Programmatic DOOH will shake off its nascent label in 2024

Programmatic DOOH will shake off its nascent label in 2024
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The benefits of programmatic digital out-of-home are ripe for the taking for those with the right strategy.

Our world continues to transform around us, from the ripple effects of economic pressures to changing consumer behaviours and technological shifts.

For marketers, this prolonged phase of change can be challenging, however, we are better equipped than ever to deliver positive change through technology, creativity, and an ever-growing pool of privacy-compliant data.

One of the biggest areas of growth for us in 2023 has been programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) where we saw revenues, at a global level, up 63% year on year in H1. Informed by data and insights from JCDecaux UK and our partners, here are my predictions for the channel in 2024.

Iterative planning

In 2023, we saw the highest number of new brands trying pDOOH for the first time since the launch of the channel in 2019 as well as a high percentage of repeat business.

In other words, pDOOH is becoming more prominent in brands’ media mixes and shaking off its nascent label. This will show in how campaigns are planned, activated, measured, and optimised — there will be fewer standalone ‘test and learn’ scenarios where pDOOH is trialled somewhat in isolation and more iterative planning based on previous campaign performance — a more thoughtful, considered, strategic approach you could say.

Our research The Time is Now revealed that when measuring pDOOH campaigns marketers are ‘always’ or ‘usually’ using 13 metrics spanning the entire marketing funnel. While a broad approach to measurement enables marketers to gain a thorough understanding of how campaigns move the needle, when measurement is this disparate it becomes irrelevant.

Additionally, to be meaningful, measurement needs to be consistent across all channels. This can be challenging, especially when working with online and offline channels.

When thinking about iterative planning, it’s important to remember that OOH in all its forms is a powerful brand-building channel. As measurement strategies evolve in 2024, we will see buyers move away from focussing on lower funnel outcomes more suited to online display, video, and mobile campaigns i.e. actions that rely on clicks, and instead adopt a cohesive measurement strategy that looks at overall business outcomes and how they vary according to which channels are used and when.


New research-led creative best practices for DOOH emerged in 2023 which will play out in 2024 in the form of creatives where logos, products, people, and calls to action are more strategically placed and sized to maximise attention.

In pDOOH, we will see more creatives that more closely mirror DOOH best practices as opposed to like-for-like creatives from online channels. This will be combined with well-established programmatic creative optimisation strategies leveraging data-driven triggers to enhance contextual relevance.

One of the benefits of OOH — no matter how it’s bought — is that it has a positive effect on how consumers perceive online advertising; known as ‘priming’.

To maximise this effect, as well as attention, online and offline creative should complement each other. Fluent devices — memorable slogans, characters, or concepts that elicit a positive emotional response — are a great way to achieve consistency across all channels. Our research shows that using a fluent device makes your creative one third more effective.

Because of the advanced targeting and optimisation capabilities pDOOH offers, marketers can reap the benefits of fluent devices and employ additional data-driven creative strategies. For example, changing products shown based on time of day, day of week, or local popularity.

Single point of truth

Playout 2023 — an industry-wide tool that securely houses out-of-home media owner playout data, centralising the data for buyers to access in one place — will help drive adoption of pDOOH and create a more fluid movement of inventory and increased opportunity to overlay data to inform purchase and sale decisions.

Playout will remove one of the major barriers to entry for digital buyers giving them verification that measures up to well-established standards in other digital channels.

With this obstacle removed, measurement will evolve further with buyers better able to tie business outcomes to impressions within their DSP across all channels. This will enable buyers to better quantify the impact that each channel has on others and better optimise across the media mix as a whole, now with pDOOH measurable in line with DOOH and programmatic expectations (with the exception of clicks, of course!).

Getting ahead of the curve

With technological advancements making pDOOH increasingly accessible and data-driven strategies driving better targeting and more relevant creative it’s an incredibly exciting time for both digital and traditional marketers.

The opportunities in pDOOH are almost endless, whether it’s combined with a digital-first strategy and used to amplify the effects of performance-led channels, or used tactically to increase the reach of DOOH, OOH, or other broadcast channels.

The benefits are there for the taking for those that can adopt an iterative approach with innovative creative with measurement at the heart of the planning and optimisation processes.

Mark Bucknell is chief commercial officer at JCDecaux UK.

Adwanted UK is the trusted delivery partner for three essential services which deliver accountability, standardisation, and audience data for the out-of-home industry. Playout is Outsmart’s new system to centralise and standardise playout reporting data across all outdoor media owners in the UK. SPACE is the industry’s comprehensive inventory database delivered through a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution which delivers the ooh industry’s audience data quickly and simply into clients’ systems. Contact us for more information on SPACE, J-ET, Audiotrack or our data engines.

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