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What is digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and how your business can benefit from It?

Targeting is one of the biggest challenges for any marketer.

You’re usually faced with one of two choices: cast a wide net and simply target everyone, or be laser-focused and keep the pool of potential customers small. Neither of these solutions is perfect, meaning there’s always either wasted spend or wasted opportunity.

On top of that, audiences are almost trained to ignore advertising, especially online. That’s why you should consider blending the physical and the digital with digital-out-of-home advertising, or DOOH.

So, what’s it all about? And how could it help your business reach all-new audiences while also engaging existing ones?

Let’s find out.

What is digital-out-of-home (DOOH) advertising?

DOOH is actually an evolution of a form of advertising that’s been around for decades — and one that you’ve probably seen more times than you could count.

Take away the digital factor and you’re left with OOH, or out-of-home advertising, and it’s here that DOOH finds its roots. Traditional OOH advertising includes placements such as billboards, taxis, signs at bus stops, even the posters you see inside a train carriage.

So what makes DOOH different?

In practical terms, not much.

You’ll still see digital-out-of-home  advertising in those same locations, but with a key distinction: the delivery of the ad must be via some form of digital channel. 

The specifics can vary, but broadly speaking DOOH takes the form of digital signage — a media that’s much more dynamic, engaging and adaptable than its static older brother. Some DOOH also includes digital tech such as QR codes to extend the experience online.

Where does DOOH work best?

Just like other forms of advertising, DOOH is most effective when it’s strategically placed. But which physical locations work best for digital-out-of-home advertisers?

Well, that all depends on the advertiser, the message they want to send, and the audience they want to reach. And while all advertising channels try to get noticed by the right people, it’s here that DOOH really starts to shine.

Download our free ebook to learn how you can benefit from digital out-of-home advertising in your next marketing campaign.

As a digital medium, DOOH has the scope to be ultra targeted. Digital-out-of-home  campaigns can show one message in the morning, and another in the afternoon. And they can appear right when the target consumer is most likely to be around.

Sounds too good to be true, right? 

Here are a few real-world examples to prove that it’s not:

  • A gas pump ad powered by DOOH can be an excellent choice for an advertiser looking to target motorists. Between 7am-9am, you’ll get commuters, and during the day there’s a greater chance your audience drives for a living. Even better, because topping up your tank is usually a pretty boring task, this audience is far more likely to engage with the DOOH advertising.
  • Elevator ads are one of the best-kept secrets in the DOOH world. Why? Because audiences for elevators are so specific. It may sound odd to say that an elevator has an audience, but think about it: if it’s in an office building, you’ll know you can target professionals. Likewise, if an elevator is in a shopping mall, you’ll know which shops are nearby and thus which audience is more likely to use them. That’s the smart way to segment!

Those are just two examples, but big brands are leveraging the power of DOOH, too.

Take Puma, for example. At their flagship store in New York City, the sports brand designed a DOOH installation which actually changed, minute by minute, throughout the day. This meant they were able to target highly specific and time-sensitive messaging to their audience all day long. 

The best part? It resulted in a 136% increase in foot traffic.

The key benefits of digital-out-of-home advertising

So, DOOH sounds pretty promising. But you might still be wondering why an advertiser would choose DOOH, when there are so many other channels available — PPC, social media, display ads, and so on.

Well, it’s precisely because of these channels that DOOH is so effective.

In real-world settings, like shopping malls, public transport, or even just walking down the street, people are often disengaged or even looking for something to focus on. This makes the audience much more likely to engage with advertising when they see it — especially digital signage, which is eye-catching by nature.

If you’ve ever sat on a bus or in a subway train — or even just ridden the elevator a few floors — you’ll know that you’re naturally drawn to the words and images around you. It’s here that DOOH advertising is absolutely perfect.

Beyond that, DOOH acts as the ideal antidote to a phenomenon called banner blindness

Online, consumers have essentially trained themselves to look past banner ads and other forms of online advertising. And when your target audience is actively ignoring your ads, ROI drops like a stone.

Digital-out-of-home  advertising effectively short circuits this process entirely, delivering your message to an engaged audience at a time when they’re most receptive to it.

How to make DOOH work for your business: 4 top tips

Now that you’re familiar with the intricacies — and benefits — of DOOH, how can you make it work for your business? 

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, DOOH opportunities await.

Here’s how to make the most of them:

  • Understand your audience. As we’ve seen, one of the biggest benefits of DOOH is that you can target an audience while also casting a wide net. Before beginning any DOOH campaign, you need to define who your audience is, how they spend their time, and how best to reach them.

  • Location, location, location. Once you know your audience, you have to find them — and message them in the right way. But if you’re able to pinpoint where your audience spends their time, you can use DOOH to reach them. It’s that simple.

  • Get creative with your campaigns. As we saw with our Puma example, DOOH gives you the opportunity to make a strong first impression — and drive results, too. Feel free to think outside the box, make use of physical (and digital) space, and create something truly memorable. And if something’s not working, it’s much easier to drop or rework a DOOH campaign than a billboard ad plastered across town.

  • Feeling stuck? Ask the experts. Here at Vertical Impression, we have a team dedicated to DOOH. We’re so dedicated, in fact, that we built our entire business around the concept. If you’re not yet sold on DOOH — or you need a little more guidance — then we can help.

Don’t forget, with many businesses focusing so heavily on the online space, there’s a world of DOOH opportunities just waiting to be utilized. If your digital campaigns aren’t hitting the mark, and your ROI is suffering as a result, it might be time to think outside the box. And you might want to begin with DOOH.  

Ready to unlock the marketing power of DOOH?

Here at Vertical Impression, we’ve built our business around taking yours to the next level. With our AI-powered elevator advertising platform, we’re changing the face of outdoor advertising for good.

We’ve really just scratched the surface of what’s possible with DOOH in this short guide. If you’d like to know even more about the power of DOOH, we’ve put together a free ebook packed with stats, case studies and ‘how to’s — everything you need to know digital OOH advertising. 

Start planning a smarter campaign today.