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Vistar 101: DOOH Myth Busters



Michael Provenzano

While out-of-home has been around for years and years, digital out-of-home has only started to take off in the past decade. From big, flashy billboards to small lobby kiosks, you encounter DOOH more often than you think. But despite its ubiquity, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around the market, especially since when you talk about DOOH, you also need to talk about programmatic. To help you get a stronger grasp on this form of media, let’s bust a few of the DOOH myths:

  • Myth: “Out-of-home is not ready for programmatic.”

False! This is basically the equivalent of saying marketers aren’t ready to evolve as a whole, which we know isn’t the case. The systems to enable all aspects of automated and data-driven media transactions in out-of-home exist; what they need is to be leveraged appropriately. The biggest global buyers are leaning into OOH, and more and more digital budgets are flowing into the channel through programmatic pipes. This isn’t a dream - programmatic OOH is a multi-million dollar reality today.

  • Myth: “I have to completely overhaul all of my systems to support programmatic.”

There are many steps you can take to incrementally get your business to a technologically advanced position in the market. Most technology vendors have a variety of solutions that assist in this incremental process. At Vistar, we offer software that allows media owners to manage their inventory, and extended as their business grows.

  • Myth: “Programmatic is just too new. I’m going to wait a bit to see what happens.”

Vistar has been enabling buyers and sellers to transact media programmatically in DOOH since 2012. While the early days were a learning period, today we have proven technology that can be scaled to support programmatic sales and operations across any buyer and seller in the space. No need to wait when there’s a tested and trusted solution already available!

  • Myth: “Out-of-home doesn’t get the respect it deserves in the media landscape. Is programmatic really going to help it?”

There are two areas that benefit here:

More automated systems simply allow OOH to be purchased with less back and forth. According to the OAAA, ease of purchase is one of the big issues between buyers and sellers based on member feedback

In order to access new budgets, like mobile, the OOH industry must speak the same language and have systems that are compatible with the growth of data-driven behavioral media buying. The $8.4b location-based subset of mobile ad spend is an especially promising area for programmatic OOH. (BIA Kelsey, 2015)  

Out-of-home is evolving into one of most advanced and measurable forms of media to buy for advertisers, driven by the innovations in technology and data. We are already seeing a plethora of diverse data providers looking to bring unique solutions to the OOH space. However, in order to leverage this explosion of data sets, buyers and sellers must have proper technology systems in place to analyze this data, activate media against these insights and show ROI on media dollars. The race for advertising technology in out-of-home started a few years ago, where are you in the pack?

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