Clear Channel Outdoor America

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Top 4 things brand marketers need to know about programmatic OOH ads in 2022

by Catherine Muldowney

March 17, 2022

While 2022 entered with its share of challenges, I believe it’s safe to say we’re all looking forward to the positivity this year will bring with the anticipation of life returning to normal – or at least our next normal. From the conversations I’m having with brands, I know marketers are already enthusiastic about their prospects for 2022 with businesses open once again and an economy turbocharged for growth.

Since the beginning of the recovery from the pandemic, out of home (OOH) advertising has been a go-to for brands wanting to stay in front of active consumers as they return to socializing, working and enjoying life in public, outside of their homes. With an economy back open for business, OOH remains poised to help brands connect with consumers as they create our new normal for living and working.

What’s been exciting, too, is a range of innovative solutions around programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH) – including real-time biddability, data-driven audience targeting, attribution measurement – are driving more brands and marketers to embrace digital OOH as part of their omnichannel programmatic solution set. With migrations back to work and travel, and the broader role OOH continues to play in marketers’ playbooks, here are four things brand marketers and media buyers need to know about programmatic digital OOH advertising this year:

1.) Programmatic is an additional powerful entry point for brands new to OOH

Many brands leaning into OOH for the first time are doing it programmatically. For these newer converts to OOH, they’re using programmatic to test and learn quickly about what works and what doesn’t for their brand. We’re talking tech and entertainment – particularly from mobile gaming, pharmaceuticals (a newer vertical for OOH), and CPG brands who are known for using programmatic.

Why now? I believe clients who have typically spent heavily on TV and online video are struggling with these media and are turning to OOH and video capable screens they can leverage in a one-to-many digital channel, essentially diverting spend from TV and digital to OOH.

One other burden for brands is overexposure for targeted audiences via their current connected TV (CTV) advertising experience. According to a recent AdExchanger article, this programmatic ‘solution’ for TV advertising is causing over-frequency and degrading the user experience. Programmatic Digital OOH not only allows brands to limit their risk in excessive frequency in CTV but to do so in ways that add reach and drive a positive consumer brand experience.

2.) Air travel is in fact (still) rebounding and pDOOH is there ready for takeoff

We’ve made tremendous strides as an industry with programmatic DOOH advertising in airports and this year we believe we’ll see even more brands leverage these new capabilities. Programmatic offers brands a highly flexible and even more fluid way to reach specific audiences of travelers. For example, if you want to target business travelers, you can do it Monday-Thursday mornings and evenings and other windows when there might be a higher concentration of business travelers.

Additionally, brands can switch these ads over to target leisure travelers on key travel days. We’re also seeing advertisers use QR codes to deliver creative executions that enable travelers to directly engage with brands. QR codes can add value and messaging into the airport creative, driving longer dwell times, particularly on eye-level displays.

3.) OOH’s audience targeting and measurement solutions are on par with digital – and now they can be implemented programmatically

Today, brands using OOH are able to leverage anonymous, aggregated mobile location data to help them understand consumer mobility, behavior and true campaign impact – the same insights brands have available to them from digital platforms, and, like in traditional OOH buying, they can be used programmatically.

Today’s OOH features state-of-the-art, data driven targeting that includes demographic and behavioral segment targeting; first-party data activation and proximity and geo-targeting. Our programmatic solution allows brands to tap these solutions and reinforce their campaigns to be measurable and deliver powerful advertising at scale all via our DSPs, which are already leveraged by buyers for their digital media buys.

What’s more, today we are in the early stages of providing brands with daily updated campaign performance metrics across digital out of home to bring mid-flight insights to marketers, in ways that facilitate adjustments that bring us closer to mid-flight optimization. This is just one more step forward as we continue innovating solutions for our brand partners so they can reach their target audiences and generate desired outcomes with their out of home campaigns.

4.) Programmatic’s content capabilities are as flexible as DOOH bought through traditional channels

Programmatic DOOH leverages three core dynamic content capabilities already available for digital OOH ad campaigns that allow brands to provide contextually relevant messaging to consumers in their real-world environments at the right time and place:

  • Conditional triggers: Data sources can determine which creative to feature via triggers such as weather changes, time of day, pollen counts or traffic;

  • Live updates: Content from data sources is featured in creative like sports scores, breaking news and time and temperature; and

  • Social integration: Social content is featured in creative including hashtag aggregation

Brands should be aware of the ease, flexibility and efficiencies of buying pDOOH. It offers buyers substantial reach, efficient buying, enhanced targeting, is flexible and optimizable and, perhaps most importantly, is easy to launch. Programmatic is already available in the here and now, and it’s giving brands exciting ways to take even more control of their OOH buys and connect their OOH campaigns to the rest of their digital cross channel strategies.

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