Why digital OOH is the new frontier of marketing

DOOH ads are twice as likely to be seen and are 2.5 times more impactful than static OOH ads, according to a study by On Device Research

By Atul Shrivastava

Fuelled by ubiquitous internet connectivity and proliferation of emerging technologies, marketing is at the cusp of disruption with the out of home (OOH) segment transforming into digital signage rapidly. A Neilson study has highlighted that OOH enjoys significant advantages over conventional forms of offline advertising, due to the highest rate of online activation per dollar.

Additionally, data feeds, video and programmatic capabilities, and digital out-of-home (DOOH) make for an unparalleled offering due to higher interaction, engagement and return on investment. DOOH is completely resilient to the hurdles faced by online advertising platforms such as the need for precise targeting and enhanced traffic data, and ad blockers.

More eyeballs

A recent study by On Device Research in the UK pointed out that DOOH ads are twice as likely to be seen and are 2.5 times more impactful than static OOH ads. The recent trend of integration of mobile marketing with DOOH screens offers the opportunity for wider targeting beyond just a few exclusive locations, and facilitates informed choices regarding ad placements. Furthermore, information from phones is now being anonymised by carriers and data vendors, who then sell it to media owners to offer information on different demographic groups. However, this is riddled with issues of privacy breach. Users might be wary of their personal information being used for other purposes.

Another trend is programmatic DOOH advertising which has the potential to transform the cumbersome negotiation process among the advertiser, agency, media seller and printer. Today, programmatic platforms allow advertisers to buy both mobile ads and DOOH ads via the same interface. As a result, there is better integration across existing programmatic strategies, such as display advertising, and faster analytical insight across entire DOOH campaigns. Dynamic content, especially videos depicting real-time product listings, the latest pricing and much more, is at the core of this transformation. Realising the immense potential of DOOH, brands such as Skoda, SBI Life Insurance and LG are already leveraging this tool.

Measurement hurdles

Undoubtedly, DOOH has opened new vistas of marketing. However, the road ahead may not be as smooth as expected. Firstly, the pricing model and metric of DOOH and programmatic DOOH lack uniformity and standardisation. Outdoor media sellers need to convert to the cost-per-mile (CPM) pricing model, which poses a problem as one DOOH ad can be seen by multiple people. Other pricing models common in DOOH include share of voice, charging advertisers for a set percentage of the ad inventory of a given network of digital display, and loop frequency, involving the purchase of multiple spots of a single loop.

There is the problem of measurement in DOOH as each impression can be seen by many people, which makes it difficult to compare prices with digital impressions. OOH inherently has a higher value than online media, which keeps the cost stable; but opening inventory to real-time bidding has stoked the apprehensions of commoditisation of value. Since OOH ads are physical media operating in a one-to-many environment, it is difficult to target individuals or conduct precise attribution as in the case of digital media with cookies and device IDs.

DOOH ad targeting will likely involve reaching a certain group of target audience at a particular time based on data collected from the environment, rather than targeting individuals. However, improvement in technology is expected to enhance targeting and attribution for measuring the effectiveness of digital out-of-home ad campaigns.

The author is CEO of Laqshya Media Group

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