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 Programmatic's Next Great Opportunity

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​​​​​​Why Offline Media is Programmatic's Next Great Opportunity

James Price Mediapost Contributor

​​​Posted: June 17th 2016 By: James Price,​ Senior VP-Data Insights and Programmatic Product

​As seen in ​Mediapost

I remember when programmatic first stormed onto the scene, fundamentally changing the ad industry. For many, it felt as if programmatic just showed up one day, like some divine gift. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Programmatic’s​ creation went through waves, like a thunderstorm booming in the distance drawing closer. It rumbled in slowly, building intensity with more groups over time. I remember tense conversations between stakeholders, buyers, and sellers ​in which each party labored to find agreement on nearly every decision -- even the most basic questions, such as what constitutes buying an “impression” or a “click.” That early work paved the way for dedicated programmatic networks, then open networks, and finally the methods of discovery and execution that exist today. Programmatic forever altered the industry, bringing automation and scale never before realized. Now, though, that same programmatic storm is rumbling towards a new opportunity, its next wave: offline media. 


Programmatic Sets Its Sights to Offline

Until recently, programmatic was unable to enter the field of offline media and OOH (out-of-home advertising). There was no way to apply the basic functions of programmatic purchase and real-time bidding (RTB) to media outside the Internet. Simply put, offline media was not digital. Of course that has since changed. Thanks to the introduction and widespread adoption of digital billboards, programmatic is ready to make the jump. The time has never been better. Agencies and brands have naturally coalesced around programmatic in the years since its inception. For OOH and offline media to stay competitive, they must offer the same level of control and insight as their digital counterparts. 


Programmatic and OOH: A Match Made In Media Heaven 

First, recognize the benefits of programmatic and digital advertisements: specific audience targeting, using consumer data for better insight, tracking, measurement and optimization, the list goes on. Additionally, real-time bidding ensures efficient markets, delivering the right message to the right consumer. At the same time, aspects of OOH offer advertisers a leg up from online and traditional digital advertisements​. Offline media meets consumers in their real life, offering a context that is helpful rather than annoying. Brands can also take advantage of the outdoor priming effect known to boost the effectiveness of integrated campaigns across all channels. Additionally, offline media provides massive viewability and capture. Think of all the billboards you pass on a single commute -- that’s reach. 


Getting The Best of Both Worlds Is The Future Of OOH

When programmatic and offline media are combined, brands are given an activation channel that dramatically alters a consumer’s relationships with ads. Just imagine a subway billboard that changes its advertising based on the type of commuters traveling at a certain time. Perhaps it displays coffee with directions to the closest store in the morning with the financial tickers, CPG ads and offers after the kids are at school, and ideas for dinner, drinks, or date night ideas as the day winds down. It’s a level of responsiveness unknown to OOH, until now. Today’s advertising comprises a much larger ecosystem of outlets than ever seen before. Having an integrated campaign active on many channels is essential. With that in mind, it's reasonable to conclude programmatic coming to OOH is inevitable just as it was years ago when the idea was first tossed around. ​Fortunately, this time around there is a path to follow. Much of the heavy lifting has been done. Sure, definitions will change, but we have the road to success already laid out ahead of us. Believe me, programmatic is coming to OOH. And that low rumble you hear now will only grow stronger.

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