Jack Sullivan On Display: Factoring in the “WHERE” in Programmatic Buying

While I understand the programmatic buying process and do believe it will bring in additional revenue to the OOH industry, we should demand that programmatic developers insert the element of “where” in their models. Currently, programmatic buys are made without consideration of how content can be more effective when placed in a certain market, city or even specific cross street. Including the “where” variable into programmatic equations opens doors to be included and chosen more often as a media in digital buys.

Where a message is displayed, received and retained is a unique strength of OOH and is important to reaching consumers who are in buying-mode. Let’s not have programmatic developers diminish this key factor. Context cannot be eliminated as an important element to help consumers make decisions and to make purchases.

Within the existing programmatic math model, choosing OOH as a media choice is lessened when our strength is not factored into the equation. A popular product viewed at the point of purchase, a billboard viewed at an exit away from a popular fast food restaurant or a soft drink ad triggered to run on a display when the temperature is above 80 are all more effective and engaging campaigns than pushing passive advertising to devices where people are not able to act.

Our industry has to be a part of the math model formulation and insist that the “where” variable be included into the programmatic equation. Doing so will tweak a favorable decision to include OOH inside the digital vertical. If included, then media buyers will be making better decisions for their client, thus taking money out of other media and steering it toward OOH. We shouldn’t assume the current model makes the best placement designed for the biggest return for brands. We need to lift the hood to take a peak at the model formula and have our industry leaders insist on including the “where” variable. Doing so will only give advertisers and media buyers all the data to make the best decisions to engage the ever-elusive consumer.