Digital out-of-home as a driver for sales and brand

Digital out-of-home as a driver for sales and brand

Hardly any other media category benefits as much from digitalisation as outdoor advertising. The reason for this is not only the expansion of digital steles in Germany, but also the fact that the increasing use of digital media means that more and more target group data and options are available for media planning.

Digital out-of-home enables advertising media to be displayed on digital screens in public spaces – both indoors and outdoors. In contrast to other digital channels, DOOH is a “one-to-many” medium, as the screens are usually placed in highly frequented locations and the messages displayed there therefore reach a large number of recipients.

But how can advertisers integrate digital out-of-home (DOOH) into their media planning? What characterises creative campaigns? And what opportunities does DOOH offer brand owners at the point of sale? Sebastian Westphal, Director Media Consulting at the JOM Group, Mike Klostermann, independent consultant for digital out-of-home, and Christian Raveaux, Head of Customer Insights & Media at the REWE Group, answered these and other questions at our JOM Impulse on 9 November 2023.

JOM IMPULSE in a Nutshell

Sebastian Westphal: How can brands integrate digital out-of-home into their media mix?
DOOH is currently on the road to success, as confirmed by the Nielsen advertising trend: this year alone, digital out-of-home advertising has increased its gross spend by 22 per cent. And not only is the number of digital steles increasing, new touchpoints such as doctors’ surgeries and fitness studios are also being tapped into for digital outdoor advertising.

The fact that digital outdoor advertising is so popular is also due to the versatility of the channel. This is because brand values can be built up and advertising memories created in the upper funnel and a sales impact can be achieved in the lower funnel. DOOH also has an enormous reach thanks to the large number of touchpoints. Even if urban regions have so far been better developed than rural regions, DOOH reaches almost 81 per cent of the population every week according to the IDOOH public/private screen study. Among 14 to 29-year-olds, the reach is as high as 91 per cent. This makes digital outdoor advertising an attractive way of compensating for the loss of reach of other media in this target group. The various touchpoints also offer advertisers the opportunity to address target groups in different situations without the need for targeting.

Moving images, animations, cinegrams and still images can all be used in the design of the advertising media. However, there may be restrictions in exceptional cases in order to avoid distraction in road traffic.

In principle, the lead times for DOOH are relatively short, both for booking and for delivery of the advertising material. This also means that it is possible to react quickly within a campaign if necessary. In addition, the advertising media can be played out dynamically so that the appropriate advertising media is played out depending on the trigger set. Another reason for the popularity of digital outdoor advertising is the ability to utilise budgets flexibly and implement campaigns even with smaller budgets.

Advertisers can book campaigns either by insertion order (IO) or programmatically. Fixed networks and time periods are usually booked via IO, in which limited targeting is possible, e.g. by day or region. Programmatic booking, on the other hand, enables detailed targeting with the help of first and third-party data, as purchases are contact-based here. With programmatic booking, targeting can also be set according to point of interest, trigger (e.g. weather) or target group. In addition, programmatic DOOH makes it possible to expand targeting across different channels and end devices so that media planners can build up contact route logics and track who has already been in contact with an outdoor advertising medium – in order to then target them again via mobile placements or channels such as ATV and CTV.

The positive development of digital out-of-home advertising will continue in the future, as DOOH is benefiting from the weakening mass media. TV is losing reach and viewing time, particularly among younger target groups, while digital out-of-home has proven reach potential in these target groups. However, DOOH can not only capitalise on TV budgets, but also on digital media: target group and environment planning is becoming increasingly important with the cookie phase-out. And while other media are continuously losing reach, the DOOH network continues to expand and opens up new, exciting touchpoints for advertisers.

Mike Klostermann: What should advertisers pay attention to when planning and implementing their campaigns?
As the space and touchpoints for digital outdoor advertising increase, so does the number of advertising spots. In order to effectively reach the desired target group with advertising messages via digital out-of-home, there are a few points that should be taken into account when planning, creating and analysing the impact of campaigns.

What to consider when planning DOOH campaigns:
Both the time period and the choice of locations are crucial. This requires a look at the target group in order to decide which screens to book and over what period of time the campaign should run.

Whether first, second or third party data – there are now a variety of sources to access data for media planning. Advertisers should use this for their campaigns in order to derive targets from it. This is because digital outdoor advertising offers a range of options for targeting and playing out campaigns based on geo, time or weather data as well as demographic and interest data.

Advertisers should also consider in advance how much money they want to invest and to what extent they want to book networks. Although DOOH campaigns can be realised with a small budget, the chance of achieving a significant result increases with the amount of money invested. This is because there are now a large number of digital screens and touchpoints in public spaces that can be used to generate enormous reach.

What to consider when creating:
When designing advertising material for DOOH, the principle of “keep it short and simple” applies. Advertisers should concentrate on the most important messages and only place a few words in large font on the creative.

If a product is the focus of the creative, it should be staged in the centre. For moving images, it is advisable not to play too many frames too quickly. And, of course, the advertising material should be designed in the brand’s corporate design in order to achieve a high recognition value.

The integration of dynamic and data-based elements also attracts attention. Targeting can also be linked to the creative. Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) can be used to play out different motifs in campaigns depending on specific data, e.g. weather data.

Check the impact of DOOH campaigns:
As a first step, advertisers should consider which goals they are pursuing and which KPIs should be the focus of the campaign in order to back these up with the right measurement method and be able to prove success.

This raises the question of how the effect can be verified. DOOH campaigns often focus on branding objectives. However, the impact of digital out-of-home advertising can also be proven using key performance indicators. In fact, branding and performance measurement methods can also be combined. For example, branding effects can be verified through market research or search queries for brands on Google. Performance indicators can be verified, for example, by analysing campaign-related website data or by placing QR or discount codes on advertising materials.

The effect of a campaign can be tracked even faster and in a more targeted manner if a regional focus is set, for example by analysing the increase in Google search queries or sales at the point of sale in certain regions.

Christian Raveaux: How can brands activate at the POS?
The point of sale is becoming increasingly important in addressing consumers. This is why, alongside digital outdoor advertising, retail media is also one of the winners when it comes to current advertising spend. This is because retail media generally relies on first-party data, which is becoming increasingly relevant in the post-cookie era. Many retailers have already recognised this potential and are expanding their range of digital screens in and in front of their stores. This gives brands the opportunity to target consumers exactly when they are most ready to buy. And with enormous reach, as many customers visit the stores at least once a week.

REWE has also recognised this opportunity and not only offers advertising space in the online shop, but has also driven forward the development of digital screens. There are now digital screens with targeting in the entrance area in 3,000 stores, which can be booked programmatically. The food retailer’s advertising inventory is not only available to listed brands, but also to other companies that have a general fit with the REWE target group. Depending on the phase in the product life cycle, advertisers can book the appropriate channel or channels for their campaigns. In the product launch phase, for example, it is conceivable to call for product tests via the digital screens in order to draw attention to new products.

The wealth of available shopper and behavioural data not only enables advertisers to address target groups without wastage and thus extend their media strategies to the point of sale, but also to supplement their traditional media KPIs with sales KPIs and shopper insights. The retailer’s sales data can then be used to prove how sales have developed over the course of the campaign, while the loyalty data provides information about who is behind the shoppers.

Advertisers should consider digital out-of-home for their media mix, as digital outdoor advertising not only has a wide reach, but also enables young and mobile target groups to be addressed. Although digital spaces have so far been more widespread in urban areas, the network is increasingly being expanded. Even if greater reach effects can only be achieved with a higher budget, DOOH campaigns are also possible with a smaller budget. If sufficient data is available, it can be used to derive various targeting options, which can then be used specifically to address the target groups, but can also be linked to the creatives. In addition, digital outdoor advertising not only contributes to branding goals, but also to performance goals, which can also be proven by measuring success.

The digital steles in and in front of many food retailers can also be booked for campaigns. The advantage of retail media is that it has a wealth of data that can be used for campaign planning or to provide information afterwards about how a campaign went and which customers bought the advertised products.