Setting OOH networks up for success

The out-of-home (OOH) industry is evolving rapidly, with innovations in targeting, measurement, and creative capabilities. Photos courtesy Vistar Media

The out-of-home (OOH) industry is evolving rapidly, with innovations in targeting, measurement, and creative capabilities. Photos courtesy Vistar Media

By Scott Mitchell

The out-of-home (OOH) industry is evolving rapidly, with innovations in targeting, measurement, and even dynamic creative capabilities. As a result, owners of advertising space are having to keep up the pace like never before. To meet the high expectations and needs of brand marketers and media buyers, these media owners need to invest in the right technology and secure their place in the “digital future.”

Adapting to these changes may feel daunting. However, the process of creating a future-proofed network can be streamlined by breaking down the requirements into three main components: a solid infrastructure, the ability to easily manage both advertising and content on screens, and a connection to programmatic revenue.

Establishing a solid infrastructure

As brand marketers develop dynamic creative and expect the targeting and measurement capabilities offered through digital out-of-home (DOOH), media owners need to have the right infrastructure in place to support them.

Considering development, maintenance, quality assurance, and interoperability, a digital signage network—big or small—is nothing without a solid infrastructure built to effectively manage the underlying requirements of its operations. For the best results, the infrastructure should be programmatic-ready and backed up by a dedicated device and content management system (CMS).

An effective CMS will seamlessly control all devices and content while mastering the on-screen experience. This can be beneficial for a media owner managing a large fleet of digital displays, or even one focusing efforts on operating a few high-impact screens. A CMS should help take care of vital operational logistics, such as managing devices, controlling the on-screen customer experience, and accessing network diagnostics. In fact, today’s advanced systems can actually register, configure, monitor, and upgrade players remotely. This should be a priority, as it allows owners of digital advertising displays to seamlessly roll out changes across an entire network.

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Further, the right CMS goes beyond logistical support and can actually contribute to an additional immediate revenue stream for media owners, offering media buyers customized on-screen experiences with new controls. This can include building custom apps for anything ranging from transit updates to weather notifications, all based on web-standard technology such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

To meet the high expectations and needs of brand marketers and media buyers, owners of advertising space need to invest in the right technology and secure their place in the “digital future.”

To meet the high expectations and needs of brand marketers and media buyers, owners of advertising space need to invest in the right technology and secure their place in the “digital future.”

Managing advertising inventory and content on screens

A central ad server and inventory management platform are critical to support both traditional ad scheduling and programmatic advertising.

Traditional scheduling is loop-based. This is practical and allows media owners to have control over when specific creatives will appear on their screens, while eliminating the complicated manual scheduling work. These campaigns can be sold based on the share of the loop they will occupy—an approach that requires a loop solution to support it.

However, many of today’s digital buyers in the programmatic world want to buy ads based on impressions. Programmatic ad serving provides the opportunity to run data-supported, impression-based campaigns which are sold based on impressions, share of voice, or hourly frequency. This approach requires a programmatic solution.

What does this mean for media owners? Leaders in the space are reimagining unified ad serving with first-to-market solutions, marrying traditional loop-based ad scheduling and programmatic advertising in one, central platform. Therefore, they should be looking for a solution that allows them to leverage both in one seamless way, rather than toggling between loop and programmatic systems on the same network.

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