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OOH Programmatic – Its Coming!

Strong position on Programmatic which may change your doubts about its future

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There has been so much discussed and written with regards to Programmatic in Out of Home. I have heard many conflicting definitions of OOH programmatic from dozens of ‘Experts’, Industry Leaders and Programmatic software sellers.  It is difficult to know who is right, what to believe or even understand what Programmatic truly is.

What I know is, I have found clarity on my outlook on programmatic. I will confess, I was not whole heartedly supportive, but it’s coming. Programmatic will be solved. It will explode in a profound way which will take the Outdoor Industry to similar heights as vinyl and digital signage. It will be the dominant model for planning, buying and selling of the future. Just don’t ask me when.

Steve Geelan, Head of Platform Sales for Adshel, provides a clear and straightforward discussion on programmatic in OOH. Geelan’s definition and insights, fits my logic and understanding. We both could be wrong.  After reading, please check in with a comment on your understanding and review. 

Ninety- nine-point nine percent of the 12 points below are my summary of Geelan’s comments.  I take zero credit. It is well worth the read. I trust you will find it as informative as I did. A link to the full article is at the end of this page.

1. Simple definition of programmatic:Programmatic enables out of home inventory to be bought and sold via the use of software.

2. There are increasing examples of technology enabling engaging use of both digital and posters.

3. We are seeing more real-time data feeds (breaking news, traffic conditions, promotions, game scores) used in OOH. Great examples of campaign planning techniques: the Guinness campaign, with locations chosen based on the prevalence of tweets and Instagram likes in that area. Shelter photo above.

McDonald’s Traffic Busters Campaign 

(Spotify using OOH to speaking to its subscribers  Spotify Outstanding OOH Campaign. )

4. We have not embraced the real differences of static to digital yet. We are using digital as an electronic version of a poster.

5. Digital is about capability. Think of it as an online screen on the street. Once digital potential, is fully realized and understanding of audience deepens, so will the shift to something more closely related to serving impressions at a given location and specific time. 

6. Programmatic will have its greatest impact for out of home by serving impressions to a given set of locations at specific times.

7. Current manual solutions (used by OOH operators and ad agencies) are not sufficient to complete the shift of serving impressions to specific locations in specific time slots. The programmatic solution is about technology fundamentally changing the capability of out of home as a channel.

8. The software(s) which talks to each other, to plan, buy/sell, optimize and measure out of home inventory, will do so to assist a far more complex (for a human at least) set of capabilities the out of home industry now possesses. It’s not simply about being programmatic; it is a change in the capabilities of the OOH channel, supported by software and data.

9. It’s about dynamic ad serving and creative optimization.
(Around 2008, Clear Channel and Lamar), began the digital evolution building inventory and achieving some scale in the US.  But tactical and dynamic serving of creative was and has always been more of the one-off buy or sale than the norm.

10. We’re on the cusp of the next leap in tech capability. Capability, that must be united with flexibility of inventory buying, to bring to life dynamic creative, and enable the path to see digital out of home inventory positioned alongside other digital impressions (desktop, mobile, connected TV) in the same buy-side interface.

11. Arguably, logistics and complexity have been inhibitors for growth but programmatic will be one of the tools of tech which enables a new out of home.

12. Outdoor Advertising has always been a strong medium. Now it is a more connected, optimized and measured medium than ever before.

Read the full article by Steve Geelan here- Programmatic Outdoor Advertising: An essential next step or necessary evil? 

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2 Comments
  1. andrea messimer says

    #7
    Current manual solutions (used by OOH operators and ad agencies) are not sufficient to complete the shift of serving impressions to specific locations in specific time slots. The programmatic solution is about technology fundamentally changing the capability of out of home as a channel.

    ” I couldn’t agree more with this point- it’s time for the 2008 standard DOOH business model to adapt to modern times & listen to the customer and audience needs. Opportunities & a large slice of the media pie is still being missed with the current archaic format. OOH is up 7.3% With the capabilities & programmatic purchasing for DOOH – OOH should be up at least 25%

  2. Bill Board says

    OOH should be up at least 25%. An aggressive forecast for change. The resulting vision of a 25% increase, is welcomed by all. Thank you Ms Messimer Henley for your comments.