It’s tempting to dismiss DOOH (digital out of home) advertising as a luxury only bigger brands can afford. Whilst that might have been true once, increased availability, reduced costs and an increasingly crowded online market are now drawing smaller businesses towards digital display advertising.

Businesses are fast waking up to the possibilities DOOH offers, resulting in an upwards trend that’s predicted to continue throughout the first half of the decade.

Valued at US $41.06bn in 2020, the DOOH advertising market is set to grow significantly to $50.42bn by 2026.

What’s fuelling this growth and why does this make DOOH an attractive prospect for smaller businesses?

Below, we explore what constitutes DOOH, how media opportunities are expanding and the visibility benefits and engagement benefits it offers.

What Does DOOH Stand For?

DOOH stands for digital out of home advertising.

Out of home advertising covers all media that targets consumers in public places – including printed ads on city billboards, trains, bus shelters, stations and anywhere else that isn’t the consumer’s private space.

Digital out of home advertising is simply the digitised version of these ads. So, rather than having a static poster on a billboard, you have a digital screen display which shows eye-catching and engaging advertising content, often on a loop of different ads.

What Is Programmatic DOOH?

One aspect that puts smaller businesses off using DOOH is the perceived cost (more on that below).

Another is the perceived time cost – with lots of human intermediaries and slow, manual insertion processes, traditional OOH buying hasn’t been appealing to companies with low headcounts and plenty of other priorities to juggle.

Programmatic DOOH (or pDOOH) completely automates the buying, selling and delivery of DOOH – similar to how online ad content is bought and sold.

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DOOH Opportunities Are Increasing

One simple reason smaller businesses should consider DOOH is that there’s more digital media space available now than ever before.

No longer the preserve of big city centres, digital billboard space is now found in smaller towns, as well as bus shelters and train carriages up and down the country. This means two things for small businesses considering DOOH:

  • Prices have dropped thanks to increased availability, making DOOH significantly more accessible to smaller brands with smaller budgets
  • Smaller local brands can make themselves more visible in prominent local spaces – for local businesses like estate agents, restaurants, law firms and independent retail outlets, this can be a huge opportunity to engage with likely-to-buy audiences

Lower barriers to entry have opened up the field for a wider range of businesses to take advantage of DOOH – particularly smaller local businesses for whom visibility in prominent local areas is crucial.

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Digital Out of Home Advertising Provides Better Visibility

It’s increasingly hard to stand out online.

As well as a whole new demographic of businesses competing for attention and ad space thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, advertisers also have to deal with ‘screen fatigue’ as a result of work-from-home initiatives.

According to recent research by The Harris Poll, digital burnout is affecting a significant portion of the population, with 68% of consumers agreeing that they spend too much time in front of a screen.

On the other hand, OOH advertising – and DOOH advertising in particular – is being noticed by consumers with a new fondness and appreciation for outdoor recreation. Consumers are noticing OOH ads 45% more than pre-pandemic levels according to The Harris Poll’s research.

Infographic of benefits of DOOH engaging customers

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Digital Out of Home Advertising Reaches People When They’re Most Open

Web-based advertising is often seen as an intrusion. This has been a particular issue over the last year, where lives have been lived online. Online ads become something to skip past as soon as possible – or in some cases remove entirely with an ad-blocker.

By contrast, DOOH is visible to significant volumes of people and can’t be skipped past, tuned out, or blocked – so you know you’re not wasting budget on ads that no one sees.

DOOH campaigns can engage consumers while they are essentially killing time – whilst travelling, for example. Using DOOH to grab their attention with games, competitions or engaging information can be a great tactic to fill that void and build brand awareness.

Could Programmatic DOOH Be the Way Forward for Your Business?

At The Neuron, we make buying ad space on digital signage easier than ever before. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to build your campaign around accurate geo-behavioural data, execute across a range of outdoor displays and analyse campaign data to optimise your efforts.

If you’re thinking of adding DOOH ads to your digital advertising strategy, get in touch today to see what we can offer.

How to Create a Successful DOOH Advertising Campaign