Everything you need to know about programmatic digital out of home (DOOH)

Out of home advertising has become, without a doubt, the best turnkey solution to capture consumer attention in the most impactful way. Whether it be large-scale, one-off brand activations, such as Maybelline Sky High Mascara building takeover in the center of KL City Centre, or smaller promotions on bus stops, alongside highways, or within retail environments, the ongoing effectiveness in OOH is reflected in the continued growth of ad budgets, with the global advertising expenditure for OOH set to reach $45B by 2024.

Who are we?

Hivestack is the leading, award-winning, global and independent programmatic DOOH technology partner that powers both the demand side and supply side of the DOOH ecosystem. Founded in 2017 and now operating across over 33 markets, we are a truly global entity connected to over 2,000 agency partners, omnichannel DSPs and media owners across the globe.

Automation vs Programmatic

Programmatic advertising refers to the use of technology and algorithms to automate the buying and selling of impression-based advertising in real-time. This can be done through an auction style model in an open exchange, which is facilitated through real-time bidding (RTB) and/or via Private Marketplace Deals negotiated by the buy and sell side partners.

On the other hand, automation (in the DOOH advertising model) refers to the use of software to simplify the process of buying and selling OOH ads. It focuses on streamlined processes that is an evolved form of direct buying with insertion orders instead of manual management.

That being said, if you’re just looking to simplify the process of buying and selling DOOH advertising at scale, automation would be sufficient. However, if there is an appetite to dive deeper into data, dynamic capabilities and achieve greater, measurable outcomes, then programmatic offers more options. We will explain why in the next section.

DOOH more with programmatic – Top 5 trends

1. Precision targeting – Every successful DOOH campaign is rooted in strong messaging, creative and the ability to reach audiences in the right place and at the right time.

This audience-centric approach allows for advertisers to customise their targeting strategy using pre-built or bespoke customised segments that can be further leveraged for retargeting across mobile and other digital channels, maximising effectiveness of the campaign from a holistic perspective.

Earlier this year, popular toothpaste brand Sensodyne used weather forecasts to activate a campaign on DOOH screens at key moments in Malaysia. Sensodyne used the Hivestack DSP to geofence key areas where there was a high propensity of their target audience in close proximity to the DOOH screens.

Relevant creative variations were served in real-time according to the weather forecast i.e. ads showing cold sensitivity were shown on hotter days when audiences were likely to be reaching for ice cream, while hot sensitivity ads were played when the temperature dropped below 25°C and audiences were likely to opt for hot food.

For full Sensodyne case study and campaign results, read more here.

“Creative that evolves increases contextual relevance and ad recall. We leveraged both location and weather data to ensure we would reach a high concentration of Sensodyne’s target consumers at key locations, driving higher product consideration.”

  • Shiza Javed, Senior Brand Manager at Sensodyne Malaysia

2. Geo-location targeting – When combining DOOH geo-location data with unique sources of audience data, marketers can better understand audience movement patterns, density and concentration of people relative to a point of interest (POI), business or DOOH-enabled screens.

Targeting by location is as easy as creating a geofence around points of interest using automated polygon tools. These targeting parameters play a very crucial role in effective ad delivery as they set the foundation for an impactful location-based targeting campaign.

3. Retargeting – Advertisers can re-engage potential leads who have been exposed to the ads but haven’t converted. Channel or cross-channel retargeting allows advertisers to maintain consistency across different channels, whether from DOOH to other channels or vice versa. This approach maximises reach and boosts conversions, ultimately delivering a seamless and effective omnichannel strategy.

4. Seamless omnichannel approach

With a click of a button, from one consolidated touchpoint, advertisers can activate campaigns leveraging a DSP from within their market anywhere else over the world, connecting with audiences in a combination of different countries at the same time, across both oceans and timezones.

Harnessing the flexible, dynamic and creative nature of programmatic DOOH, Samsung Malaysia was not only able to target key audience segments

with The Trade Desk’s DSP, they were able to dynamically serve 105 versions of day and night creatives seamlessly across 50 screens, featuring different Samsung phone features such as Samsung Wallet, Quick Share and Nightography. Furthermore, The Trade Desk platform provided consumers insights from time of day and day of week with the highest traffic which helped Samsung to validate their hypothesis on their consumers’ behavior.

Leveraging the Hivestack SSP, creatives were served at the best possible times when there was a high concentration of target audiences in close proximity to the DOOH screen. Real-time targeting was also activated in terms of dayparting, where Nightography ads were run at night (6pm – 6am), while other ads were run in the day (6am – 6pm).

“We aimed to test and harness the technology capabilities of programmatic DOOH to deliver a high impact product launch. Key audience segments were targeted with The Trade Desk’s DSP and through Hivestack’s SSP, it  enabled us to differentiate our day and night creatives. By increasing contextual relevance with dynamic ads, the campaign results were incredible. Flexibility, dynamic and measurable – 3 benefits how brands can get ahead and gain a competitive edge with programmatic DOOH!”

  • Agnes Wong, Head of Media and Digital Marketing at Samsung Electronics

5. Measurement and attribution

Measuring the effectiveness of a DOOH campaign is critical and programmatic DOOH provides valuable tools for this purpose. Brand lift studies can assess awareness and brand recall by surveying exposed and unexposed audiences, providing valuable insights into the campaign’s impact. Custom awareness dashboards offer a concise infographic report of the results against key KPIs like brand awareness, brand lift, brand opinion and consideration.

Ready to supercharge your campaigns?

There’s still so much more to discover! For additional reading material including thought leadership pieces and inspiring success stories from around the globe, visit our website here.

Programmatic DOOH is an ever-evolving landscape of opportunities for marketers. Among them, dynamic creative optimisation and dynamic media optimisation stand out as remarkable avenues to explore.

This article was first published on MARKETING Weekender


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

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APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
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