The next chapter of OOH: audience-based buying (Part 1 of 3)

Published: March 6, 2019

There is a massive groundswell that is building in the world of out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Game-changing technology is rolling out in big waves that not only stand to bring about significant new sources of revenue, but also fundamentally change the way OOH ads are bought and sold. For the first time ever, OOH will be able to compete with search, social and display advertising because of new technology that leverages mobile phone location data.

We've already seen the power of mobile location data:

  • Uber. Wouldn't exist without it.
  • Foursquare. For nothing without its location services.
  • Waze. A waste without mobile location data.

Before delving into the new ways mobile location data sets are being used in OOH advertising, it's worth pointing out that the essence of the mobile data value proposition for advertising is relevancy. It was once said, "If content is king, context is queen." Mobile location data provides advertisers with unprecedented context for their out-of-home campaigns.

The baseline need that many advertisers have fallen in love with -- the idea of reaching optimal audiences -- is generating $100+ billion per year of digital ad revenue in the U.S. When you bid on search engine keywords on Google, or when you purchase display ads on Amazon, you have confidence that your ad will be placed in front of relevant audiences. After all, they just searched for your term(s) or product, so you're capitalizing on their intent. When you launch a social media campaign on Facebook, you start by defining who you want to reach (and where). The trillions of Facebook user likes and sign-ins produce rich audience data sets that are made readily available to millions of advertisers of all sizes and types.

Let's face it. Up until now, OOH advertising has had a very hard time competing in the arena of audience-based buying. Yes, you can choose OOH locations that are within a certain proximity to your place of business(es), but for so many advertisers, that isn't enough.

Mobile data is converging the world of digital online media with OOH media. The ~$8 billion annual U.S. OOH industry is poised for hypergrowth. Mobile data is the rocket fuel.

Adomni's big idea in 2015 was, "If you make it easier to buy, more advertisers will buy." We sought to apply familiar web technology to shift an offline OOH buying process to online.

The even bigger idea in 2018 was, "If OOH could be bought and sold with audience-based targeting, performance marketers could bring many of the same tactics and KPIs to OOH that have become the norm in online/digital media." In other words, create all new streams of buyers.

And so, last year, our journey of a thousand miles began with one step to find the right mobile location data partner. Step two immediately followed, designing the best user interface for buyers to do their audience selections for OOH advertising.

We are calling the next generation of our demand-side buying platform Adomni 2.0, an audience-enabled, online, self-service platform that makes audiences addressable on real-world digital screens, facilitating the optimal mix of context and location for ads. By teaming up with the leading audience intelligence company, PlaceIQ, we are paving new lanes on the digital highway. The somewhat new, somewhat old way that we're going to market with audience data will boil down to one thing: marketing results.

Rather than write this as a single long-form piece, we decided to break it up into three parts. Next up, Adomni's Vice President of Engineering, Nicholas Babb, will shed some light on "how" audience-based buying is made possible. The science that underpins it all. And in our third installment, our Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Larry Grella, will describe the Adomni 2.0 interface and how OOH ads will be bought as easily as your search or social ads, with robust reporting and analytics to boot.

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