2019 Will NOT Be the “Year of DOOH”—But You Can Still Use it in Your Marketing Now. Here’s How.

January 29, 2019 — by MediaMath    

We’re almost one full month into the new year, and I’m here to share my thoughts on something: This will NOT be the “Year of DOOH” (like the Years of Mobile, AI and Attribution before it). Yes, the global DOOH market is expected to be worth more than $5 billion by 2022. Yes, DOOH is increasingly going programmatic. As OAAA Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas points out, “In many ways, a screen is a screen, so DOOH fits into the programmatic ecosystem very well. This is an advantage for brands, because linking DOOH with online provides complete exposure within the consideration funnel.”

Yes, brands that start testing DOOH programmatically on a multichannel platform see all their campaigns across all channels in one centralized location, and can leverage the insights from each channel to inform the other. Marketers using DOOH for brand awareness can enlist mobile location partners to pass back mobile device IDs to inform which user to then retarget after seeing their OOH ad.

So, while programmatic DOOH is building scale and functionality, and the industry as a whole is pushing for standards and technical specs, the “new” medium is still very young. But just like a toddling infant, DOOH is finding its footing as the best alternative to reaching audiences without infringing on customer privacy. And while I don’t think DOOH will be the big trend of 2019, there should be nothing stopping marketers from testing and incorporating this medium into their multichannel campaigns.

How to get started

There are three things to consider when getting started with DOOH.

  1. Understand what can be done today: DOOH is different than other digital media in three ways. First, it’s a one-to-many medium, so one DOOH ad will most likely be shown to many people. Second, there’s lack of attribution tied to users who saw the DOOH ad because DOOH runs on non-personal devices—and, therefore, is not linked to a cookie or device ID. Third, as mentioned above, while the IAB, DPAA, OAAA and other trade groups are working on standards for DOOH, the current state of the medium lacks standardization in creative size and length, operational setup, reliance on real-time bidding or caching and more. This should not be a deterrent from trying DOOH—but you need to know what you’re getting (and getting into) upfront with the medium.
  2. Confirm you’re not already using it: Seems crazy you wouldn’t know if you’re running DOOH, right? But some supply partners and demand-side platforms will run DOOH as connected TV because the former runs through a TV or connected device. That’s not CTV because, remember, DOOH is not tied to a personal device or household. So, don’t be fooled!
  3. Check yourself (your creatives and deal types, that is): To really start using DOOH in your campaigns, you’ll need to confirm if you have DOOH creative or if you need to build custom creative. Because of the lack of standardization in the marketplace, each media owner runs DOOH differently and accepts different creative formats. Some media owners will run DOOH as static display banners, while some might need those static images formatted as a non-moving video VAST tag. Some media owners will help in reformatting existing creative for their screens.

It’s important to note that most DOOH campaigns run via private marketplace (PMP) deals instead of on the open auction to ensure approved creative is used and that not just any advertiser can run on a publisher’s screen. Creative must be vetted by each media owner to show adherence to municipal and government signage laws if in public places that not only vary by region and country, but also by specific towns and private venues and landlord regulations. Setup of DOOH campaigns varies by each media owner and SSP as well, so make sure to follow the correct process.

DOOH shouldn’t be daunting to execute with the right expectations, creatives and supply strategy. The right partners will also help you achieve success with the medium across your multichannel campaigns. Clients that partner with MediaMath can rest assured that we will meet their goals for reach and brand awareness while continuing to drive innovation and standards across the DOOH space in addition to other channels and technologies.