest in building and expanding internal programmatic DOOH expertise in order to benefit from the advantages over brands and teams. This suggests a steep learning curve for 2023. With this in mind, marketing departments will need to undergo training, experimentation and evaluation to gain hands-on experience with programmatic DOOH and identify when this channel is most effective. Elementary components of these training courses should include, in particular, the teaching of best practices for data activation and the provision of information on cross-channel success measurement and attribution. This is because 43 percent of agency executives in Germany (45% worldwide) still believe that they want to better understand programmatic DOOH advertising, but are not familiar with established data use practices. What's more, 41% nationwide (40% globally) would like to learn more about how to accurately measure programmatic DOOH advertising within an omnichannel campaign. In other words, there is a lack of standardized measurement methods that make the impact of programmatic DOOH within an omnichannel campaign transparent. Oesterreich agrees: "Technical developments have moved faster than the development of performance measurement. Performance metrics need to be defined and campaign measurement improved. Comparability with other programmatic channels in terms of KPIs is of great importance to customers and is increasingly demanded by them."
This is how successful programmatic DOOH is
The food discounter ALDI SÜD proves how successful programmatic DOOH can be. The goal of the DOOH campaign was to increase brand awareness for sustainable organic products from the organic GUTbio line. To do this, the campaign drew on pre-structured, segmented and therefore highly relevant target group data from third-party provider AdSquare. The campaign was played out exclusively via DOOH format in the major cities of Cologne, Munich, Düsseldorf, and Mannheim. Across all organic products, the campaign helped ALDI SÜD increase brand awareness in the target group by 35 percent, while classic OOH advertising played at the same time achieved no measurable results. "This proves the high value of data within programmatic DOOH advertising," explains Oesterreich.
The omnichannel campaign of Swedish payment service provider Klarna came to a similar conclusion. It was played out via programmatic DOOH, social media and TV. Here, the company points to the enormous flexibility offered by the programmatic channel. A particular advantage is the real-time optimization, which allows the messages and motifs to be adjusted at any time, even while they are being played out. This setup led to 55 million impressions and a 50 percent increase in direct contact within the target group within the campaign period of six months.
The ability to target audiences highly precisely will remain a key growth driver of programmatic DOOH advertising in Germany in 2023. Programmatic DOOH advertising can be very well coordinated with other programmatic channels and seamlessly combined with any digital campaign. This will have a positive impact on business growth, according to German executives.
For this reason, programmatic DOOH is increasingly becoming a mainstay in the marketing mix or in interaction with other programmatic measures. In other words, companies that forego this strategic marketing option are preventing additional growth. In other words, there is no way around programmatic DOOH. Companies for which this channel is still quite new need to experiment with it and initiate training initiatives to gather empirical values. In doing so, they will discover synergies that programmatic DOOH advertising unfolds together with other digital channels (social media or videos). Advertisers who have already continuously invested in programmatic DOOH advertising will continue to benefit from being able to use it for broadcast and digital advertising, as well as to optimize brand and performance campaigns.
To realize the full potential of programmatic DOOH advertising, robust solutions for ROI as well as performance measurement are required. As it becomes increasingly standard in Germany to combine programmatic DOOH advertising with other channels, making its specific reach transparent within a multichannel campaign will be critical to the continued growth of the DOOH channel. To this end, communicating best practices for data activation and measuring the effectiveness of programmatic OOH campaigns is essential. They support advertisers in Germany in showing both customers and their own teams how the channel can be used optimally.