Triggered: The future of programmatic DOOH

26 April 2022
Michael Wretham

Michael Wretham, Head of Integrated Planning at independent media agency Match & Wood

Trigger marketing isn’t a new principle; it’s been long held practice within the CRM and marketing automation realm and is based on the proviso that certain business or consumer actions launch marketing initiatives, usually social advertising, display banners or email. These channels are easily activated through the use of data and technology, enabling one to one communication by brands following customers through a conversion funnel neatly.

In the not too distant future, this below the line tactic will surface in physical advertising environments as advertisers and agencies prepare for a trigger-based future through building robust data sets, sales and audience connectivity. Whilst we’ve already powered up and commenced gathering as much data as possible to fuel our digital marketing, programmatic DOOH (pDOOH) represents an opportunity to start trigger marketing in the physical world.

Picture this - an FMCG brand has variable sales for each of its SKUs by region. This brand has noticed their closest competitor has greater penetration in key regions, driven by a particular socio economic profile. A connected ecosystem of sales data and creative templates activates across their DSP ecosystem, with an architecture mapped to regions, store locations and audiences. As penetration drops below an acceptable tolerance in several regions, panels are activated in key regions featuring the relevant SKU and budgets are elevated to drive sales in these regions.

This level of connectivity is more than possible in the now, and in the future the most prepared advertisers are building data stack and data feeds whilst embarking on activating outdoor programmatically at various stages.

There are three key principles to consider in regards to trigger pDOOH: Data, Creative and Activation.

Data: CRM, Sales and Competitive
Connectivity is key in building a foundation for trigger marketing – and the more up to date the data is, the more likely automation is possible for key decisions. Housing the data in a central repository allows modelling outcomes, greater levels of reporting and understanding, together with the ability to understand relationships between data sets.

With a robust data set housed, sorted and understood; outbound feeds make it possible to use this data for decisions with third parties. As above, the possibilities are endless with custom ratios and metrics able to feed decisions – on the simple end through rich dashboards, and on the complex end by turning things on/off based on these data feeds.

Creative: Dynamic Creative Templates and Decisioning
Dynamic creative unleashes the true potential of pDOOH, enabling it to truly embrace trigger marketing. As a receptacle for data feeds and components, dynamic creative enables us to tailor messages to suit the needs of the business and to the needs of the placement.

With hundreds of messaging variations ready and waiting for the right combination of data points, dynamic creative truly brings pDOOH closer to hyper-relevant one to one communications at scale.

Activation: Programmatic Outdoor Trading
Activation has been the focus for many when discussing the pDOOH ecosystem, as the greatest focus has been placed on the new way to transact, rather than the power this new way of transacting provides advertisers. Currently only 34% of agencies use pDOOH regularly and only 12% consider it a significant part of their activity (IAB Australia 2021) – representing a channel still truly in its infancy.

At its core, we’re able to buy panels by rotation to suit the needs of a business – by individual play. Whilst at a more advanced level we can use third party data sets (such as Lifesite, BOM or even the crypto market) to buy panels based upon dynamic conditions. Barriers have been posed, often as resistance to change or resistance to alternate metrics of transaction. But if we look ahead, the opportunities for marketers far outweigh these barriers.

Connecting data directly to pDOOH DSPs to enable/disable buying decisions will intime enable us to truly manipulate communications to suit the live needs of advertisers, especially when paired with a rich dynamic creative strategy.

At the moment we sit somewhere between outdoor panels traded as we need them (rather than restricted by their contract methods), through to a total ‘minority report’ style of personalised ads delivered via augmented billboards. Whilst technology continues to build, marketers who get their data and activation in order are the likely winners in the next three years.


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