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Industry Experts Weigh In On the State of Out-of-Home



Aliana Heffernan

During Vistar’s 2018 company offsite, we were pleased to have a number of advertising heavyweights join our Q&A panel on the state of digital out-of-home.

Mark Costa, Chief Digital Officer at JCDecaux North America and several other digital out-of-home experts spoke about the future of programmatic DOOH, sharing insights from their respective seats in the industry.

The OOH world has experienced plenty of change in recent years, and it’s not going unnoticed. “It’s an industry waking up to how data can play a role,” said Costa.

As data continues to be used for better targeting and measurement, marketers are shifting their strategy from targeting as many people as possible to targeting as many members of specific audiences as possible. The potential in this one-to-many medium for “mass personalization,” as Costa described it, is endless - in particular with programmatic DOOH.

Agencies understand that today, you’re not buying places, but audiences and people. However, brands need to be educated, and agencies need to be better educated about OOH, as well as programmatic, since it often serves as the glue that holds digital out-of-home campaigns together.

Both technology and data have been instrumental in advancing the out-of-home industry, bridging the gap between the online and offline worlds, while helping marketers improve their targeting, measurement and personalization efforts. With today’s technology, we have the ability to measure the impact of OOH advertising as never before and help marketers understand their consumers in amazing new ways, based on their movement patterns. Brands have the ability to make data-informed buys, aligning their dollars to actual audience movement patterns that reveal the best times and places to activate their campaigns. Further, “mass personalization,” as mentioned by Costa, allows marketers to be more direct in their creatives and messages to their target audience sets.

The benefits of this type of data-informed activation can be visibly seen through Vistar’s recent campaign with Media Assembly and Timberland. For this initiative, Timberland leveraged our programmatic platform to segment their creative based off of specific weather triggers. After exposure to rainy and snowy creatives, when local weather conditions were met, the weather-triggered messaging outperformed the always-on creative, driving a much higher store visit rate.

Thinking toward the future, each of the panelists emphasized the importance of educating buyers who are hesitant to adopt programmatic.

In the online space, programmatic has dealt with rampant issues around fraud, visibility, and brand safety. Costa agrees, “I think this is a huge opportunity for OOH,” because creative approvals and the regulated nature of OOH eliminates much of that risk.

But what will drive the continued success of programmatic DOOH? According to these OOH experts, it’s simple: good technology partners.

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