We’re now just over a month into 2021, which is undoubtedly a year that we’re collectively hoping will be better than the last. Whether it’s currently on the right track is somewhat questionable, but for the most part, the interesting events we’ve encountered so far are out of our control. 

Yet as a marketer or media buyer, one thing that can directly make or break your coming year, and one that you have full control of, is how solid your media plan is. And for fully flexible and creative campaigns, digital out-of-home should not be overlooked. Here’s why:

People are itching to get outside and DOOH is ready

Put your hand up if you spend all day at your computer, take your breaks scrolling through your phone and spend your evenings watching Netflix on yet another screen. 

Without the opportunity to see friends and family, or even to join an in-person meeting, many of us have seen a significant increase in screen time this past year. This created a unique challenge for advertisers: screen fatigue. 

Even with some venues closed, we began to search for a much-needed break, and the rate at which people spent their time outside began to rise. Now, as vaccines begin to be distributed and we’re all eager for life to return to ‘normal’, we expect to see an even greater increase in the amount of time people spend away from their homes.

As for digital out-of-home, screens in venues like supermarkets and healthcare offices saw the greatest surge in traffic at the heart of the pandemic, while airports, cinemas and other non-essential businesses struggled. Yet as restrictions are lifted, entertainment, leisure and travel activities will surely see a surge in traffic.

The key here is to be ready to jump when trends change. Just imagine the impact of having your ad displayed to the visitors at a cinema’s opening week, or on campus as students finally get to go to school fully in person again. 

When bought programmatically through a buying platform like Campsite, digital out-of-home is extremely flexible and will allow you to quickly adjust your strategy as consumer behaviour changes.

A woman looks at a Campsite digital out-of-home screen

DOOH provides flexibility for any surprises

Of course, most markets aren’t fully open right now, and there’s still significant ebb and flow of consumers as restrictions are still being put in place.

Not only does digital out-of-home allow for you to easily start, pause and end campaigns, but you also have the flexibility to adjust as needed. 

Did the government just extend the evening curfew for another month? No problem, you can adjust the campaign settings to deliver more impressions in the afternoon. Are retail stores opening back up with very little notice? Great, set up and launch a new DOOH campaign in minutes.

By booking your DOOH campaign programmatically, you also have a direct and easy way to adjust creatives based on the social climate and world events. With this, you can be more creative, extremely relevant and also avoid any potentially insensitive messaging. 

For example, with the recent SuperBowl, you could have created two versions of your campaign and launch the right one depending who won – though let’s be honest, we had no doubt that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers would win.

By staying on your toes and being ready to adjust as needed, your DOOH budget will never go to waste and your messaging will be received by people at the right time and in the right place.

The outlook on 2021 is a bright one for DOOH

From circus announcements to posters of Uncle Sam recruiting young men for WWI, out-of-home is one of the oldest marketing channels. Since then, and especially since digital came into the picture, it has seen steady growth, with OOH expected to recover from the pandemic quicker than any other traditional media.

While this statistic is based on revenues, many OOH media owners have also taken the unusual year to streamline their processes, modernize their technology and even turn some of their static assets into digital billboards.

What does this mean for your ad campaigns? They’re easier to buy and more impactful than ever. With this digital transformation and a surge in the number of screens available for purchase programmatically, DOOH campaigns are as agile as ever.

But even so, with some companies seeing smaller marketing budgets as they themselves recover from the pandemic, is DOOH really the right place to spend money on in 2021?

Absolutely yes!

Digital billboards and screens are bright, bold and impactful, and as we said above, people will be flocking outside as soon as they have the chance.

What’s more, consumers have a positive outlook on OOH ads, and it is one of the most effective marketing channels at building brand trust

And after the year we’ve had, three-quarters of consumers have said to have changed their shopping habits during the pandemic. So if aren’t the Pelotons and bread yeast companies of this world, quickly reestablishing brand loyalty is critical as consumer spending picks back up.

DOOH is a perfect pairing for your other marketing channels

It goes without saying that DOOH isn’t the only marketing channel you need for a successful 2021 media strategy, but it should definitely be included.

It allows you to extend the reach of your marketing campaigns by reaching your audience while they’re away from their personal devices – something that’s unique to more traditional mediums.

But that doesn’t mean DOOH doesn’t fit right into a modern digital strategy right alongside your other channels. Actually, online and social campaigns tend to perform significantly better when paired with DOOH.

And while a few adjustments need to be made to prepare your campaign for OOH screens, your creatives can easily be retrofitted to work across all your digital platforms, maximizing on cohesion for a clear and consistent message across touchpoints.

Two people walk by a Campsite digital out-of-home screen

Why programmatic is the driving force behind brands’ success with DOOH

Some marketers have likely bought DOOH before, but programmatic provides just that much more flexibility. It’s easier to adjust creatives, shuffle budgets and react to any unforeseen events. Not to mention it is a one-stop-shop to manage your campaign across multiple publishers.

And while we hope for an amazing 2021, I’m sure most of us aren’t betting our life savings on it quite yet. So if you want to set up a campaign that is ready for whatever the future holds, open a free Campsite account to get started.

And if you’d like to know more about digital out-of-home and Campsite, download our complete guide that has everything you need to develop an awesome DOOH campaign.

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