09/11/2018 - Blogs

Talon view on recent programmatic OOH announcements

It is unsurprising that businesses within the online advertising sector are exploring “programmatic OOH buying”. The ever-increasing scale and quality of OOH inventory in the UK creates opportunities for advertisers to address some of the challenges and shortcomings they face as a result of their online-first media strategies. Digital OOH enables them to deploy contextually and locally relevant, dynamic and even video creative strategies whilst capitalising the channel’s capabilities to deliver unmissable and memorable brand advertising messages.

It’s also natural that OOH businesses explore how best to make the medium more accessible and appealing to new users. Today, the focus is on the programmatic market because some believe that making digital OOH fit into online advertising structures will open the floodgates to new revenues.

The reality, of course, is that it’s not that simple.

Today’s programmatic OOH capabilities, enabled by demand side platforms with a level of integration with inventory suppliers, remain extremely nascent. Today they represent a solution looking for a problem. We believe they require more development before they become a genuinely appealing option for OOH advertisers, who currently enjoy a level of access, control and expertise that programmatic simply doesn’t offer right now.

The so far unanswered question is whether or not these capabilities can provide any real benefits to advertisers.

The article speaks about a “new method of planning and buying outdoor media” and tactical adjustments to media buying based on in-campaign results, aiming to provide a more cost-effective approach to joining up online and offline advertising initiatives. Unfortunately, it offers little insight into the actual effectiveness or cost-efficiency gains that this new method has delivered in this campaign.

This article is one of many which claim to have delivered “the first OOH campaign bought in real time” and to “break new ground in the UK”. Sadly such unproven and often overstated claims misrepresent the reality of market conditions and ignore the need to offer evidence about the relative value of these capabilities vs traditional OOH.

Talon’s philosophy is to fully support and promote an open market that will grow OOH and create value for advertisers. We have taken a lead in this space, by proactively testing the technical capabilities and evaluating the effectiveness of new data-driven targeting and campaign measurement techniques. We see a future in which mature and scalable versions of these technologies can create value for advertisers if deployed within the context of existing OOH advertising initiatives. As well as testing, Talon is also designing operational solutions to manage future programmatic OOH alongside existing OOH buying.