OOH platforms and billboards have long been lauded as the gentle giants of advertising. Generally non-intrusive in nature, when created with the right creative and messaging, they have the power to cut through the clutter and convey a brand’s messaging effectively and creatively.
However, like most aspects of the marketing industry, OOH billboards were also hit with rapid digitalisation in the 2000s. This is when large format digital OOH (DOOH) screens started making an appearance. Not long after, an entrepreneur by the name of Gerard Bucas founded Scala, the world’s very first web-based CMS for digital signage, allowing schedulers to create loop-based playlists from their desk and push content to screens without ever having to physically visit them. For almost 18 years, DOOH sales would be bought in this loop-based system.
Fast forward to today, with the advancement and rise of data and automation, programmatic advertising was born along with programmatic DOOH technology which is revolutionising the OOH medium. For leading independent programmatic DOOH ad tech company Hivestack, programmatic DOOH is seen as an addition to a traditional OOH strategy and plays an integral role in driving innovation within the industry, allowing for a shift towards audience-centric buys, which leverage various data touchpoints to reach specific audience segments on-the-go. Despite its complex technical aspects, programmatic DOOH has simplified the buying and selling process of DOOH eliminating a plethora of manual requirements.
In a conversation with Troy Yang, managing director, North Asia, Hivestack, Yang explains that as the OOH industry continues to navigate the stages of digital transformation with the rise in adoption of digital screens and new emerging tech, programmatic buying and selling of OOH inventory offers opportunities within the channel that are unparalleled.
While daunting to those unsure of the mechanics, Yang explained that the concept of programmatic DOOH is the same as its digital counterpart, where an ad is delivered to a digital screen in real-time. However, how that ad was bought, sold and/or delivered is where the main difference lies. Programmatic DOOH has automated the process of buying, selling and delivering inventory across digital screens and offers enhanced capabilities to traditional OOH and DOOH. In addition, it does something that traditional OOH and DOOH cannot and that’s audience targeting and measurement.
Moreover, the technology offers buyers more control over parameters where they can run content and the audience they are trying to reach. Advertisers can run various creatives within a campaign and change or optimise it in real-time based on external circumstances like the weather or road traffic. Programmatic DOOH also opens up unparalleled audience datasets and customisable segments which ultimately drives campaign effectiveness and overall ROI.
“Since 2020, we have seen how quickly our surroundings, our practices and our world can change. For the DOOH industry specifically, the past few years highlighted the need for agility and flexibility across OOH channels. Even more so, it brought to light the value of data and technology within this ever-changing landscape,” said Yang.