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Adobe Advertising Cloud + Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home: Why Now & What the Future Holds



Chris Allison

We recently sat down with Bryan Seltzer, Managing Director, Americas of Adobe Advertising Cloud, to pick his brain on the state of the programmatic digital out-of-home industry and Adobe’s recent push into the space in partnership with Vistar Media. Adobe Advertising Cloud is a market leading global omni-channel Demand Side Platform (DSP), part of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

Why is Adobe pursuing programmatic digital out-of-home now?

We believe there is long-term advantage if we can enter the market early enough and execute at a high level for our clients. OOH is a $33B market globally, and programmatic in OOH is now past the testing stages in the early days of massive growth. I am a big believer in the digital out-of-home industry - in fact, a number of Adobe Advertising Cloud employees actually have backgrounds in the OOH space (myself included). So, I have first-hand exposure to the industry and am familiar with both the challenges and the opportunities. For many of us, we’ve been waiting for when DOOH would be able to truly bridge the gap into programmatic, and we’ve now seen the technology and audience capabilities finally catch up with other digital channels and that market shift is happening.

Adobe works across many different media channels and specializes in providing clients with multi-channel strategies. Based on your expertise across the media landscape, how do you view DOOH - is it radically different from other channels?

There are some fundamental differences - it is a 1-to-many medium, it’s on public screens, and there is a massive variety in the types of displays. But even with those differences, we’re now able to transact digital OOH in an automated way, leveraging the same type of data-driven targeting and measurement capabilities that we apply across other channels. That said, many of our buyers are not very familiar with programmatic OOH, so it does take a level of education to help our clients understand what is possible and the value of this high-impact medium.

What role do you see audiences & measurement playing in the future of the channel?

Without a doubt, audience targeting and measurement are and will continue to be crucial in executing a programmatic DOOH buy, especially given the cost-efficiency it can afford our clients in the long run. Effectively articulating the methodology on how the targeting and measurement work in this unique channel is the key to growing the space, as it can be a complex process for new buyers to understand. Our ultimate goal is to enable our clients to engage the same audiences across all of their marketing strategies and understand impact across those strategies. Being able to extend the same audiences they are buying in the online channels into the real world, and then measure the impact so they can view performance and optimize across and within each channel - that’s the real promise of programmatic OOH joining the omni-channel marketing mix.

We’ve had some success partnering to deliver results for clients that have been working with Adobe and are interested in expanding into DOOH. Can you share some of the wins you’ve seen and where you have been able to deliver results for your clients?

We’ve seen a few verticals lean in heavily to programmatic OOH, namely alcohol and DTC brands. A number of the largest global alcohol brands have run both open exchange and private marketplace (PMP) campaigns through Advertising Cloud + Vistar, as well as some DTC brands that were looking to expand from online marketing. And we’ve seen great results for our clients - brand studies on campaigns have shown significant lifts in consideration and propensity to convert. We’ve also been able to provide clients with actionable data on what drives performance, so we can optimize for future DOOH programs. It’s been exciting to see that data-driven, programmatic executions really drive real-world impact.

Why did you choose Vistar as your programmatic OOH partner?

We chose Vistar due to the robust inventory access on offer. As programmatic DOOH is in its infancy, the size and scope of inventory owners is important to us. Working with Vistar allows us to consolidate opportunities and make ads executable through programmatic means.

Where do you see OOH media going in the future?

I think we’re going to see three major trends:

  1. Continual growth of the OOH space overall - it’s the only traditional ad channel that still maintains growth, thanks to the unique real-world impact of the media.
  2. Increased programmatic investment into this channel - as buyers get more educated about the targeting & measurement capabilities, spend will grow. Video is also a natural fit with OOH, and I think we’ll see more brands extending their video strategies into the real-world through programmatic OOH.
  3. A greater diversity of inventory available to buyers, as new media owners come into the ecosystem.

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