Programmatic DOOH: How to make an impact outdoors


The pandemic dealt an initial blow to the advertising industry, but in turn, has inspired brands to become more flexible in their marketing campaigns. In the digital out-of-home space, the industry witnessed a noticeable shift from traditional buying to programmatic, with brands seeking more freedom in planning and buying decisions, as well as optimization. As the digital advertising market and the world itself recover, the ability of programmatic DOOH to reflect current conditions in real time on an omnichannel basis has secured it a spot in advertisers’ overall media mixes for times to come.

Programmatic DOOH opportunities for brands in 2021

Incorporate omnichannel strategies to expand your reach

One of the biggest opportunities for brands in 2021 is to make programmatic DOOH a cornerstone in your omnichannel strategy. As a standalone method, programmatic DOOH has proven essential in reaching larger audiences at key locations. Tie in mobile targeting and you can sit back and watch the impressions roll in. Creating an impactful campaign and showing a cohesive message across programmatic DOOH and mobile has been proven to strengthen brand awareness and increase store visits and sales. 

Using Verve’s geolocation intelligence, brands can effectively choose to activate the most relevant DOOH screens and reach audiences around those screens in prime locations. In addition, brands can extend the same campaign on mobile or desktop. This makes showing personalized advertisements across DOOH screens, desktop, and mobile devices as easy as one, two, three. For example, leading detergent brand OMO employed DOOH screens, desktop, and mobile to raise brand awareness while increasing sales. Using desktop and mobile devices, target audiences were sent mobile push notifications and shown personalized ads on desktop and mobile with one simple question: do you think you spend enough time with your children? These results, collected nationwide, were incorporated into OMO’s programmatic DOOH creatives in real time where more parents were invited to join the conversation. One way for omnichannel campaigns to be successful is by showcasing a  memorable advertisement such as this that plays on current events.

Strengthen your brand awareness with rich media

Whether you use programmatic DOOH alone or as part of your omnichannel strategy, a cohesive message with a recognizable visual identity is essential to differentiate your brand and to stay top-of-mind with your target audience. Using Verve’s dynamic creative capabilities and rich media techniques, you can personalize your advertising creatives to incorporate current events to better play on your consumer’s needs. 

Think of contextual factors such as time of day, road, or weather conditions that can provide your consumer with a personalized experience when viewing your advertisement on a programmatic DOOH screen. Disney, for example, employed rich media techniques such as showing real-time social media survey responses leading up to the release of the newest Star Wars movie to increase brand awareness and revenue. Using our technology, DOOH campaigns can reach and play on different consumer needs along the customer journey in an omnichannel strategy. And all without relying on cookies or consumer consent. 

Broaden your target audience

Programmatic DOOH is a great opportunity for marketers to reach consumers while complying to privacy regulations and not using any personal identifiable information (PII) to target users on an individual level. Though it’s possible to target audiences using contextual factors on mobile and desktop, programmatic DOOH can be far more effective. Rather than targeting indoor audiences and relying on user consent, programmatic DOOH broadens the reach while increasing turnover. In addition — in a time when online consumption is booming and audiences are turning to the outdoors to subside their screen fatigue — DOOH reaches both interested and unaware consumers. This thereby effectively strengthens brand awareness for existing and new consumers. Tying in mobile (re)targeting and personalizing creatives using Verve’s rich media techniques, programmatic DOOH is an easy yet effective channel to expand, reach, and engage with your target audience.

Bring your brand outside

With an influx in consumerism and people returning to work, programmatic DOOH is a gift sent from the heavens for advertisers looking to bring their brand back top-of-mind. Allowing brands to be outside with their consumers, programmatic DOOH advertising offers a canvas that guarantees 100% viewability, brand immersion, and brand safety, while complementing other digital channels. With these opportunities available, it’s no surprise that global DOOH ad spend is predicted to increase by 14% in 2021 and programmatic DOOH to reach €13 billion by 2024. This doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges, however.

Programmatic DOOH is a relatively nascent channel. Similar to most emerging channels, standardization and education are known challenges. One larger obstacle that DOOH is facing is accurate measurement. Limited real-time metrics are forcing brands to focus on brand awareness driven through rich media excellence, while other digital channels like mobile and desktop allow for granular lower funnel measurements. Fragmentation is another issue that programmatic DOOH needs to address. 

What does the future hold for programmatic DOOH?

The future will call for a more flexible, interconnected ecosystem, with standardized measurement and reporting techniques that allow for deeper optimizations, ensuring overall transparency across the industry. Verve is working with key partners to research optimal measurement techniques and is part of IAB to help further the standardization of traditional and programmatic DOOH practices in the industry.

Despite its challenges, programmatic DOOH is on the rise. With summer around the corner, a rise in consumerism, and consumer consent as an industry priority, advertisers will lean more on contextual, privacy-first advertising opportunities to reach the right consumers outdoors. If you’re interested in incorporating programmatic DOOH into your omnichannel strategy, get in touch with us here. We’d love to help. 

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