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DOOH Advertising: The Cookieless Solution?

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By Interim Alfi CEO Peter Bordes

Today’s consumer is more tech-savvy and understandably wary of the ways companies have collected and shared personal data in the past.

Their demands for enhanced user privacy have not gone unheeded. Major tech companies have begun implementing changes in the collection of data with the majority of the global browser market cookie-free and even Google now promising an end to third-party cookies by 2023. When Google Chrome, which controls the majority of the global browser market, follows suit next year, 65.15% of the browser market will be open to new ad channels and solutions.

With web browsers increasingly blocking cookies, ad spend is being relocated to the DOOH sector quicker than we expected. Our research suggests strong growth for the DOOH ad sector as advertising executives expect increased budgets for all other main areas of advertising, marking DOOH market as the main beneficiary.

What’s next for data-driven advertising when cookies are on their way out?

There will be drastic adaptations to the way consumer activity is tracked, forcing companies who rely heavily on personal data for marketing strategy to locate better alternatives for efficient data targeting and accurate consumer insights.

Fortunately for advertisers, great alternatives already exist with digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising – without the use of cookies. Digital solutions have evolved with smart tech that makes DOOH ads smarter without retrieving any personal data.

In the new space this opportunity provides, DOOH companies are now able to get access to an untapped market – the “walled garden” that Facebook and Google have controlled for years – potentially marking the next generation of disruption in the online world.

Digital OOH advertising takes the best parts of traditional out-of-home advertising and empowers them with cutting-edge technology, giving advertisers access to valuable insights and analytics beyond just targeting.

What does the next generation of advertising include? Powerful data-driven audience matching vs legacy forms of targeting, for one.

Now that advertisers can draw from people’s digital DNA and interests, they can then be matched with relevant brands, products, and services, which helps create more personalized user experiences.

Over time, this process builds a fabric of digital DNA between brands and audiences, bridging a personalized, contextual connection based on relevant, shared content.

Who cares about cookies when privacy-friendly digital blueprints can guide advertising campaigns without sharing personal data?

With efficient audience matching, brands can reach real people at the right time with real-time relevance. Powered by audience matching, real-time relevance allows brands to capitalize on that narrow purchase window before a potential sale is lost.

Where digital out-of-home truly reigns supreme is its flexibility, affordability, and insight into valuable consumer behaviors. With components that can be scaled by each campaign’s and company’s needs, OOH and DOOH can be combined for even more powerful brand solutions.

What is the growth potential of DOOH advertising?

Global OOH revenues are expected to increase 6.6% to $55.03 billion in 2021 with a CAGR of 7.3% from 2021 and 2025, primarily fueled by digital growth in a number of areas, according to PQ Media’s Global Digital Out-of-Home Media Forecast.

In the US alone, OOH ad spend is predicted to increase 14.5% in 2021 for a total of $6.96 billion, of which DOOH will account for 31.2%. PQ predictions see global DOOH media revenue rising at a 12.2% CAGR to eventually reach $25.0 billion in 2025, which will account for 34.2% of all OOH ad spend.

In fact, according to recent global research, 85% of surveyed global senior advertising executives expect budgets for DOOH advertising and online advertising to increase. Of these, 47% expected budgets to increase dramatically because of changes to third- party cookie use on web browsers, while 38% expected ad spend to increase only slightly.

Additionally, 78% of advertising executives interviewed believe DOOH advertising will represent over 50% of the total spent on out-of-home ads by 2023, with online and DOOH representing the most anticipated advertising budgets to increase following the decline of third-party cookies.

Why are advertisers investing so heavily in digital out-of-home solutions?

DOOH advertising offers advertisers a range of affordable, scalable options for delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time.

“While the economic damage wrought by the pandemic squelched a decade-long expansion that was building further momentum going into 2020, our research indicates that OOH media, and particularly DOOH media, is poised for strong growth in the second half of 2021, as the healthcare, transit, and corporate/education venue categories are expected to surge ahead with accelerating double-digit growth in 2022,” according to PQ Media’s CEO, Patrick Quinn. DOOH advertising as the next step in cookieless targeting. While third-party cookies may no longer serve the function they once did, businesses can still implement solutions that work. Companies need to focus their marketing around solutions that combine existing data and advertising channels while exploring new opportunities for growth.

A place to start is evaluating any existing first-party data use and considering how to incorporate other forms of data-driven advertising. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch, especially if your brand has stored user content.

It’s clear with the removal of cookies that companies are not properly taking advantage of all the benefits of the first-party data – data that they’re already collecting. This presents an opportunity to reevaluate and reset the strategy. First-party data is an incredibly valuable and free asset. Plus in order to access first-party data, you’ve already gone through the process of gaining users’ consent. This provides added transparency and builds brand validation.

Combining any existing first-party data with digital out-of-home advertising can truly enhance the user experience in personalized ways. Marketers have a powerful way to engage their desired audiences where and when it matters most. With data derived from actual customers, brands can register more accurate intel on real behavior. This makes it easier to deliver personalized content to users with relevant ads that drive customer loyalty. It also helps to nail down the buyer persona, divide segments more effectively, and analyze all website traffic.

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Via DOOH, advertisers can reach and match target audiences more effectively, adapt strategies in real-time, and access a wealth of data for better decision-making and campaign insights.

DOOH advertising provides a better alternative with enhanced privacy and security protections for users. Building transparency and trust with your customers is an incredibly vital tool in establishing loyal, repeat visitors who believe in your brand.

There are AdTech companies who even offer powerful algorithms allowing audiences to be targeted in real-time based on their behavior and rough demographics. This next- generation technology has been designed to detect behavior without collecting or storing personal data or facial images. It sets new standards by providing precise targeting information to advertisers by collecting information in non-intrusive ways that are compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. With these new privacy-friendly tech advances, the possibilities for DOOH are endless.

Brands can now determine how effective their DOOH ad is at getting attention, but also collect valuable audience data ethically to get true insight on who is paying attention.

The future of advertising is truly digital.

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