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May 12, 2023

The booming popularity of DOOH (digital out-of-home)

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

While most people are used to seeing ads throughout our day on transit, in airports, and on billboards – it’s now commonplace to see digital signs in their place. Imagine Times Square – towers of digital signs that capture the imagination (and attention) of millions of passersby; it’s a prime example of digital out-of-home (DOOH); and right now this kind of advertising is booming. 

While DOOH (Digital Out-of-Home) faded into obscurity a little throughout lockdowns and limited movement, it is back and growing faster than ever. That said, many marketers and media buyers are still hesitant to invest performance budgets into an advertising channel that has typically only been successful for awareness. But, that will change – just as technology has. 

As technology evolves, DOOH continues to gain new capabilities and move beyond a tool for building brand awareness – it is gaining critical programmatic capabilities thanks to new AI and analytic tools. This is undoubtedly adding to the boom of DOOH and will continue to do so as this technology improves over the next few years. 


Measuring digital out-of-home

Measurement is crucial when ad spend is on the line, so it’s understandable that marketers previously have avoided putting large, programmatic investments into a new technology with limited measurement capabilities. But that’s changing. 

With mobile technology, DOOH can now be measured with precise location data, including foot traffic measurements and in-person store visits. This makes digital signage a much more dynamic medium than it was previously – and with digital screens companies can display a wide range of programmatic material, not just animated brand awareness campaigns. 

Dynamic DOOH advertising has the ability to turn every billboard, every sign, every screen into an impactful ad. These ads now also have “3A” capability. They can be addressable, accountable, and attributable, so that marketers can know their impact and adjust their strategy – putting their programmatic dollars to good use. 


Automation and programmatic DOOH

While automation for DOOH has historically been absent, it’s now a growing market. Programmatic DOOH is growing, letting advertisers buy DOOH space automatically based on chosen conditions. This makes creating an impactful DOOH journey easy and effective. While the growth of this market has been slow (in part due to lack of movement during the pandemic and in part due to lack of inventory) it is now growing rapidly. Inventory is growing and people are returning to pre-pandemic levels of mobility.

It has also been historically difficult to compare DOOH with other channels, but more and more platforms are allowing for easy, cross-channel planning, buying, and reporting – including in the DOOH space – reducing friction and making it easier to enter this booming channel. 

Digital Out-of-Home technology continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. By investing the time in it today, savvy marketers can establish themselves as DOOH experts. This new(ish) frontier is an opportunity to stand out and make a splash. It’s a chance for marketers to get and stay at the front of the pack – miles ahead of the competition. 


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