Skip to main content

How Programmatic DOOH Helps Retailers In Continually Unprecedented Times

by Hannah Thompson | 06.12.2022

In this year’s crucial seasonal retail period, shoppers will be looking to save money, and nearly half are expecting bigger discounts. To deliver a pricing strategy that grabs consumers’ attention and drives sales, brands will need their campaigns to be highly targeted and agile. Whatever the channel, data will be a vital fuel for campaign success.

The out of home channel has traditionally been seen as powerful for brand awareness campaigns but lacking the flexibility, targeting and measurement that marketers have become accustomed to in online. However, utilising programmatic in digital out of home now provides marketers with exactly that. So, while consumers are being wowed by shiny new formats such as 3D billboards, marketers can make data-driven decisions behind the scenes. 

Staying flexible

Like online, data informs every part of the programmatic DOOH purchasing process. This comes from several sources, including privacy secure mobile IDs, geotemporal location data, environmental conditions, and a brand’s first-party data. Using this wealth of insight, marketers can make their programmatic DOOH activations adaptable and flexible, responding to changes in consumer behaviour and the economic environment.

Places such as transport hubs, for example, have traffic peaks and troughs. With marketers able to see fluctuations in footfall thanks to third-party data sources, programmatic DOOH allows messaging to be pulled or redistributed from underperforming areas rapidly, or to run only when a minimum audience threshold has been met. This assures retail marketers that their seasonal promotions aren’t running in an empty train station and that spend is optimised.

Programmatic DOOH also allows creative to be adjusted in real-time to deliver dynamic pricing and promotions. Say, if an advertising campaign includes creative for several products on offer across a supermarket chain and one location sells out of mince pies, DOOH displays in the surrounding area can be updated to promote other products. 

Finding your audience

One of digital programmatic’s key strengths is its ability to target consumers based on their interests and online behaviour. Programmatic DOOH’s granular audience targeting capabilities move it further in line with its online counterpart. However, OOH remains a unique channel. While other channels are centred around one-to-one targeting, out of home’s unique strength is its one-to-many capabilities. So how can marketers combine this with targeting?

One way is through contextual targeting. With the range of geolocation data available via programmatic DOOH, activations can be centred around locations that are contextually relevant to messaging. Gym-goers can be delivered an ad for deals on Apple watches where they work out, for example, or a sports apparel company can run promotions on tube lines connecting to the stadium on game day. Contextual ad placement can produce significant increases in both brand recall and awareness in a privacy secure fashion, and with the depreciation of the cookie, this will become even more valuable.

The use of anonymised mobile IDs help to build clearer insights into consumer journeys and allow messaging to be activated when a minimum threshold of a targeted audience is in an area. For instance, a fashion retailer could activate an ad in a location when a minimum number of people who have previously visited one of their stores are present, ensuring that messaging is garnering high quality impressions.

Measuring success

Like all channels, the proof is in the pudding with programmatic DOOH. The wealth of data harnessed via programmatic DOOH, as well as advanced machine learning, mean that brand lift, impressions and intent can be measured to better understand business outcomes. Marketers can analyse in real time which time of day is most effective to run campaigns. Consumer journeys can also be more effectively visualised, allowing marketers to trace how audiences interact with various touch points. These insights are vital to understanding the impact of price changes or promotions on the behaviour of consumers; all this allows for DOOH reporting to be executed like its online counterpart.

For retailers looking to deliver an effective pricing and promotions strategy that captures consumer spend this festive season, programmatic DOOH will serve them well. Combining the large-scale, eye-catching displays the channel is traditionally known for with the ability to change messaging and creative in-flight allows for a truly agile strategy. 

The current situation is only the latest in a series of global events – from the pandemic, to war in Ukraine to the supply chain woes that have impacted both retailers and consumers in recent years. So, programmatic DOOH should not just be for Christmas – smart retailers will continue to leverage its benefits as we navigate the uncertain times ahead.