The MadTech Sketch: Uber’s DOOH opportunity

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In this new series from ExchangeWire, Ciarán O’Kane explores a pressing industry issue and sketches out a potential solution. This week, he takes a look at the opportunity for Uber’s DOOH offering, and what their ad tech stack could look like.

Uber have grand ambitions to build a significant ad business. They are reportedly doing over USD$100m in ad revenue, but have grand plans to hit USD$1bn by 2024. 

These lofty advertising ambitions are outlined in their February Investor Day presentation (127- 138).

Uber’s (optimistic) reasoning for this huge growth rests on the incredible first-party data they have on their 118 million active monthly users. They know the travel habits of their users, offering a unique data point to ad buyers. While there is clearly significant growth in mobile ads, the likely sweet spot for Uber could be in DOOH.

DOOH has been pushing a data-driven narrative for some time – but it is still built predominantly around probabilistic data. Uber could power their DOOH walled garden with incredibly granular user segments. 

Currently, they are targeting CPGs and restaurant brands (as per the Investor Day report). But Uber think there are huge applications for other types of advertisers (travel, finance, retail, and entertainment).

The real opportunity for Uber could well be the local market, matching SME buyer demand to real time intent and location. DOOH have struggled to broaden the channel’s appeal to the mid-to-long tail market. Uber’s real-time location data could easily change that.

This could be the big opportunity for Uber as buyers are increasingly looking to move spend away from expensive walled gardens like Google and Facebook. 

Uber will need an ad stack for their DOOH walled garden though. In my first MadTech Sketch, I outline the key components of this Uber DOOH platform. The question is will Uber partner, buy or build the stack itself?

What do you think of this solution? Where do the greatest adtech opportunities lie for Uber? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn.