Digital out-of-home advertisers seek hyper-local, contextual targeting

Marketers are expanding their omnichannel playbook to include digital out-of-home (DOOH) and delivering contextually relevant ads to hyperlocal audiences, according to new findings released this week by the DPAA, a global out-of-home trade association.

What they found. Two-thirds of marketers surveyed had activated a new DOOH campaign in the previous 18 months. Now we get some insight into the role this channel played in their strategy. The association shared some initial stats from the study ahead of the DPAA Summit in October.

The top reason (61%) that new DOOH campaigns were introduced over the last year and a half was because of creative flexibility enabled by programmatic. The two next highest reasons appear to flow from these programmatic capabilities as well. Marketers were empowered by schedule flexibility (57%) and newly available inventory they could access through their preferred platform (52%).

Mass reach during Covid-19, a reason for 46% of respondents, speaks to the number of brands and organizations that used DOOH to promote a message of resilience to consumers, or to give thanks to heroic first responders and essential workers.

Free media opportunities, which 29% of DOOH advertisers said they used, were a direct consequence of the decline of out-of-home advertising during pandemic-related lockdowns and general budget and revenue challenges for advertisers.


Why we care. It would be one thing if this was a study of longtime billboard advertisers. Instead, DOOH is proving to be a dynamic part of a broader omnichannel strategy, as shown in the top reasons above.

Because of the digital transformation in the industry, ads on the street and in public venues can be bought programmatically, and they show results through new attribution methods. According to the same study, 44% of omnichannel advertisers chose DOOH because they could geo-target by zip codes, DMA or hyper-locally. Also, 42% said they could do contextually relevant targeting. And 35% said that DOOH complements their digital plan.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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