In a world that appears to be increasingly driven by online consumer spending, many are looking at the benefits of digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH). 

In 2020, US consumers spent over $860 billion on online shopping, up a staggering 44% year-over-year and the highest growth in US ecommerce over the last two decades. 

Experts have highlighted COVID-19 as the reason for this exponential growth, as more shoppers and merchants moved online to comply with pandemic rules and regulations. 

As such, the commensurate growth in US online advertising revenue also comes as no surprise. 

Merchants spent $139.8 billion in online advertising in 2020 compared to $124.6 billion in 2019, representing 12.2% growth. Online advertising (including mobile) has grown rapidly over the last few years. The emergence of new formats and digital channels such as podcasts, OTT and virtual (and augmented) reality – then the pandemic – have all contributed to this accelerated growth.

graph showing rapid growth of DOOH advertising in US (2000-2020)(Image source: Statista.com)

Against this background, as a marketer, advertiser or small business, you can begin to see why digital OOH advertising holds enormous value when considering your marketing strategy and advertising channels. 

While the pandemic prevented people from venturing out of their homes and has made shoppers more self-aware of their personal space, emerging research shows that digital out-of-home advertising is here to stay. 

Consider the following statistics and studies:

  • According to the most recent (pre-COVID) time-use survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends more than a third of their day outside the home. This is an excellent opportunity for digital OOH.
  • A 2021 Pew Research Center survey revealed that 7% of American adults, about 23 million people, do not use the internet at all. 
  • The State of Consumer Behavior 2021 report also found that many consumers still prefer to shop in person and interact directly with products. Shoppers are eager to venture out again. Online shopping may be convenient, but people still want the experiential aspect of going out – and it must be noted that, even amidst a global pandemic, in 2020, ecommerce sales accounted for less than one-fifth (18%) of all retail sales worldwide.  

Below, we look at six benefits of digital out-of-home advertising and why you should consider this channel as part of your advertising mix.

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1. DOOH Advertising Has Wide Reach

With the decline of traditional media and online audience fragmentation, it can be tough reaching a large audience. Digital out-of-home advertising is one of the few ways to overcome this challenge, given that most US consumers spend a large amount of their time away from home. 

2. DOOH Advertising Is Powerful

Unlike online ads, you can’t place an ad blocker on digital out-of-home advertising, turn it off, or change channels. Online ads have increasingly become more intrusive and annoying. As a result, North America has a high usage of ad blockers across all age groups, according to figures cited in the Search Engine Journal

US ad blocking, by demographic/ 2019/2021 graph(Image source: searchenginejournal.com)

The report also notes that many people are online every day searching for ad blocker software, indicating that usage is likely to increase over time. DOOH advertising is a great way to reach people who are averse to online advertising.

Ad blocking searches worlwide per 1000k users(Image source: searchenginejournal.com)

3. DOOH Advertising Is Interactive

The very fact that DOOH ads are digital makes them eye-catching and interactive. Using technologies such as Quick Response (QR) codes and Near Field Communications (NFC), viewers can interact with ads using their smartphones. 

Advertisers can use these technologies to offer coupons, drive entries to a competition, provide free content, build a social media following and give directions to a local business.

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4. Digital OOH Advertising Complements Other Forms of Advertising

Conventional retail wisdom dictates that shoppers don’t follow one path to purchase. A customer’s journey can begin online but end in a store. Similarly, a shopper can see an advertisement while away from home and then buy online when they are back home. 

Adding digital OOH advertising to your channels increases the number of touchpoints that a potential customer can interact with and propel them further down the sales funnel. 

5. DOOH Advertising Is Cost-Effective

In comparison to other traditional outdoor advertising, digital out-of-home is more cost-effective. Several ads can rotate frequently on a single digital display – as opposed to the time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive practice of purchasing ad space on non-digital billboards and signage and equipping them with printed or painted content.

What’s more, with programmatic DOOH (pDOOH), a whole host of cost-effective benefits emerge. 

With pDOOH, the buying and selling of digital advertising is automated – saving marketers and SMBs huge amounts of time negotiating with sellers – and you only pay for ads when you know they will reach your target audience. 

This is achieved through the advanced technology of pDOOH platforms. 

Advertisers set conditions for their campaigns – such as a targeted city or area, demographics, weather conditions, places of interest, time of day, etc. – as well as a budget. 

The pDOOH platform identifies screens in targeted cities and at points of interest in the real world, bids for space on them, and automatically displays the right ads to the right audiences based on those preset conditions.  

Read more: Why Programmatic DOOH Is More Effective than DOOH for Buyers

6. Better Metrics than OOH

Programmatic DOOH also offers better metrics than traditional out-of-home advertising. 

For example, you are limited in the analytics you can get from a billboard campaign, which is largely predicated on an estimated headcount. 

With pDOOH, you can pay for impressions and get detailed real-time analytics of your advertising campaign. 

A New Way to DOOH Things

So, how do you get started with digital out-of-home advertising and reap these benefits? 

Booking the right ad space is both an art and a science. You need to get the location and targeting right to make the most out of your budget and maximize your ROI.

At The Neuron, we simplify buying ad space on digital signage. 

We power the programmatic DOOH advertising industry with location-based intelligence using a variety of different GDPR-compliant data feeds. 

Our platform is easy to use and you can build and execute your campaign across a range of outdoor displays, with access to premium inventory.  You can also access real-time metrics and reporting to optimize your marketing strategies.

The future is DOOH. 

If you’re considering adding DOOH ads to your digital advertising mix, contact us today to see what we can offer.

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