What is Programmatic OOH (pDOOH)?

published on 25 May 2022
A simple definition of programmatic out-of-home (pDOOH)
A simple definition of programmatic out-of-home (pDOOH)

If you do a Google search on “what is programmatic advertising“ you’ll see various definitions that include algorithms, optimization, machine learning, AI, delivering ads to the right person at the right place at the right time, and so on.

But one common theme will be automation

So we define programmatic (DOOH) advertising as automated ad buying & selling.

As simple as that. 

Ok but what does automated ad buying & selling mean?” will be discussed shortly.

Let’s first address some common questions & feedback we’ve been hearing frequently.

  • Isn’t pDOOH weather or traffic targeting?

A few years ago, most of the pDOOH campaigns were about using some external data points like weather or traffic conditions to change the content dynamically. A little self-advertising here; Airsqreen was one of the firsts who did similar campaigns with brands like Unilever (read the AdExchanger article here). 

Currently, pDOOH companies offer additional benefits, including audience targeting, automated buying, and campaign management.

  • Targeting a specific audience will not work in OOH, it's a one-to-many medium.

Indeed it’s getting more and more challenging to target a specific audience in the advertising industry. 

Ad blockers, regulations, soon-to-be-disappearing 3rd party cookies, data-related constraints introduced by Apple and Google on mobile devices, and some other dynamics make it hard even for a one-to-one medium like mobile advertising to deal with this problem.

In fact, Facebook just admitted this problem publicly saying they’d lose $10 billion in 2022 due to the new privacy features of iOS. 

Moreover, it’s a one-to-many medium, and the data points are mostly not real-time (soon we’ll release a white-paper discussing data in DOOH, we strongly recommend reading that). 

So we agree that audience targeting may not be very effective for DOOH, but we also recommend trying different vendors who offer audience targeting features and see if the results will be satisfactory.

  • It’s like real-time bidding to show ads on a digital billboard, isn’t it?

Not necessarily. We’ll discuss pDOOH buying/selling methods in a different blog post.

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  • We need to do some deep integrations so that we can sell our ad spaces on programmatic channels, right?

Not necessarily. Some technology companies (*cough* e.g. Airsqreen) made it very simple for a media owner to be in the programmatic space.

  • Do we have to learn all those deal IDs, DSPs, SSPs, etc. to go programmatic?

Knowing programmatic terms and actually operating these technologies would certainly help. 

On the other hand, we understand that it may be confusing for people who haven’t spent years in this area (and to be honest, even for some who have spent years in this area as well).

And the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to know what a term like deal-id is to do programmatic buying/selling. Ask your vendor how easy it is to operate their platform, see their demo, and most importantly; try it. 

So what does “automated ad buying/selling” mean?

It means leaving old-fashioned manual steps behind and starting to use technology to run advertising campaigns on DOOH screens.

A vast majority of the DOOH campaigns today are managed through emails, ad-verification is done via photos, and reporting is done via Excel/PDF files.

Using an advertising platform (like Airsqreen) to manage & track campaigns with real-time reports would do the trick and upgrade your existing business flows. 

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Let's improve DOOH advertising industry together, and make programmatic OOH (pDOOH) simple!
Let's improve DOOH advertising industry together, and make programmatic OOH (pDOOH) simple!

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