In a Fragmented Media World, Digital OOH is Bridging the Gap in Brand-Building Advertising

In association with Broadsign

Ahead of ATS Madrid 2022, Guillermo Garcia, Account Executive EMEA at Broadsign, explains how advertisers can leverage digital out-of-home (DOOH) to combat fragmentation and reach audiences with unified campaigns. 

Reaching audiences en masse has become increasingly difficult in today’s highly-fragmented media landscape. With audiences spread across channels like digital, audio, and Connected TV, brands are fighting to capture attention with relevant messaging that consumers will absorb. This fragmentation is causing many advertisers to allocate large amounts of media spend on channels that offer ‘quick wins’ or easy customer acquisition, like online or mobile advertising.

The problem is that these channels are highly addressable in the sense that they are one-to-one mediums. With online advertising, for example, brands can only target one viewer at a time, making it difficult to build brand awareness when they have to pay for each individual impression. Pandemic shutdowns have caused brands to allocate even more of their media dollars towards reaching consumers inside their homes over the past few years. As markets slowly begin to recover, however, brands once again have the opportunity to reach large audiences in the real world - and many are turning to digital out-of-home (DOOH) to boost awareness, consideration, and purchase intent. 


The problem with online advertising

Today, digital advertising accounts for nearly half of all advertising budgets. As many marketers know, the online world is already extremely crowded and competitive, and consumers are less likely to remain loyal to a brand these days. Direct response and performance marketing are allowing for the quick acquisition of customers, with brands oftentimes using the medium to capture the ‘low-hanging fruit’, or customers that can be easily won. This gets more challenging as competition between brands increases and all the quick-win customers have been acquired.

Competition isn’t the only thing making it difficult for brands to successfully reach audiences via online channels - getting them to pay attention to ads is an issue that many are facing. Audiences are more annoyed with online ads than ever before, with many finding them intrusive and irrelevant. According to a survey conducted by the OAAA and Harris Poll Insights, 8/10 Americans say they’re annoyed with ads that interrupt their browsing or viewing experiences. On top of that, 42.7% of internet users worldwide use ad-blocking tools at least once a month (source: Hootsuite). 

There are also internet safety and privacy concerns surrounding online advertising. Data tracking and usage regulations coupled with the looming exit of third-party cookies means brands have less information about their audiences, making it difficult to target them with relevant information. 


Brand-building advertising is making a comeback

Guillermo Garcia, Account Executive EMEA, Broadsign

Brand-building capabilities have long been a key strength of DOOH, and the channel is becoming more widely used by advertisers looking to boost awareness and engagement. Especially in today’s landscape, creating a positive and trustworthy brand image can’t be ignored. Many marketers are now shifting ad spend back towards brand-building, utilising DOOH to deliver mass reach while proving that they understand how their audiences move about their lives.

Brands are turning to DOOH to bridge the gap between digital and real-world advertising by extending the reach of omnichannel campaigns along the entire consumer journey. A change from oversaturated online advertising, the channel is helping build back confidence between brands and audiences by displaying consistent messaging across locations that consumers frequent - and it's working. OOH drives more online activity per dollar spent than TV, radio, print, and banner ads (source: OAAA). 

When integrated into an omnichannel media strategy, delivering DOOH ads to a broader audience also helps drive new customers into the funnel. In fact, OOH increases the ROI of search by 40% when added to a media plan. A brand can display DOOH ads in a high-dwell time location like a train station, and then use geo-fencing to retarget viewers with mobile ads later on, creating a seamless message. This type of sequential targeting is proving to be effective in getting audiences to take action. According to a 2020 Nielsen Research report, 54% of viewers with smartphones have engaged in actions on their mobile device after seeing a digital billboard.


Contextual targeting boosts brand impact

As a highly-contextual medium, DOOH allows brands to target audiences with messaging that’s relevant to factors like screen location, time of day, or audience personas. And contextual targeting will be even more important to brands as we move into a cookieless world where they’ll lose a majority of their third-party data. Let’s take an example of a brand that sells workout gear. Running ads in gyms or sports facilities would be a great way to reach people who care about health and fitness. Similarly, a brand promoting energy drinks could benefit from placing ads across university campuses during exam season. 

Aside from contextual advertising based on location, there are other factors that advertisers can work into their messaging to display the most relevant ads. Time of day or weather conditions are perfect examples of this. Running ads for flights to a tropical destination can be particularly impactful during a snowstorm. 

With advancements in the programmatic DOOH world, it’s now possible to layer all kinds of these data triggers to quickly adapt campaigns based on changing contexts. This kind of relevant messaging is more likely to stick with consumers, driving awareness and even purchase intent as information strikes a chord with them. Additionally, these campaigns can be planned, executed, and measured in a far more efficient and flexible manner, all thanks to programmatic technology. PDOOH makes it more accessible and cost-effective for brands to reach wider audiences without having to pay for individual impressions, a major benefit when it comes to boosting brand awareness. The ability to evaluate campaign performance in real-time enable advertisers to adapt their campaigns on the fly, ensuring that messaging is always as relevant, contextual, and accurate as possible.


Final thoughts

Despite some setbacks caused by the pandemic, DOOH isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As long as the population keeps growing, DOOH will always have an audience. And of course, creative advertising has the upper hand when it comes to brand-building. When we share or talk about the ads that we’ve found the most impactful, they’re almost always brand-awareness ads displayed via splashy OOH or DOOH screens. Brands have the opportunity to leverage the fact that people are paying more attention to what’s going on around them by running ads that boost engagement and excite audiences. After all, DOOH done right will always get people talking about brands. 

ATS Madrid 2022 will take place on 11th May at Teatro Amaya. Tickets and further details are available via the ATS Madrid 2022 events hub.