It’s No Secret, Programmatic OOH Will Make Waves

Guest Contributor, Nicolette Briscoe

Wednesday September 11, a sad day in global history but a big day for the Digital Out of Home and AdTECH industry in Australia – it was the coming together of Out of Home players and the AdTECH providers for the inaugural AdTECH: OOH Sydney Conference.

My standout observation from the day was that there is an incredible appetite for both DOOH networks and the AdTECH industry to work together to make Programmatic Outdoor a success. I saw a real willingness to work through the complexities together and offer trialled and tested methodologies to brands.

Ben Whall from MediaCom shared in his session ‘Applying the lessons learned from Display to Programmatic OOH’ that “programmatic OOH is in it’s infancy”. Fact.

Two years ago, discussions to OOH folks about DSPs and SSPs were foreign concepts. And as an industry it was a long way from figuring out how to make programmatic work for clients. There were some early adopters playing in the space, a couple standouts that come to mind; VMO using their proprietary product DART and AdShel Live (now oOh! Commute).

Fast forward to today, more OOH networks are having Programmatic Outdoor discussions and more AdTECH partners have joined the party to deliver smarter campaigns for clients.

You’re forgiven if you’re not 100% clear on exactly what Programmatic Outdoor is and how it works. Let me first define the opportunity that Matthew Bushby, Managing Director of Hivestack laid out in his opening address. He said; “currently in the USA $125M out of $8B is spent programmatically on OOH. That’s 1.5%.” Matt and the team at Hivestack predict that the opportunity of “1.5% could easily be 30% in three years (approx. $3 Billion USD)”.

Currently, traditional Digital Display represents around 90% of the US Advertising pie with 80% traded Programmatically. eMarketer predicts that; “by 2020, the vast majority of US digital display ad dollars transacting programmatically – will be up to 86.3%”.

Keynote speaker Steve Nesbit from private advisory firm Prestonwood Trail Holdings rightly pointed out that digital display ad-spend is vulnerable. It’s vulnerable because of privacy issues, ad blocking and poor effectiveness, viewability of around 44%, low click through (1-4%) and click fraud.

None of these vulnerabilities apply to Digital Out of Home. However, he says; “[DOOH] is painting in colour but measuring in black and white”.

That’s where AdTECH has a special role to play in the evolution of OOH. Video analytics, Mobile phone data, independent reporting technology, geo-targeting and programmatic will address the measurement and attribution demands that marketers are placing on the OOH industry.

Location and audience data are creating the opportunity for DOOH to optimise their media plans, creating greater efficiency and less wastage. Combine this with mobile data and automation via Programmatic marketplaces and you have OOH buying at speed and in real time.

Some trailblazers in this field include Mobilewalla, Amobee, Seedooh, Mediamath, Adform and Hivestack to name but a few.

Matthew Bushby pointed out that “new money, requires new thinking”. Shortly following this comment the audience was treated to the only case study of the day, which I personally thought, stole the limelight.

IBM’s Head of Advertising & Brand Experience Benjamin Montague shared their recent pilot Programmatic Outdoor campaign with the audience. The company were drawn to the unique targeting capabilities that Programmatic Outdoor had to offer.

  • The audience insight: 88% of C-suites drive to work
  • Budget: $100K
  • Key partners who brought the campaign to life: Mindshare, MediaMath, Hivestack, Adshel Live (now oOh! Commute)
  • How: 13,000 unique device IDs were geo-identified at an IT conference and via key client office locations. Hivestack mapped the custom audience. 59 panels were used reaching 19,000 of the identified devices this totalled 3M impressions over 6 weeks.
  • Results: 25% increase in recall. 40% lift in brand awareness.
  • Key take-outs: the programmatic outdoor campaign was a success by ensuring less wastage and maximised returns.

This case study clearly demonstrated the potential that DOOH has in taking digital display budget. It showed the premium opportunity that being able to target the most valuable customer at that point in time presents.

Steve Nesbit believes that because of its proven effectiveness, measureability and targeting potential DOOH and AdTECH will come together to be the most powerful media in history.

The case for Programmatic Outdoor is clearly strong. Whilst all the speakers and companies present are willing to work together to connect DOOH to the broader digital ecosystem the consensus was that there is still learning to be done and it will take time to make Programmatic Outdoor a scalable solution.

The event will be repeated in Sydney again, in 2020, possibly in August with a (new) interim event AdTECH: OOH – Singapore possibly taking place in March 2020.

Nicolette Briscoe is an independent marketer and writer who consults under her business Moonshot Marketing for OOH networks, Ad Tech providers and ambitious businesses.

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