Why Retailers Should be Paying Attention to Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

Since the 1800s, the world’s most influential brands have leveraged out-of-home (OOH) advertising to generate brand awareness and product adoption. This channel provides eye-catching exposure for brands and is a premium quality environment. Out-Of-Home ads are great for brand building, creative recall and sales impact, not to mention in some cases the ability to drive direct action, such as footfall in-store.

Up until 2020 the Australian OOH industry had seen impressive growth. This had been largely driven by consolidation and rapid digital acceleration. This digitisation of the industry/sector now means that eleven million Australians aged 14yrs+ are exposed to Digital Out- Of- Home (DOOH) advertising in an average week.

While the OOH market was disproportionately affected by COVID, as lockdowns have lifted and Australians have resumed their regular routines and commutes, OOH has started to recover in earnest. The OOH industry is back on track to reach pre-pandemic results, with the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) reporting a 24 percent increase on net media revenue for 2021, at $812.7 million, up from $655.2 million in 2020.

The digitisation of the industry means that as it recovers it is now able to provide greater flexibility, transparency, and targeting than ever before. And with more than a 90 percent+ reach of all Australians, digital OOH, and more specifically programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH), has become ever more important to e-commerce marketers. 

According to the IAB report which was released last year, Australian advertising agencies have embraced pDOOH, with almost one-quarter of Australian agencies trading DOOH inventory programmatically for the first time during 2020 and a further 10 percent of agencies increasing their programmatic investment. These numbers reflect the increasing popularity of pDOOH advertising, especially in the retail industry. 

For more efficient and effective campaigns and greater brand control

Essentially, pDOOH is more than just billboards. It includes billboards, bus shelters, doctors’ offices, gas stations, grocery stores, gyms, malls, pharmacies, sports entertainment venues, urban panels, convenience stores, movie theatre lobbies, etc. The concept of pDOOH and DOOH is fundamentally the same. However, how the ad is delivered -bought or sold- makes them different. pDOOH automates the process of buying, selling and delivering inventory across digital screens. It offers enhanced capabilities to traditional OOH and DOOH. So what is all the fuss about and why is pDOOH quickly becoming a channel that retail marketers should be aware of and consider within their marketing plans? 

For retail marketers, pDOOH delivers many benefits. It simplifies the ad buying process and enables retailers to have more control over the planning, targeting, optimisation and measurement of their campaigns. pDOOH allows for quick and flexible campaign activation, as well as transparency of delivery. It provides retailers improved brand control over traditional DOOH by allowing them to stop, start and optimise campaigns, in real-time. Retailers have flexibility to set what audience they want to reach, as well as the environments and other conditions that matter to their campaign, such as time of day, weather, and location, in which their ads should play. pDOOH allows retailers to create automated rule-based targeting options that trigger both buying and scheduling workflows. 

In addition, pDOOH enables more thinking and insight around downstream measurements of the impact of showing the ads. Whether it’s an increase in footfall traffic to a certain store, or a change in patterns of behaviour, retailers can track that through the data from DOOH campaigns delivered programmatically. Another benefit of pDOOH for retailers is that it lowers the barriers to entry, which means new and small brands are able to include pDOOH advertising within their campaigns with a reasonable cost of entry. 

A big opportunity for retail marketers

This post-pandemic year is an exciting time for the OOH industry, given recovery is in full swing and the industry is starting to bounce back. The work that went into the digitisation of the space, in the lead-up to the pandemic, was not wasted. This digitisation creates enormous opportunities for retailers. The use of pDOOH has become a key point in the recovery of the  OOH industry. It will mean it can recover quicker, faster and smarter than before. pDOOH will not only help to accelerate the industry growth – but the increased targeting and measurement will also be a win for all retail marketers.

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